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New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

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I don't think palms are that big of a deal.

 

If a scout makes Eagle and is truly committed to the program, he'll stay and help.  The bling may or may not interest him.  Palms certainly won't hold an Eagle who is on the fence, or has decided to move on.

 

Looking back, I made Eagle at 14.5 years of age.  I had a couple years to earn palms, but ended up with two.  I had a late rally right before 18 to earn the silver, but time ran out.  That's that and life goes on.

 

As a teenage scout, scouting had much more to offer than palms.  After Eagle, I was SPL for a couple years, then JASM.  Active in OA, went to NOAC and later served as vice lodge chief.  Stayed active in a troop that emphasized outdoors, outdoors, outdoors.  

 

I continued to earn MBs, but only the ones that truly interested me.  And as a swan's song, I earned Basketry as my last MB, right before I aged out.

 

I'm ambivalent about the new policy.  If it helps some scouts, great.  Overall, I think the Eagle rank is already lauded far too much today.  More attention, more after market devices... it just feeds the issue.

Edited by desertrat77

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No. It gives something for nothing. Make eagle today at 15 and eligible for 2 Palms? Get all three today. This rewards MB junkies.

 

The OLD program rewarded guys who stayed in the program AND continued to provide leadership.

 

Either way it works according to your view.

 

The boy must earn Eagle, then stay and get palms, the boys that eagle late do the same thing, but miss out on the palms.  Somehow the math doesn't add up for me.  A boy can attain Life at 13, sit around for 4 years doing MB's and working on his project or take a hiatus from scouting. come back and get his Eagle.  That's how it works, but if the boy continued to stay active, did POR work, showed leadership, earned MB's then Eagled at the last minute he gets the same reward as if he had taken a hiatus.   No incentive to do anything but work on Eagle at age 13 and then if palms aren't important, quit.

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@@Stosh, the way I read the new rule:

  • Guys who make Eagle AND have any palms completed will get those palms and Eagle at their ECOH.
  • Guys who make Eagle and DON'T have any palms completed, still need to follow the regular three month guidelines, with expanded roles for leadership, etc.

So if a Scout had 5 palms and Eagle all by his ECOH he get all of that right away, rather than being forced to stick around for 15 months, take additional leadership positions and continue to be active in his unit. No matter how you slice it, the unit now has to create an incentive for him to stick around.

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This is a shame.  We had palm BORs and for ex-SPLs who were active JASMs, doing mentoring for Senior Patrol and New Scout Patrol the BORs were a great way for some adults to sit down with a Scout and discuss college app process, scholarships, and other true life skill stuff.  Ya, could still have that but the palm BOR was a kick in the rear reminder to get some great adults together and have this chat with the Scout.  Our palms actually held short-term leadership assignments where the Scout, in advance, set up the goals for those 90 days and the BOR was a great chance to review successes and non-successes.  Now the whole program is nothing but a stupid MB participation trophy.  Maybe we'll just let the helicopter parents (fortunately few post-Eagle) just buy the bling themselves at Council and put it on My Johnnie Is Special's uniform.  Sad.  

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  • Guys who make Eagle AND have any palms completed will get those palms and Eagle at their ECOH.

Yes, but "completing" those palms (the "pre-Eagle" palms) will only involve earning 5 "extra" MB's per palm. No additional "active" requirement, no SM conference or anything else.

 

 

  • Guys who make Eagle and DON'T have any palms completed, still need to follow the regular three month guidelines, with expanded roles for leadership, etc.

 

Well, it isn't just guys "who make Eagle and don't have any palms completed." Under the new rule a Scout could have BOTH pre-Eagle and post-Eagle palms, or only pre-Eagle, or only post-Eagle. The post-Eagle palms will still require the 3 months for each one, and the "active" requirement will no longer be limited to the troop and patrol, but can be satisfied by any BSA activity. The examples they give are OA, Venturing, serving on camp staff or NYLT or NAYLE staff.

 

And there will be no more BOR's for any palm. I don't think that is a great loss. I have participated in several of those and they are really just formalities.

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Yes, but "completing" those palms (the "pre-Eagle" palms) will only involve earning 5 "extra" MB's per palm. No additional "active" requirement, no SM conference or anything else.

 

 

Well, it isn't just guys "who make Eagle and don't have any palms completed." Under the new rule a Scout could have BOTH pre-Eagle and post-Eagle palms, or only pre-Eagle, or only post-Eagle. The post-Eagle palms will still require the 3 months for each one, and the "active" requirement will no longer be limited to the troop and patrol, but can be satisfied by any BSA activity. The examples they give are OA, Venturing, serving on camp staff or NYLT or NAYLE staff.

 

And there will be no more BOR's for any palm. I don't think that is a great loss. I have participated in several of those and they are really just formalities.

 

Yes, but the point being that a guy who had 5 palms done before Eagle no longer has to stick around to earn them with additional leadership and activity. Just pop in your quarter and get Eagle + 5 palms. Ludicrous!

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@Col. Flagg  Okay, I'll bite.

 

How about this scenario?

 

Disconnect the palms from rank advancement.  They really aren't rank anyway.

 

A boy joins up at 11 years of age and starts rank and MB processes.

 

Here's the next step: AFTER he has attained all of his Eagle required MB's the clock starts running. 

 

At this point he is doing both Rank and MB records. 

 

Let's say he's reached the rank of TF at 13 years of age (some scouts already have Eagle by then.) Assume also he has his 21 Eagle required MB's done.  No last minute panic at age 17.  So he puts in his 4 months of POR/Leadership for Star and has an extra 5 MB's.  So he puts in 3 more months of POR/Leadership at TF and gains palm #1.  Another 3 months of POR/Leadership and 5 more MB's   for palm #2.  Now he's 14, Star Scout with 2 palms.

 

He puts in 6 months POR/Leadership for Life.  Remember all his Eagle required have been done.  So he continues on with 3 months POR/Leadership and another 5 MB's for palm #3, does it again for Palm #4.  He's now 15 Life scout with 4 palms.

 

He puts in his 6 months POR/Leadership for Eagle and has his ECOH at age 15.5.  Every three months and 5 MB's he adds for another palm.  He has two years and can earn 8 more palms easily with an additional 40 MB's providing he does continue POR/Leadership along the way.

 

Every palm could have just a SMC to check on his involvement and encourage him in his Scouting journey.

 

I have no idea why BSA allows only 4 months Star, 6 months Life, and 6 months Eagle for POR/Leadership when with the palm track, he could do continual POR/Leadership throughout his scouting career for credit.

 

We've had the discussion for the boy getting saddled with 12 month POR requirements for SPL, DC National award, etc. and basically either dropping DC or being penalized for dropping out of SPL before his "term" is up.  Those kinds of things are unacceptable.  The boy does the work, he should get the credit.  During a 1 year "term" as SPL, the boy should be able to gain credit for a rank advancement or two or a rank advancement and 2 palms with 10 MB's.

 

Sitting around waiting to get an Eagle rank while accumulating MB's of no value towards palms is a real buzz kill for the go-getter Scout.

Edited by Stosh
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@@Stosh, you just described many kids I know who had 3-5 palms prior to this silly change. They maybe got 1 or 2 palms before 18, but were fully engaged in Scouting and a ton of other stuff.

 

After 8/1/17 such Scouts get all their palms at once. What message does that send to the guys who got palms before? They had to EARN them with activity AND leadership. This new approach gives the palms away and cheapens them even further.

 

I'm fine with the change, let's just put that (*) next to their palms so folks know how they were "earned".  :rolleyes:

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@@Stosh

 

After 8/1/17 such Scouts get all their palms at once. What message does that send to the guys who got palms before? They had to EARN them with activity AND leadership. This new approach gives the palms away and cheapens them even further.

 

I'm fine with the change, let's just put that (*) next to their palms so folks know how they were "earned".  :rolleyes:

Agree 100%.  Call them Merit Badge Palms instead of Eagle Palms because that is exactly what these new things are.  MB Palms would be held in the proper esteem as accomplishments like, well that international revered award, The World Conservation Award, aka the PPP (the Purple Panda Patch).  

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In my troop I see palms as almost a rubber stamp. The kids who have eagled and want palms but are not engaged, show up have a BOR and get their palm. They are not working towards any additional MBs other that the ones they had already completed before getting to Eagle. 

On the other hand, I see a few Eagles who don't care about palms but are there every week still providing leadership. The SM will usually arrange a BOR for them and tell them to go sit for it. It comes as a surprise to them that they are up for a palm. 

 

I like the second group better because they are still engaged. They got their eagle and now it's about giving back. I don't think that we would lose this group even if they got all of their hardware at once. 

 

Even amongst eagles you have some that are true leaders and some for whom the rank was a checkmark on their (parents') agendas. 

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@@Stosh, you just described many kids I know who had 3-5 palms prior to this silly change. They maybe got 1 or 2 palms before 18, but were fully engaged in Scouting and a ton of other stuff.

 

After 8/1/17 such Scouts get all their palms at once. What message does that send to the guys who got palms before? They had to EARN them with activity AND leadership. This new approach gives the palms away and cheapens them even further.

 

I'm fine with the change, let's just put that (*) next to their palms so folks know how they were "earned".  :rolleyes:

 

I agree, they really don't earn those extra palms for doing anything other than showing up for an ECOH.  Maybe they did extra POR/Leadership, maybe they didn't.  With the new system there's no way of telling.  That I why I would prefer disengaging the palms from the Eagle rank and have them as MB credit with POR/Leadership attached once they have earned all 21 of their Eagle required MB's.  Okay, at age 13 one has all 21 ER MB's earned.  Now he can start his palms and as long as he doesn't double dip on his rank POR/Leadership, he can earn palms up until he's 18 regardless of rank.  Palms aren't rank anyway, they should not be counted as such.

 

In all my years in scouting in my neighborhood, I only know of one Eagle scout that earned palms and he was one of my ASM's.  Never saw a boy awarded a palm, not even though they had well over 21 MB's.  The majority of boys are last minute Eagles who have done great things for the troop and got no credit for it.

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That I why I would prefer disengaging the palms from the Eagle rank and have them as MB credit with POR/Leadership attached once they have earned all 21 of their Eagle required MB's.

 

On this we agree. Get rid of them related to Eagle and simply move them to "extra award" category @@DadScouts suggests. Removing the old requirements literally removes them from anything having to do with Eagle or leadership for those palms earned before Eagle.

 

OR, simply not allow anyone to earn EAGLE palms until they ARE Eagle. Star palms, anyone? ;)

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Hmmm, didn't see that one coming.

 

I wish they'd of at least left some post-Eagle time in...maybe 3-6 months after Eagle you can get however many palms for your current MB total, then another every three months after that.   I don't think this change will really change much though.  Those what want to stick around post Eagle will, and those that won't, won't.

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On this we agree. Get rid of them related to Eagle and simply move them to "extra award" category @@DadScouts suggests. Removing the old requirements literally removes them from anything having to do with Eagle or leadership for those palms earned before Eagle.

 

OR, simply not allow anyone to earn EAGLE palms until they ARE Eagle. Star palms, anyone? ;)

 

An Eagle with no palms indicate that the boy did just enough to get Eagle.  If he were to earn MB palms along the way, it would show that he did more than just the minimum, too.

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An Eagle with no palms indicate that the boy did just enough to get Eagle.

Only with regard to one requirement, the merit badge requirement. There are other requirements for Eagle, in which the Scout could have done far more than the minimum.

 

Comments about "doing just enough" remind me of the old joke:

 

Q. What do you call someone who graduated last in his class in medical school?

 

A. "Doctor"

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