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New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

eagle palms

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#141 Stosh

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:23 AM

I was disagreeing with the fact that scouts had to "work" for palms.   That is not at all what I've seen from multiple troops and instances of how scouts view palms.  

 

I do agree with you that I could reasonably see treating palms as a separate award from rank.  I could even see recognizing palms separate from ranks.  For example, a second class scout with 35 MBs could justifiably argue for Eagle palms.  It would be a nice way to recognize the above and beyond effort. 

 

They didn't have to work for palms prior to Eagle other than showing up for MB classes.  Why after Eagle are there requirements?  One way or the other, but the Eagle rank has no business determining whether or not one gets a palm.  After Eagle a scout can earn 5 additional MB's and it means nothing just like it did before Eagle.  As qwazse says, it's just more patches on the sash.  An Eagle scout can simply "drop out" of the leadership/service of the troop and focus on MB's if the palms mean nothing more than more patches.  What's the sense of that?


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#142 Col. Flagg

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:23 PM

I hugely disagree with that.  Hugely.  My experience with multiple troops is that scouts just after their ECOH target dates they need to have SMC and palm BORs.  Then, there is not much more than their previous participation level and making sure SMC and BOR happen on those dates.  

 

The new rules add value to continued participation in the MB process.  

 

In my troop Eagles had to 1) stay active, 2) hold a leadership role (with measurable objectives), and 3) pass an SMC and BOR for the palm. We may be unusual but that's how we handled it. Guys did earn them.


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#143 qwazse

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:46 PM

In my troop Eagles had to 1) stay active, 2) hold a leadership role (with measurable objectives), and 3) pass an SMC and BOR for the palm. We may be unusual but that's how we handled it. Guys did earn them.

I concur. I have never heard of any Eagle who only "marked time" and earned Palms.

 

If that was a problem in your troop, none of these changes fixes any of that. Johnny rotten earns Life at 13, racks up 31 MBs, does the SPL thing for six months, then drops of the face of the earth for 3 years. He comes around in time for some snazzy Eagle project and his SMC at age 17.99. Now you're telling me he deserves Palms? For what? Three years of parlor scouting?

 

Or even the kid who does NYLT, NAYLE, HA quadruple crown, and a business degree at Wharton, but never darkens the door of the scout house for three years... I should proudly order his little palms because the bling he got from actually doing those other great things doesn't cut it?

 

The kid who has a great time earning MB's and develops leadership, etc... but never hustles up to get his bird ... is a perfect scout in all things except timeliness. I should feel sorry that all he gets is a medal and a pretty sash? He got what he wanted out of the program. He read the book. He knew his procrastination wouldn't get him beau-coup palms.  Maybe in his future I should be upset if he get's offered to work overtime, passes on it, and never sees a time-and-a-half paycheck.

 

The new requirements award this slipshod behavior. I hope our boys scoff at them.


Edited by qwazse, 02 August 2017 - 08:47 PM.

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#144 Wood Badge Jim

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:40 AM

As many have expressed, I'm not a huge fan of this change, but now that it's been put into effect I believe it's obvious that the new rule is creating an unfair situation for Eagle Scouts who are still active.

 

First and foremost, I am not indicating that it should be retroactive for Eagles who have aged out.  For example, I am an Eagle Scout who earned my Eagle just before aging out and didn't earn any Palms.  I am not suggesting, nor do I believe that I should now, retroactively, be "entitled" to the two Silver Palms that my number of merit badges, and roles of responsibility, and active time would, under the new rules, qualify me for.

 

But, here's the situation that the Boy Scouts has created...

 

I have an Eagle Scout who earned his Eagle in June and still has two more years before he ages out.  I have another Eagle Scout who just earned his Eagle post August 1st, and he is now wearing one Silver and one Broze Palm.

 

So even though the Eagle Scout who earned it back in June has almost 70 merit badges and is one of the most active Scouts I have in the Troop would/should be entitled to 3 Silver Palms, he has none and he has expressed how unfair it is that for the next 2 years he will be earning just one palm every three months while this other Scout has a Silver and a Broze and he'll never be able to catch up.

 

This is beyond unfair, and in my opinion goes against the Scout Law and the purpose of Scouting.

 

Again, I don't believe we should make this retroactive for Scouts who have already aged out.  As has been expressed with any rule change there must be a line drawn, but this one is so simple to fix, making me feel that there must be other motives for National to not do this.  Here is the simple way to "ix" this:

 

***  As of August 1st, any active Eagle Scout should be entitled to all Eagle Palms that he has merit badges for, provided he is still active and has had a position of responsibility in the Troop.  Then moving forward the same rules apply to every Eagle for an subsequent Palms.   ***

 

Again, simple.  How National didn't forsee this as a problem and this as a fair solution is beyond me.

 

Here is one thing that I can see being an issue for them...

 

The Electronic Advancement System.  The program has a check for the 3 months requirement and won't allow a date that doesn't meet the 3 months.  This would require a change to the program, or a lot of man-hours of work by the local Districts, to administer.  Maybe they could remove the 3 month check for a period of time, allowing the Troop Advancement Coordinators to go in and make the active Eagles up to date following the same rules and then close it so we go back to the 3 month check.  Just a thought!

 

Sorry to all of the aged out Scouts.  I get that this isn't the most fair change, but for the currently active Eagles having to stand next to younger Scouts who are wearing more Palms, even though the other, older Eagle Scout "deserves" to be wearing more, based on the same rules, is beyond unfair and is something that the Boy Scouts needs to fix!


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#145 RememberSchiff

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:58 AM

@Wood Badge Jim welcome to scouter.com


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#146 fred johnson

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:09 PM

***  As of August 1st, any active Eagle Scout should be entitled to all Eagle Palms that he has merit badges for, provided he is still active and has had a position of responsibility in the Troop.  Then moving forward the same rules apply to every Eagle for an subsequent Palms.   ***

 

Again, simple.  How National didn't forsee this as a problem and this as a fair solution is beyond me.

 

 

Yes.  This nuance should have been anticipated.


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#147 qwazse

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:28 PM

Wood Badge Jim Welcome to the forums!

...

Sorry to all of the aged out Scouts.  I get that this isn't the most fair change, but for the currently active Eagles having to stand next to younger Scouts who are wearing more Palms, even though the other, older Eagle Scout "deserves" to be wearing more, based on the same rules, is beyond unfair and is something that the Boy Scouts needs to fix!

I guess here's where you and I disagree: if something isn't "the most fair" why pursue it?

I mean, if some revival preacher is telling me his "isn't the most fair" savior, I'm leaving the tent meeting!

 

They way I see it, this is a matter of uniforming. Devices on uniforms have meaning. When the meaning of a device changes, it's not rational to say that for one class it should mean one thing and another class it should mean something else. This general line of thinking is what has routinely been applied to BSA awards. For example if a scouter earned a "Webelos award" before 1967, he qualifies to wear an Arrow-of-light knot. Why? Because, for the sake of uniformity, we want boys to know who among their leaders had similar accomplishments. (Yes, cubs ask me about my knots from time to time, and I explain all three of them, and encourage them to read insignia like an young brave would read a totem pole.)

 

I understand that as scouters, we see our currently enrolled youth as equals among one another. But, the fact is, Lord willing, these Eagles will spend more years as adults than youth with this award. And, I encourage scouters to see all Eagles as very much our equals.

 

Thus, if you think you or I should be restricted at the scout shop from picking up palms that represent our accomplishments on the same scale as today's Eagles, then you should fine restricting last month's scouts.

Last month's eagles stand next to us as much as they stand next to this month's or tomorrow's. If they aren't, we're doing it wrong.


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#148 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:26 AM

***  As of August 1st, any active Eagle Scout should be entitled to all Eagle Palms that he has merit badges for, provided he is still active and has had a position of responsibility in the Troop.  Then moving forward the same rules apply to every Eagle for an subsequent Palms.   ***


I agree that it would be fairer to apply this change to all Eagle Scouts who were active in a troop as of August 1, regardless of when they had their EBOR.
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#149 qwazse

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:39 PM

I agree that it would be fairer to apply this change to all Eagle Scouts who were active in a troop as of August 1, regardless of when they had their EBOR.

That would include Wood Badge Jim, right? He was active in a troop as of that date! (It wouldn't include me ... I was only active in a crew.)

My point is, when someone makes a completely unnecessary stipulation, don't take the bait of making an equally unnecessary stipulation. (That might be my rule #2: don't beget one foul rule from another foul rule.)

Let whoever wants to show up at the scout shop with blue cards in order request what extra palms should be conferred under the new definition. Simple. Fair. Voluntary. If the new definition is truly ideal, BSA might be swamped with orders. If the majority of scouters really don't mind their uniform deviating from the new definition, supply won't be a problem. The only thing that national will have to worry about is boys turning down palms because they want their insignia to match their scouters old-fashioned ideals. Either way, nobody "loses," and we save ink.
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#150 NJCubScouter

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:06 PM

That would include Wood Badge Jim, right? He was active in a troop as of that date! (It wouldn't include me ... I was only active in a crew.)


I'm pretty sure you knew what I meant, but ok, let's change that to:

"I agree that it would be fairer to apply this change to all Eagle Scouts who were active AS A YOUTH MEMBER in a troop as of August 1, regardless of when they had their EBOR."

 

So, no, it doesn't include WoodBadgeJim, wouldn't include you anyway, doesn't include the 67-year-old ASM in my troop who is an Eagle Scout, etc. etc.  And actually it doesn't include any youth members in my troop at the moment, because all of the Eagles are at least 18.  (Well actually there is one who turned 18 in July but I don't think he has had his EBOR yet, so I think he qualifies.  Maybe.)


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#151 HelpfulTracks

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:40 PM

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.

 Just enough to get Eagle?

 

If he met the requirements and passed BoR, an Eagle is an Eagle, 21 merit badges or 121.

 

I know a number of Eagles that have no palms, but did plenty of Scouting, myself included. Our last 6 Eagles all made it right before their 18th birthday. They had maybe 200 MB's between them and no palms (except for the last 2 that fell under the new rule). Earlier this year one finished is second term as SPL just before getting Eagle (no palms as he was under the old rule). The last two Eagles attended Jamboree just a few weeks before their 18th birthday, and one of them served on Summer Camp staff the last 3 years. (both get palms because their BoR's were after August1.)

 

I had over 50 MB's, no palms because after turning Life at 15 I finished my project the month before my 18th. As life I attended 2 high adventure bases, held multiple PoR, including 2-3 stints as SPL, served in OA, (I attended Jambo just before turning Life).

 

The point is palms are not a measure of an Eagle. Of all the Eagles I have met over the years, the topic of how many palms they earned has never come up.

 

I used to not give palms much thought. On occasion, I thought it would have been cool to have a couple, but it never bothered me that I didn't. I thought of it as an award, like 50 miler, Paul Bunyan, Historic Trails and World Conservation.

 

I don't have an issue with the rule change, but with all the nashing of teeth over the change and parsing out Eagles based on palms, I almost wish they would do away with it, or at least find a way to detach it from Eagle Rank. I think that to much emphasis is being put on palms and what they mean, particularly compared to other awards like Hornaday and NMOA, both of which require a great deal of effort to earn.


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