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New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

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I recognize that change is something that is never accepted readily but after the initial "they've done it again" eye-rolls and complaints, I suspect that things will settle in and in a couple of years, most of us will have forgotten how it was once done until a parent or a new leader comes on to the board and asks why some Scoutmaster or Advancement Chair is insisting on using the old rules for Palms.

So then, why even change? Wouldn't you like to know the motivation for it when there isn't a call for it as far as I can tell?

 

Barry

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I wonder, but does BSA talk to anyone in the real world of Scouting before they make these changes? Do they talk to SMs and others to see how palms are earned and/or what impact the old system had on keeping Scouts around, versus this approach?

Page 12 of the document here is the results

Highlights:  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/2015_Mar-April.pdf

 

1900+ respondents

 

69% say palms are important

 

80% say it strengthen participation

 

70% say Scouts look forward to it.

 

87% rated the Scout spirit requirement as “very important,â€

 

 69 percent rated the leadership requirement similarly.

 

Here are the kickers

 

85 percent disagreed with awarding Palms based solely on earning five merit badges.

 

81 percent rejected the idea of allowing additional active time at Life rank to count toward Eagle Palms.

 

75 percent rated the three months of tenure as “very important, and 19 percent rated it as “important.†(94%)

 

78 percent agreed that three months was the proper tenure,

 

 80 percent agreed that activity outside the troop or patrol should be allowed in meeting the tenure requirement. (ASIDE: This is where OA, Camp staff, etc comes in)

 

As to BORs here is the reasoning, but note there are no stats to support it.

Finally, while respondents supported both the Scoutmaster conference and board of review requirements, many commented accepting one or the other would be adequate in awarding a Palm. Since Palms are not ranks, requiring both almost puts them in the same league.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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So then, why even change?

 

Because it's a lot easier than fixing something that matters?

 

Hammers looking for nails?

 

Because someone realized that most scouts that earn Eagle with plenty of time to spare still don't get palms. Rather than say there's something wrong with the MBs it's easier to just pave the way to increase numbers.

 

From the survey linked to above: "Eagle Palms ranked sixth [behind good quality troop programs, high adventure, strong Scout leaders, troop positions of responsibility, and Order of the Arrow when it came to eagle retention]. However, when asked separately, 69% of respondents agreed at some level that the Eagle Palm program is an important factor in retaining Scouts."

 

At some level?

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Oh, I get it. in the face of an overwhelming mandate from it's constituents, BSA was necessarily compelled to do the opposite. :/

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They run the surveys to determine the percentage of people they can tick off and get away with it.  It's all part of their business model.

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They run the surveys to determine the percentage of people they can tick off and get away with it.  It's all part of their business model.

 

 

I feel like they do too. They ignored the responses of the survey regarding Palms. And they ignored the 411 committee's recommendation, which took 4+ years of research and testing.

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Second call

 

Stay courteous. Don't make ad hominem attacks.

 

Please explain in PM, I'm not seeing this.

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Please explain in PM, I'm not seeing this.

 

Or explain in a note here. I must be missing something too. Other than cynicism and veiled humor, I don't see anything a miss.

 

I must be getting old.

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Because it's a lot easier than fixing something that matters?

 

Hammers looking for nails?

 

Because someone realized that most scouts that earn Eagle with plenty of time to spare still don't get palms. Rather than say there's something wrong with the MBs it's easier to just pave the way to increase numbers.

 

From the survey linked to above: "Eagle Palms ranked sixth [behind good quality troop programs, high adventure, strong Scout leaders, troop positions of responsibility, and Order of the Arrow when it came to eagle retention]. However, when asked separately, 69% of respondents agreed at some level that the Eagle Palm program is an important factor in retaining Scouts."

 

At some level?

Hammers looking for nails :laugh:

 

This post came at a time I needed a laugh and I'm still laughing. Thanks Matt

 

Barry

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Or explain in a note here. I must be missing something too. Other than cynicism and veiled humor, I don't see anything a miss.

 

I must be getting old.

It can be argued that when cynicism is pointed at other people, it is not being friendly, courteous or kind. It's nice to know we have a place to dump when we have a bad day, but there are limits to that as well.

 

Barry

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It can be argued that when cynicism is pointed at other people, it is not being friendly, courteous or kind. It's nice to know we have a place to dump when we have a bad day, but there are limits to that as well.

 

Barry

 

Again, I don't read anything in the above pages as pointed at anyone. As least, no more than any other thread in this online beauty salon. ;)

 

I hope we don't start talking about "triggers" for Pete's sake.

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If my post caused it, I apologize. I admit I am venting . I participated in the 2014 poll on palms, and I feel ignored. I have a friend who spent a lot of time and treasure on the 411 committee, and I can only guess how he feels. I took only a few minutes on the survey. He spent 4+ years.

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While we aren't ripping on each other we are ripping on national. We all agree with each other, for a change. So in a way this is a team building exercise :)

 

But seriously, there is an underlying issue here. My two cents: First of all, this change in palms will have no impact on anything I see. It looks to me like a symptom of how national does not have much of a vision on how to turn things around. The one message that we, on this forum, keep coming up with is fix the program before tinkering with anything else. Changing the way palms are handed out does not fix the program. It sounds a lot like FCFY. And that's based on the view that the only thing scouts want is bling. That's what everyone is ripping on. Scouts want friends, fun, challenge, and growth. Merit badges could be part of that as a way to get scouts to try new things, but merit badges have become too much class work and the scouts are not interested. I would much rather see a rewrite of the fun merit badges to include more doing and less discussing. Or have a bronze, gold, and silver palm for each MB that increases the skill so the scout that likes shooting or climbing or first aid is encouraged to get to the next level. Or help councils create events so scouts can more easily participate in the fun parts of the MBs. There are lots of things that could be done but just greasing the bling sled is not helpful.

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There are those that like bling and those that don't.  Hard to please both at the same time.

 

There are those that work hard at advancement and awards and those that don't.  Hard to please both at the same time.

 

Then there are those that adhere to the rules with every "t" crossed and "i" dotted and others that do a mere pencil whip.  BSA has no control over that (other than doing better at making communication explicitly clear.)

 

When things come on the forum, they are all opened to everyone to express their views on the issues, not on the person making the comment.  In this thread I really can't find anyone doing that intentionally or even indirectly, except maybe those aimed at National.  But then that's directed to the organization, not anyone in particular.

 

Like Eagle 94-A1, if my comments fall into that category, my apologies.  I do know at times things I post can be read in ways I never intended them to be.

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