Not content at the 21 merit badges required for Eagle, some Scouts go beyond and earn additional merit badges, making them eligible to receive Eagle Scout palms.
An Eagle Scout who earns five merit badges beyond the minimum amount (and meets other requirements) will receive a Bronze Palm. He’ll get a Gold Palm for 10 extra merit badges and a Silver Palm for 15. He can wear multiple palms if he gets to 20, 25, 30, etc.
And now, for the first time ever, the BSA’s National Council knows exactly how many Eagle Scout palms were earned in the previous year. Last year was the first year National BSA started tracking the numbers it receives from local councils.
Before I reveal the numbers, a few caveats:
- These numbers are from 2013 only, which, as I mentioned above, is the first and only year for which numbers are available.
- There is no way to determine whether a palm earned by a Scout was his first, second, or third Bronze palm; first, second, or third Gold palm; or first, second, or third Silver palm. That’s not the way the database is set up.
(By the way: Yes, Bronze, Gold and Silver is the correct order. Read more about why.)
These numbers are courtesy of Michael Lo Vecchio, program assistant in the BSA’s content management team. Without further ado, here’s the grand total of Eagle palms earned in 2013:
Is that higher or lower than you would’ve expected?
Broken down by color and region
Total Bronze Palms in 2013: 4,197
Bronze palms by region:
- Western Region: 1,197
- Southern Region: 1,076
- Central Region: 1,051
- Northeast Region: 873
Total Gold Palms in 2013: 1,224
Gold palms by region:
- Western Region: 327
- Southern Region: 312
- Central Region: 317
- Northeast Region: 268
Total Silver Palms in 2013: 269
Silver palms by region:
- Western Region: 67
- Southern Region: 62
- Central Region: 79
- Northeast Region: 61
Grand total, all colors and regions: 5,690
Where to wear palms
Now there are three places you can wear palms, depending on whether you’re a Scout or adult leader and whether you’re wearing formal/business attire or your Scout uniform.
Want more numbers?
More about Eagle palms
Learn more about Eagle palms and how to wear them in this excellent summary by Mike Walton, aka Settummanque. Click to enlarge: