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gwd-scouter

Son is ready for palms, but does not want SM conference

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How did we all of a sudden take on the role of judge regarding advancement? Not a big deal? Every other advancement is a big deal, and I'm reading a lot of people remembering what they did or did not do regarding palms, so people still know their status from years ago. Why are we suddenly suggesting that a Scout shouldn't pay any attention to advancement and recognition? It's one of our methods. We ignore it?

BDPT00

 

 

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BDPT00, I could be wrong, but I never considered palms to be advancement, now or back in the day. Even a young guy, I understood Eagle to be the end of advancement, and palms were a method to keep a scout interested in mbs and active in the troop. Palms may indeed be recognition, but Eagle was enough recognition for me. Others may have a different take.

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I've never thought of it as 'rank' either. Just additional recognition. If a boy made it to Eagle at, say, age 16 as suggested, and if he had, say, 34 merit badges when he made Eagle, then he simply has to wait for the palms to arrive. Nothing special, just stay with the program. That's the way it was for me and for the boys I've seen doing it recently. They earn far more merit badges than are needed for Eagle before they complete the ones that are the greatest cause for procrastination (i.e. personal management, family life, etc.) and then they don't need to earn a single additional merit badge to qualify for the palms...as long as they are young enough to pass the needed time periods. I suspect there are few Eagles who ONLY earned 21 merit badges. Most of the time I suspect they've earned plenty of 'free electives' before they complete the 'required'.

So it's not that big a deal. Just passing the time.

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I think the self imposed rule is a good one. Did the same thing with my son. But a SM Conference is nothing more than a chat. It's not pass/fail.

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Eagle77, yes you are right: it takes 3 months and 5 MBs (beyond what was required for Eagle) for the palms. I completed Eagle with 8 "excess" MBs, which immediately counted for palms upon fufilling the time requirements. Once I had earned 2 more MBs I had completed enough for both the first bronze and gold palms. Hope that helps.

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I have to agree with Lisabob. Palms are not nearly as big a deal as ranks, maybe not even as big a deal as MBs. BSA promoted them as a way to encourage new Eagles to stay in scouting if they get their eagle young enough, but we have had better luck encouraging staying in for high adventure camps and camping opportunities. Some still enjoy earning MBs; others only want to earn the minimum necessary for Eagle and then be done.

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gwd,

 

Let him be him. There's nothing in ACP&P that says you cannot do this. Now, you cannot be on his BORs... but you can't anyway ;)

 

One of my best Eagle Palm boards as a member was at camp, in the later evening, just talking under the stars. I opened the board completely backward from the usual method. Two simple questions: What's going on in your life? What's on your mind?

 

Katey Bar the Door!! There was a bunch of pent-up questions he'd not asked ... I don't think we adjourned until midnight; but when we did, he had some better tools to find his trail.

 

I look at Palm boards differently than I do T-L. (Eagle is a completely different beast). My experience, as shown above ... lots of young people need some space to ask some tough questions of the adults.

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I'm with John/KC. These experiences used to be called growth conferences. A boy's experiences in Scouting change after he's "arrived." Too often, Scouts "graduate" when they've reached Eagle. There's so much more they can do, give, and recieve as an Eagle. Sitting before a board can be very beneficial for everyone involved. We like to think that these kids are goal oriented. To me, sitting on 21 merit badges for a few years doesn't impress me very much. Granted, if they're involved in OA or NYLT or maybe a crew (or all of the above), they can be busy and active. That's great. If they rest on their laurels, I think they set a weak example.

I visited a troop COH last night. After the merit badges and then rank advancements were issued, the latest Eagle was announced (his award will be presented later). Then the SM asked, "And what comes after Eagle?" In unison, I'd say 15 Scouts shouted out "Palms!" An Eagle was then presented two palms, and was greated with warm and enthusiastic applause, inclusing mine. I think to play them down with an attitude of, "So it's not that big a deal. Just passing the time," does our Scouts a disservice. They should be encouraged.

BDPT00

 

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BDPT00, I re-read the original post to see where I've gone wrong. It is about a boy who has all the MB's needed for palms but who has chosen not to bother with them. I quote a specific line with which I am in sympathy, "You know, it's never been about the advancement for him, so I guess this just goes with who he is."

If this IS who the boy IS and how he feels, then it isn't a big deal for him. Why should it be a big deal for anyone else? This boy should not feel pressured to do something he doesn't want. He has Eagle and that seems to be sufficient for him.

As the Eagle coordinator for this unit I see it from this end of the process, not from the viewpoint of younger scouts who have not made it to Life or perhaps already earned Eagle. I see this from the perspective of boys who often have more MB's than needed for palms but choose to focus on other aspects of growth. If that is what they choose, I support them. And I don't make a big deal out of it. It's their lives and their choice. No problem.

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Hi everyone. Thanks for the interesting replies. Was watching my son at last night's meeting. He was very late arriving because he had a band concert at school. All the boys ran up to great him. He was all smiles asking what they had been doing and if they were ready for this weekend's campout. When he gathered them all together to close the meeting, he gave them a few reminders about the cold weather, what to bring, and then asked if I had a SM minute during which he timed me and the guys congratulated me on being 4 seconds shy of a full minute. I loved that.

 

He's doing exactly what I imagine any of us as scout leaders could hope for. Earn Eagle, yes, but then keep on going having a good time, helping and encouraging the younger guys, showing them what scouting is all about. Maybe he will decide to do BORs so he can get his palms, maybe not.

 

What comes after Eagle? How about just continuing to do what Boy Scouts do?

 

He loves this Scouting stuff. I am very proud of him.

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GWD-scouter, I think that's the key...your son is still showing that scout spirit.

 

He earned Eagle, and every scout can see that patch on his uniform.

 

He's still in the program, and a respected leader in his troop.

 

Doesn't get much better than that!

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My son had a different spin on palms. He earned Eagle at 14. He then became SPL X2 and at 16 became a junior scoutmaster. He just cherished earning MB. He kept on earning them till a week before his 18th birthday. I had looked good when he COMPLETED APPLICATIONS and received scholarships from the local council and then from NESA. He ended up with 66 MB'S which ended being Triple Silver Palms(45 MB'S beyond Eagle). He just finished his first semester in college and is on the new charter as Asst. Scoutmaster.

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I really think your son will regret missing the opportunity. I completed Eagle at 17 years, 10 months, and didn't leave myself enough time for even a single palm. Looking back, I regret that very much.

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