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New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

eagle palms

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#41 Eagledad

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 11:14 AM

I used to know what Palms were for, but this conversation has me wondering now. Doesn't the advancement awards prior to Eagle recognize a scouts hard work up to Eagle? And what exactly are we envisioning of a scout with Palms?

 

Kind of funny, my take on Palms is adults like them because they recognize additional leadership. Scouts like Palms because they recognize additional Merit Badges.

 

Some people just naturally enjoy working MBs, are they better Eagles? Or were those other Eagles just pencil whipped? What does that even mean? 

 

This is all too hard, why can't National just threaten going coed and leave the rest of the program well enough alone. :rolleyes:

 

Barry


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#42 qwazse

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:21 PM

... 18 with Eagle at the last minute, but what about the 2-3 years prior that he did stay in scouting and continued to work on progress throughout that time.  He gets no credit for that.  ...

Since when did a sash chock full of little round patches, a stash of PoR patches (to one day hand down to nephews and great-nephews), cool event patches, religious awards, etc ... amount to "no credit"?

 

Maybe I am a stuck-in-the-mud sentimental old fool. Perhaps it's because I remember my Palm BoR to be one of the most enjoyable conversations with my committee. I could look dad and all of the professors and the mom of the best scout I've ever met (she passed away last week BTW) in the eye and just talk about college plans, the big 50-miler I was planning, what I'd do for my last week of summer camp, considering the ministry, etc .... I enjoyed the brief time I was on the committee of my son's troop doing the same with another couple of fine young men coming up for their next Palm.

 

I want boys to hustle up and make rank then knock off a few palms so that they could have what I had ... a chance to relax and really rub off on my guys without any paper-pushing ... maybe to look at some need and say "I know how to line that up" ... maybe to have some swagger around camp to hunt down guys from Jambo and say "didga get your bird."


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#43 Stosh

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:35 PM

Since when did a sash chock full of little round patches, a stash of PoR patches (to one day hand down to nephews and great-nephews), cool event patches, religious awards, etc ... amount to "no credit"?

 

Maybe I am a stuck-in-the-mud sentimental old fool. Perhaps it's because I remember my Palm BoR to be one of the most enjoyable conversations with my committee. I could look dad and all of the professors and the mom of the best scout I've ever met (she passed away last week BTW) in the eye and just talk about college plans, the big 50-miler I was planning, what I'd do for my last week of summer camp, considering the ministry, etc .... I enjoyed the brief time I was on the committee of my son's troop doing the same with another couple of fine young men coming up for their next Palm.

 

I want boys to hustle up and make rank then knock off a few palms so that they could have what I had ... a chance to relax and really rub off on my guys without any paper-pushing ... maybe to look at some need and say "I know how to line that up" ... maybe to have some swagger around camp to hunt down guys from Jambo and say "didga get your bird."

 

I understand this, but there's more to palms than just racking up little round patches on a sash.  There's POR and time commitments that go along with it.  While the boy might have attained Life at age 15, all he really needs to do after his 6 month POR is sit on his butt and let the clock run.  Instead he could be working on "palms" with additional PORs and contributing to the troop BEFORE he gets his Eagle rather than getting the Eagle and then going after palms.  If, perchance, the boy does additional POR after the requisite 6 months and before Eagle, it counts for nothing.  Might as well just go after the MB's because other wise it won't count until after Eagle anyway.

 

By the way, I am a firm believer in separating MB palm awards from rank advancement.  The 21 MB's for Eagle should count for advancement, but beyond 21, they should be counted as awards, not rank.  I think the 21 MB's for Eagle should be the only ones credited towards advancement, no electives unless they are for palm awards.


Edited by Stosh, 11 July 2017 - 01:43 PM.

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#44 Eagledad

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:08 PM

Since when did a sash chock full of little round patches, a stash of PoR patches (to one day hand down to nephews and great-nephews), cool event patches, religious awards, etc ... amount to "no credit"?

 

Maybe I am a stuck-in-the-mud sentimental old fool. Perhaps it's because I remember my Palm BoR to be one of the most enjoyable conversations with my committee. I could look dad and all of the professors and the mom of the best scout I've ever met (she passed away last week BTW) in the eye and just talk about college plans, the big 50-miler I was planning, what I'd do for my last week of summer camp, considering the ministry, etc .... I enjoyed the brief time I was on the committee of my son's troop doing the same with another couple of fine young men coming up for their next Palm.

 

I want boys to hustle up and make rank then knock off a few palms so that they could have what I had ... a chance to relax and really rub off on my guys without any paper-pushing ... maybe to look at some need and say "I know how to line that up" ... maybe to have some swagger around camp to hunt down guys from Jambo and say "didga get your bird."

Thanks for bringing a smile to another old fool. It's a nice break from the cynicism.

 

Barry


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#45 CalicoPenn

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

I have never encountered anyone who has asked a group of young men whom among them was an Eagle Scout and then follow-up by asking about Palms. 

 

I don't know anyone who was not involved in Scouts who knows there is something called an Eagle Palm.

 

I have rarely met an Eagle Scout who talked about how many Palms they earned after getting their Eagle Scout award.  Those that do, tend to have more than three and what they're really bragging about is the number of merit badges they earned.

 

Eagle Palms are a bit of a throwback to the old Star, Life and Eagle ranks - for those unfamiliar with the history, Star, Life and Eagle were not originally ranks like Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class.  First Class was the highest rank you could get.  Star, Life and Eagle were awards for getting Merit Badges.  The Life badge came first and was awarded to First Class Scouts who earned First Aid, Athletics, Lifesaving, Personal Health and Public Health merit badges.  Star was next just for earning another 5 merit badges.  Eagle Scout was awarded when 21 merit badges were earned (and now you know why Eagle Scouts have to earn 21 merit badges).

 

When Star, Life and Eagle Scout were made ranks, Palms were developed as the new merit badge awards.

 

I'm really not all that opposed to any of these changes.  Lets remember what the Merit Badge program is really for.  Other than the 13 required for Eagle badges, this part of the program is really designed for Scouts to explore vocations and avocations that they might carry over in to adulthood, or the learn more about subjects that they might be interested in.  While earning them all might sound impressive, I question whether the Scouts that earned them all really learned anything from them.  The idea behind palms was to encourage Scouts to keep earning Merit Badges which continues to contribute to a Scouts personal growth.   If a Scout has earned 20 merit badges beyond what they need at Eagle, what motivation do they have to earn more if they can just hang out exhibiting leadership in 3 months increments and earn 4 palms in a year. 

 

I'd be much more impressed if instead of banking on merit badges they already earned, they earned the merit badges for palms while they were Eagle Scouts.  To that end, how about creating a second set of "palms" - maybe an Oak Leaf - to differentiate additional merit badges earned before Eagle Scout and those earned After.  If you earned 15 additional merit badges before Eagle Scout, you get a Bronze, a Gold and a Silver Oak Leaf (or maple, or elm, or cottonwood) award and those earned after Eagle Scout earn Palms?

 

I agree with eliminating the BOR - for most units, it's hard enough to schedule a BOR for regular ranks, let alone Palms.  Lets remember the main purpose of a BOR - it's not to test Scouts, its to see how the Scout is doing, what they like about the Troop, what they like about the Program.  While all that can be learned in a good Scoutmaster Conference, the BOR is the committees opportunity to hear it first hand.  By the time a Scout is an Eagle Scout, the committee is already going to have a pretty good idea of what a particular Scout enjoys and doesn't enjoy, and how a particular Scout thinks.  Is there really any more value to hearing from them every three months thereafter?  A Scoutmaster Conference should be more than sufficient for Palms.

 

Frankly, I'd have no problems just eliminating the time in service requirements altogether. Unless you're dealing with a super-scout, I suspect most Scouts will take about 3 months to earn 5 more merit badges anyway.

 

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.


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#46 Eagledad

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:14 PM

 

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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#47 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:03 PM

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....5_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,”

 

 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, 11 July 2017 - 05:04 PM.

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#48 MattR

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:43 PM

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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#49 qwazse

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:03 PM

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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#50 Stosh

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:27 PM

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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#51 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:59 AM

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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#52 John-in-KC

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:46 AM

Second call

Stay courteous. Don't make ad hominem attacks.
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#53 Stosh

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:13 AM

Second call

Stay courteous. Don't make ad hominem attacks.

 

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


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#54 Col. Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:15 AM

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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#55 Eagledad

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:53 AM

 
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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#56 Eagledad

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:03 AM

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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#57 Col. Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

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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#58 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:11 AM

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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#59 MattR

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:17 AM

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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#60 Stosh

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

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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