After hearing from volunteers, BSA to allow current Eagle Scouts to receive Eagle Palms retroactively

All current Boy Scouts — even those who completed their Eagle Scout board of review before Aug. 1, 2017 — are now entitled to receive Eagle Palms for merit badges earned before their Eagle board of review.

Previously, only those Scouts with an Eagle board of review date on or after Aug. 1, 2017, were eligible for these Eagle Palms. Now all current Eagle Scouts can receive Palms for additional merit badges earned before their board.

This is a revision to the change announced on this blog on July 10, 2017. The move comes in response to passionate feedback from volunteers and was approved by the BSA’s National Executive Board.

Here’s what changed and why.

What was previously announced

On July 10, I wrote about the debut of certain changes to Eagle Palm requirements.

The change means that, as of Aug. 1, 2017, a new Eagle Scout can receive, alongside his Eagle medal, all Eagle Palms he has earned for merit badges completed before he became an Eagle Scout.

This allows all that merit badge work to be rewarded right away. It recognizes the Eagle Scout’s extra effort regardless of his age at the time he earns Scouting’s highest honor. If the Eagle Scout has sufficient time remaining before his 18th birthday, he can then continue to earn additional Eagle Palms by completing the five requirements below.

For example: Glenn, a 16-year-old Life Scout, had 36 merit badges at the time of his Eagle Scout board of review on Aug. 15, 2017. That’s 15 more than required. Before the change announced on July 10, he would’ve needed to wait three months after his Eagle board of review to receive his Bronze Palm, another three months for his Gold Palm and another three for his Silver Palm.

Under the revised requirements, he can get that Silver Palm (representing 15 additional merit badges) along with his Eagle medal at his Eagle Scout court of honor. No wait required.

Glenn’s example is still valid even after the revision being announced here.

What’s new now

What’s new affects young men who became Eagle Scouts and who had not passed their 18th birthday before Aug. 1, 2017. Now those current Eagle Scouts can immediately apply for and receive Eagle Palms for merit badges earned before their board of review.

Let me reiterate: Only those merit badges earned before the Scout’s Eagle board of review count, assuming those merit badges have not already been applied to a previously awarded Palm.

For example: David had 41 merit badges when he became an Eagle Scout on July 29, 2017. That’s 20 more than required. Under the revision, he’s entitled to receive and wear a Silver Palm (representing 15 additional merit badges) and a Bronze Palm (representing five additional). Under the previous rule, it would’ve taken David a year to earn those Palms — three months for every five merit badges.

What about any merit badges David earns after his board of review on July 29, 2017? The five requirements below apply.

The official requirement, as of October 2017

Effective August. 1, 2017 (Revised October 2017).

After successfully completing your Eagle Scout board of review on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and being validated as an Eagle Scout by the National Service Center, you will be entitled to receive an Eagle Palm for each additional five merit badges you have completed before your Eagle Scout board of review beyond those required for Eagle. In addition, all current Scouts who completed their Eagle board of review and who had not passed their 18th birthday before Aug, 1, 2017 are entitled as well. For these Palms only, it will not be necessary for you to complete the requirements stated below.

After becoming an Eagle Scout and receiving the Eagle Palms you were entitled to, you may earn additional Palms by completing the following requirements:

  1. Be active in the Boy Scouts of America for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after the last Eagle Palm was earned.
  2. Since earning the Eagle Scout rank or your last Eagle Palm, demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life.*
  3. Continue to set a satisfactory example of accepting responsibility or demonstrating leadership ability.
  4. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle Scout or your last Eagle Palm.
  5. While an Eagle Scout, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.**

Notes: For Varsity Scouts working on Boy Scout requirements, replace “Scoutmaster” with “Varsity Scout Coach.” For Venturers working on Boy Scout requirements, replace “Scoutmaster” with crew Advisor.” For Sea Scouts working on Boy Scout requirements, replace “Scoutmaster” with “Skipper.”

*Eagle Palms must be earned in sequence, and the three-month tenure requirement must be observed for each Eagle Palm.

**Merit Badges earned any time since becoming a Boy Scout may be used to meet this requirement.

FAQs about the change

Following are some questions and answers regarding this revision to the Aug. 1, 2017, requirements. Additional questions and answers regarding the original change can be found in my earlier post.

These answers were provided by the National Boy Scouting Subcommittee.

Q: Can an Eagle Scout who successfully completed his board of review before Aug. 1, 2017, but turned 18 on or after Aug. 1, 2017, apply for Palms under the new provision?

A:
 Yes, any Eagle Scout who completed his board of review before Aug. 1, 2017, but had not turned 18 before Aug. 1, 2017, is eligible to receive Palms under the revised requirements. Example: Bruce had earned 26 merit badges when he completed his Eagle board of review on July 1, 2017. He turned 18 on Aug. 2, 2017. Even though he is now 18, he is eligible to receive a Bronze Palm to represent the five additional merit badges he earned before his board of review.

Q: If a Scout earned Eagle rank before Aug. 1, 2017, and then turned 18 years old before Aug. 1, 2017, can he apply for Palms under the new provision?

A: No. Any Eagle Scout who turned 18 before Aug. 1, 2017, is not eligible to receive Eagle Palms under the new provision.

Q: Can merit badges earned after an Eagle board of review but before Aug. 1, 2017, be applied toward receiving Palms under the new provision?

A: No. Only merit badges earned before a Scout’s Eagle board of review can be used in applying for Eagle Palms under the new provision. Any merit badges earned after a Scout’s Eagle board of review can only be used to earn Palms by completing the five requirements listed above.

Q: How many additional Palms would a Scout be entitled to under the new provision if he earned Eagle rank at the age of 16 on Feb. 1, 2016, and had completed 50 additional merit badges at the time of his board of review?

A: Assuming he had remained continuously active and earned Palms in the normal manner under the previous requirements, he would be eligible to immediately receive four more Palms. That is based on counting 30 merit badges toward six Palms during the 18 months from Feb. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.

Q: Using the previous example, if a Scout had earned an additional 20 merit badges after his Eagle board of review, how many Palms would he be eligible to receive on Aug. 1, 2017?

A: He would still only be eligible to receive four more Palms. The 20 additional merit badges he earned could be applied toward additional Palms by completing the five requirements listed above.

157 Comments

  1. I still think this is a terrible change. Earning a merit badge should be recognition in and of itself. I always felt the whole point of earning a palm was not simply earning the merit badges, but continuing to provide service to scouting after earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

    • To clarify, your objection is to the ORIGINAL change. Today’s change, as I see it, only corrected the egregiously arbitrary and unfair August 1, 2017 application date of the new Eagle Palm requirements which resulted in a Scout who had 36 merit badges at the time he successfully completed his Eagle board of review getting either no Palms or three Palms SOLELY depending on whether his EBOR occurred on July 31 (0 Palms) or August 1 (3 Palms). Today’s correction is a great stride for fairness, irrespective of one’s opinion of the original opinion. Your criticism of the original change might be more appropriate in the comments to the Bryan on Scouting article on the original change.

      • You are correct, my objection is to the initial revision to the rules governing the awarding of palms. I agree that the revision announced today removes the unfairness in the cutoff date. That change was made because people commented on the initial revision to the rules.

        In that spirit, I continue to comment against the revision to the rules governing palms in hopes that it will be completely reversed. The article states that the revision was made to recognize scouts who put in the extra effort to earn additional merit badges before earning their Eagle rank. My position is that the merit badges themselves recognize that additional work. The palms recognized the additional effort scouts put in after earning Eagle, by continuing to provide service to their units.

      • ANY arbitrary deadline still hurts. My son had 50 merit badges at EBOR in 2016 and turned 18 in April 2017. He did go on and earn a Gold Palm in the interim, but is still won’t qualify under this change either.

        That said, I agree with eab above in that the Palms should have stayed representative of involvement beyond EBOR.

        • I agree. If it’s solely about Merit Badges, then make it entirely retroactive. I would qualify for one palm that way. If it’s about involvement, etc, I would not. I got a job 2 months after my BOR in 1992, and my involvement took a nosedive.

    • I agree, I feel that is the point. To clear the boards so to speak, so after earning Eagle the scout has some additional incentive to continue to be involved, and earn new merit badges. And not just waiting out the three month periods, since he already has more merit badges than time to 18..

      • Perhaps a solution would be to eliminate the three colors of palms and go with two. Award bronze palms for every 5 merit badges earned before Eagle, and silver palms for every 5 merit badges earned (and associated months of service) after Eagle. I think differentiating would provide additional incentive to stay involved.

    • Exactly! The badge IS it’s reward. The palm, I thought, was to represent continued development of leadership and service in addition to the badges.

    • I agree with eab, this was to show that the scout stayed with the troop after his EBOR and showed scout spirit and helped his troop with leadership until turning 18. Seems to be a let down for those that did. We continue to get more lenient,
      which I do not think is good for the young men

    • Terrible? Maybe not terrible, but it defiantly diminishes the key elements of the Eagle Palm.. Leadership was the key element before that the Eagle Scout showed along with the merit badges earned.. Buts its leadership not pins…

    • it’s ok.
      Eagle Palms is the least of the worries.

      Boy Scouting is in a death spiral.
      It will likely cease to be “Boy” Scouting in 5 years and cease to exist in 10-15.

  2. I had my BOR in 1981 and had enough mb for at least 3 palms. I have been registered continuously — I assume I’d qualify, How would one go about requesting these? I would need help with records.

    • No – one of the changes ties in the August 1, 2017 implementation date to the date a scout turns 18. If you turned 18 before August 1, 2017 and earned the Eagle rank before August 1, 2017, you are not eligible for palms under the new rules. All this affects is the unfairness between a scout with 26 or more merit badges and his EBOR on July 31, 2017 not getting an instant palm and a scout with 26 or more merit badges and his EBOR on August 2, 2017 getting an instant palm.

    • Q: If a Scout earned Eagle rank before Aug. 1, 2017, and then turned 18 years old before Aug. 1, 2017, can he apply for Palms under the new provision?

      A: No. Any Eagle Scout who turned 18 before Aug. 1, 2017, is not eligible to receive Eagle Palms under the new provision.

    • I am a chairperson of a troop / advancement chair. I have 11 Eagle Scouts since 2000 who all stayed in the troop until 18 and most stayed in the crew till 21 and still give to the troop as much as they can. I have a question. all earned palms but “Palmed out” due to their age. Can I go back and award them the merit badges their earned past their Eagle under this new rule?. All these Eagles were between 200-2016.Would love some clarification. One earned his eagle at 13 and earned every merit badge that was available when he turned 18. he received 6 bronze, 6 gold and 6 silver. He is still involved. Most were like 17 almost 18

      • I think the FAQ and the comments here are pretty clear. If they turned 18 before Aug 1 2017, the old rules apply – no Eagle Palms can be awarded under the new rule.

        The October revision, here, only applies to scouts who received there Eagle before Aug 1 2017, but were not yet 18 as of Aug 1 2017.

        But you mention awarding merit badges – if they earned the merit badge before the age of 18, they should have been awarded the merit badge. This rule change has nothing to do with merit badges specifically, but with Eagle Palms.

  3. Obviously, it’s seems a goofy policy for any of us who are still dumbfounded that folks felt a need for “insta-palms”, And, I’m regretting not having the opportunity to encourage some old fart to go dig up his blue cards to see if we can “up his count”. It just seems such a waste of verbiage in the requirement on account of a deadline for deadlines’ sake.

    But, I’m glad Eagles in the same troop can at least be uniform, and will only have to sort out what their palms actually mean when they gather as alumni.

    • None of the Eagle scouts i know (or am the father of) have been seen standing around figuring out who is the better eagle scout, even based on palms. I posit that if you are whipping out your eagle medal to see who has the most palms in some sort of order of rank misadventure, you kinda missed the whole point of the accomplishment.

      I tell young men (and soon young ladies) at eagle BOR’s that you should strive to be the person that just IS an Eagle scout by your actions and words. Live and act in such a way that no one is surprised if they find out your are an Eagle. Don’t wear it on your sleeve, or you business card, but just LIVE it and the rest will take care of itself.

      Remember, palms are NOT RANK; and even if they were RHIP has no place in scouting. If anything Eagle scouts go LAST, not first.

      • There will be nothing politically incorrect about asking a fellow Eagle if any of the palms he will be wearing are the new-fangled insta-palms. Half the fun of insignia is the story they tell.

        I posit if you are afraid to asking a fellow Eagle’s story about how he (in couple of years, she) got there, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

        Although the best scout I ever knew aged out at 2nd class, we cannot dismiss the institutionalized RHIP culture of BSA. The first privilege: being trusted to lead and serve.

        FWIW – I never earned an Eagle “rank.” In my BSHB “Eagle” was in the chapter on “Awards” after Life, before Palms. This distinction between ranks and awards as fairly novel lingo.

  4. I have a scout that got eagle in 2016 but has continued to earn badges when do you start the 3 months active? From the board of review date or today date?

    • The “regular” method for earning Eagle palms, recognizing merit badges completed after earning Eagle, uses three months from the board of review date.

  5. To Mr.R – I believe you misread the article and new provision. It states: In addition, all current Scouts who completed their Eagle board of review and who had not passed their 18th birthday before Aug, 1, 2017 are entitled as well. Therefore, you would not be entitled to the immediate recognition of Palms.

  6. In the example of the scout with 50 additional MBs at his Eagle Board of Review on 2/1/16, who earned 20 additional since his Board of Review, it appears that the six 3-month intervals post his BoR are now time that is “lost” for earning additional Palms. Under the new policy, he would have received 10 Palms with his Eagle Rank. Why would he not have earned up to 4 additional Palms between his EBoR and 8/1/17, for a total of 14?

    I’m asking does this mean that the clock for earning Palms on the MBs earned after EBoR start on August 1, 2017, not from the date that each 5 MBs were completed?

  7. Well, darn.Close but no cigar.

    My eldest son qualified for several palms for merit badges earned before he turned 18. However, due to circumstances beyond his control, he didn’t have his Eagle BOR until after his 18th birthday, and in 2015.

    He remains active in scouting and in the OA, but put his Merit Badge sash away. It would be nice– and appropriate– to have the palms for young men like him to demonstrate to the younger scouts in his Venture Crew and OA Chapter & Lodge, to encourage them to pursue advancement.

    “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”

  8. I didn’t like the original change (and still don’t), but as others have said this change corrects the unfairness on whether a current Eagle Scout under 18 years of age completed his Eagle BOR before or after July 31, 2017.

    We are having an Eagle Court of Honor in November for 8 Scouts in our troop. 3 completed their BOR before the August 1 date & 5 after. It was going to look odd (especially those that do not know much about Scouts) to see the one with 51 MBs receive 6 palms and the one with 121 MBs to receive only 1 palm because the former completed his Eagle BOR after August 1 & the latter before, but has since completed 3 months & the other requirements.

  9. So, do we use the regular form for this (I have a couple of Eagle Scouts this applies to) or is there some special form we need to use?

    • Steve,
      There is no Palm form anymore, and the councils don’t have to review them. You just have to add them to your advancement report. It was mentioned in Bryan’s previous blog on the topic of Palms.

      • Trying to get clarification. There is a Eagle Scout Palm Application dated August 2017. According to your comment there is no form. Someone please clarify if we are to use that form or not.

  10. OK so here’s a situation I don’t know how to apply the rule to. I have a 16 year old Scout that had more than 50 merit badges when he got his Eagle as a 14 year old two years ago. He now has 110. every 3 months he qualifies to get a new palm, and has 8 of them now, but he couldn’t start accruing them until after his EBoR. . Under the rule change as I read it, and interpreting it the most liberally (for the benefit of the Scout), he could retroactively have 6 of his current 8 palms “grandfathered” in at the time of his Ebor, and then get his subsequent palms based on the time wait.

    So let’s run a hypothetical. We have a Scout that is Mr. Go Get `Em. He has a goal of earning every merit badge there is, and does it. He gets his EBoR on his 13th B’day. With 5 more years of eligibility, that will allow him to get a maximum or 20 palms, or ” advancement credit” for 121 merit badges. If he is allowed to get the merit badges he earned BEFORE his EBoR grandfathered for palms, then he could qualify for a maximum of 26 palms.

    And yes, there are a few Scouts out there than can and DO earn all the merit badges, Not many, but there are a few. I have one that is just 2 short right now; Cycling and, of course, Bugling.

    How should we interpret this?

    • Mr. B: 50-21 = 29 so he earns 5 “insta-palms” as of his Eagle BOR. If it was 51, he gets another “insta-palm.” You say he has already earned 8 under the 3-month wait system. Someone (the advancement chair) will need to calculate how many palms he had on the 3-month anniversary dates of his Eagle BOR (basically the dates he earned the 8). If he had the necessary 5 MBs at the time, he gets another one. Since he has earned about 60 MBs in the 2 years since earning Eagle, he probably got 5 every 3 months BUT again, someone will need to check the dates. It appears that he had 8 Scoutmaster Conferences & met the other criteria already. If the MBs are good to go, he probably has those additional 8 palms.

      We have a Scout in our unit that is the go-getter you are talking about. He had 119 MBs at his BOR in April 2017. Based on this, he will receive 19 palms. If he continues to earn MBs & meet the other criteria, he can earn additional palms. Before his 3 months after his Eagle BOR was completed, he earned an additional 2 MBs so he now has his 20th palm. He hasn’t earned any additional MBs since July so he would have to earn 5 more plus show the leadership, Scout Spirit, & Scoutmaster Conference in order to earn another one. He might not earn 26 palms, but may be close.

      • I’m not seeing that above. It says “Let me reiterate: Only those merit badges earned before the Scout’s Eagle board of review count, assuming those merit badges have not already been applied to a previously awarded Palm.”
        Based on that, an Eagle scout in our troop has earned the 3 palms he could otherwise have been awarded right away. Earned a 4th palm, and is waiting for the 3 month period to elapse for his 5th.

        If I could recalculate, the 5th would have been at his last scout master conference. But I don’t see that interpretation in the article.

    • I believe you can go back to his BOR date and re-calculate. Determine the number of merit badges over the required number on that BOR date. and then determine number of palms for every 3 months and 5 merit badges since that date.

    • I interpret it as you have a scout getting the most out of the program!
      Let him know he can bump his palm-count up by 5!
      Please, tell us what he says about it!

  11. Do I agree with the original change that was made on July 10, 2017. No

    But with the change having been made and put in place – this update is a good step in trying to make things equal for our currently registered Scouts.

    For all of us Eagle Scouts that are no longer youth – we are all adults. No one said life was fair. We should be able to move on without the extra bling for our uniforms. It should not effect our ability to serve the youth in the Scouting program.

  12. Here is my question. My son earned his Eagle before August 1, 2017. All along he has been waiting his three months to get his next palm. He is waiting out the 3 months for his third palm. However, the merit badges he earned for his third palm were all merit badges that he had earned prior to him becoming Eagle. The new policy states that he now automatically gets his third palm. So here is the question. Does the month and a half wait time now go to his fourth palm, or does the clock start over for the 3 months. The merit badges for the fourth palm were all earned after his award of Eagle, so they would require the 3 month wait time. The question is does he have to wait 1 and half months for the fourth or 3 months form today?

    • Ron: My take is that he had 36 MBs when he did his Eagle BOR, he gets 3 on that date. The 3-month window began that same date. If he had 41 MBs as of EBOR date + 3 months & had a Scoutmaster Conference (& met the other requirements), he would get a 4th palm. The 3 months begins anew every time he gets a new palm.

      If he doesn’t earn 5 MBs in the 3 months, he would have to wait until he got the 5 MBs & do the other requirements. Then the clock for the next 3 months would begin anew after the awarding of the palm.

    • Congratulations to your son!
      But, he may need to earn more MBs in a hurry! His 15 extra got him to his silver palm. To get that next bronze, he’ll need to earn 5 more MBs. If he can do that tomorrow, I see no reason why his scoutmaster wouldn’t consider his time already served (~7 months?) after Eagle sufficient for that palm.
      Hopefully, moving the clock up for him will give him a crack at one more palm than he would have expected to earn by age 18.

    • No, it’s not. It’s a terrible thing for the program.

      Eagle Palms are called Eagle Palms because they are earned while a Scout is an Eagle. They are meant to be something for the Scout to work on earning after they have earned the rank of Eagle, so that it just doesn’t end there. They were built to encourage the Scout to give back to their troop, show leadership, and yes, gain more skills by earning merit badges.

      These are not ‘Merit Badge Counters’, which is what this change is turning them into. If so, they wouldn’t have ‘Eagle’ in the name, and would work just like the little red and yellow beads that Cub Scouts wear.

      This is further removing any incentive for Scouts to stay in the program after they earn Eagle. It will do nothing good for the program, and makes earning a palm effectively meaningless.

      • I re-read the article and other comments on here – my objection is to the original insta-palm change and not this specifically.

        This isn’t the place to discuss my objection, sorry about that.

      • Yes, but since their induction in 1927 as a compromise to requests for ranks/awards beyond Eagle, they’ve had a necessary time requirement. With no time requirement for getting them I don’t see that they really have much to do with _being_ an Eagle, but everything to do with getting merit badges. So, why not degrees now for Star and Life?

  13. How does a Scout apply for the Eagle Palms in the retroactive situation, since BSA did away with the old “Eagle Palm Application”? Is there any paperwork involved for the Scout?

      • They did away with it with the introduction of the new rule, according to my council registrar. You now just file a regular advancement report for it.

  14. Well, the next thing to occur, someone will want ALL ADVANCEMENT to become retro-active!! So much for the “time periods” to allow for personal growth, reaching goats, learning, having fun.. Get out the Trophies for everyone in the Troops….

  15. So I have a Scout that does not turn 18 for another couple of weeks. He earned his Eagle in 2015. Since then, he has earned 8 Palms under the old guidelines using merit badges he earned prior to earning his Eagle. Under the new guidelines, it appears he is now eligible for a total of 18 Palms. Does this change mean, that I now must amend his Internet Advancement Records to reflect that he was entitled to his first 10 Palms on the date the Scout had his Eagle BOR in 2015, and then show that the Scout was entitled to the other 8 Palms using the 3 month requirement dates I have previously used for his first 8 Palms, or am I only giving him credit for the last 2 Palms that he should have been awarded back in 2015, which obviously will be dated prior to the other 8 Palms? The Scout currently has earned over 100 merit badges. Plus, I am sure the software for Internet Advancement has not been updated to reflect this change, so how do I even amend this Scout’s records anyway?

    • Try to just simply add them in internet advancement and see what happens. Then report back to us please. Someone has to be the guinea pig.

  16. When I first read the title I thought I’d be able to continue earning merit badges! I’m an eagle scout but I’m 27. Wish I would’ve earned more palms.

  17. When will Internet Advancement be updated to allow the change? As of now we can’t enter the palms for scouts retroactively.

    Error:
    A Silver Palm must have been earned and held for 3 months before you can earn the Eagle + 20 Merit Badges Palm.
    An Eagle +20 Merit Badges Palm must have been earned and held for 3 months before you can earn the Eagle +25 Merit Badges Palm.
    An Eagle +25 Merit Badges Palm must have been earned and held for 3 months before you can earn the Eagle +30 Merit Badges Palm.
    An Eagle +30 Merit Badges Palm must have been earned and held for 3 months before you can earn the Eagle +35 Merit Badges Palm.

  18. As I said back in August – the sad useless death of a wonderful program that some units used with excellent results. Now there is no point wasting the paper to put in for a participation trophy.

  19. Ok, I have a couple Scouts who earned Eagle as far back as 2014. These Scouts were entitles under this rule to receive 4 palms. If they have the merit badges on the books are they entitled? These Scouts have received palms, but will not be able to “capture a palm” for all the merit badges. Do I bump the old dates? and issue 4 more palms essentially clearing them to under 5, the same as the “new” Eagles Or is the supposed level playing field for Eagles within the last year? Any clarification. Thanks

    • If they are still under 18, Here’s how I’d figure this:
      If they had 41 MBs at the time of their EBoR, their second bronze may be considered earned as of that date.
      Then, for every 5 MBs they subsequently earned, figure out if they were before their completed Palm BoR. If so, increment their counts.

  20. Karen, I talked to the person in charge of verifying Palm reports at the Council level a few hours ago. While you and I cannot enter all of these extra Palms past the first three, apparently the person in charge of Advancement at the Council level has a way to bypass the Internet Advancement safeguards to enter all additional Palms past the first three without being blocked. Find out who is in charge of verifying Eagle Applications and Palm Reports in your Council. They can help you through this problem. Good Luck.

  21. In terms of the correct way to wear Palms, how do you combine palms that were earned under the old system with the new system?
    Example: If a scout earns 5 silver and 1 bronze at the time of their EBOR, but then goes on to earn more merit badges and more Palms afterwards – 2 gold, 2 bronze and 1 silver, what do they wear?
    Since he is going to receive his post Eagle palms one at a time as he earns them every 3 months does he exchange the combined post Eagle bronze and gold palms for silver since it looks like they want you to only wear multiples of the silver? (I guess like you would exchange a rank patch once you earn the next one although not exactly).

    • It doesn’t matter which system you used to earn the palms, the palms are always displayed as follows: Wear only the proper combination of Palms for the number of merit badges earned beyond Eagle Scout. The Bronze Palm represents five merit badges; Gold, 10; and Silver, 15. For example, if 10 merit badges and two Palms are earned, wear only the Gold Palm. If 20 merit badges and four Palms, wear a Silver and a Bronze Palm.

      Source: Guide to Awards and Insignia

      • Yes I understand but my question is that with the pre-Eagle palms it is easy because you get them all at once X silvers + a bronze or gold. But when a scout is earning palms after Eagle, 5 at a time he will get a bronze, and then a gold (and may have had a pre-Eagle bronze or gold), do you go to the scout store an buy a silver to wear once you have reached the right combination of incremental bronze and golds?

      • Thanks. Let me ask this a different way. If a scout is now entitied to 4 silvers and a bronze pre EBOR would his first post EBOR Palm be a gold to continue where he left off (and start accruing towards the next silver) or does he start all over with a bronze since it is post EBOR?

  22. I know there are positives to this change but not all palms are now equal. For the Scout who not only earned the additional merit badges but also continued active membership and leadership for 3 months for each palm, his palm is NOT equal to the palm earned for just additional merit badges.
    Now when a Scout wears a palm, I will not know what it means. I guess I ask myself if it really matters. As an Advancement Committee member, I think it does.

    • They should find a way to visually make a difference in the way palms earned before Eagle look versus palms earned after Eagle.That would then show the difference in a person who earned palms with the old requirements versus a person who can earn them with the new requirements to others.

    • Now when a Scout wears a Palm, it means he complied with all the official BSA requirements to be entitled to that Palm. Period. Do you really need to know anything else? Certainly, in this sense, all Palms are equal.

      No other ranks or awards are worn with the date of receipt or the list of requirements attached so one can tell what they mean. From time to time requirements change. Scouts who comply with the then existing requirements are entitled to the specified recognition. This result does not change for an Advancement Committee member or anyone else. See, e.g., GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT 2017 at 2 http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf (“No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements.”)

  23. As our troop advancement chair, this opens a lot of questions. We have one scout that had 53 badges at his Eagle BOR in 2016. He has gone on to earn 4 palms (every 3 months) under the old system. Three of those had a palm BOR, the last one was after August 1 where the palm BOR was dropped. The new requirements have him earning 6 palms retroactively. However, he has earned 11 badges after his Eagle BOR for a total of 64. He has an additional 16 months of leadership as a JASM after his Eagle BOR. Has he now earned only the original 6 palms (53 badges) or the new number of 8 palms (64 badges)?
    Also, we had a scout earn Eagle last night with 31 badges. I understand this is equal to one gold palm. Did he also earn the bronze for purchasing purposes? Or do I only buy the gold?

    • Roz2003: Only buy the gold as he cannot wear the gold & bronze at the same time. In fact, that combination will never be worn together as bronze = 5 & gold = 10 for a total of 15. At 15, the Scout only wears a Silver. If the Scout has 20 over, he will eventually wear a silver & a bronze & at 25, a silver & a gold, & at 30 a total of 2 silvers. A scout should only need a single bronze & gold to wear at any one time (unless he loses them), but would need additional silvers along the way. Save the $2.99 & only buy the gold for now.

  24. When will the Online Advancement allow these new palms to be entered? Also what dates should be used. Our Scout will get four more palms and he has earned three since becoming and Eagle in 11/2016. Currently the online advancement won’t allow palm dates input without the 3 month wait and no retroactive dates. We’ll ensure the Scout gets his recognition, but we’d like to ensure the database is correctly updated.

    Thanks!

  25. So if you held your Ceremony before August 1st with X merit badges and since then have earned two palms, once hearing about this, does one get to keep the two palms they have earned with the old requirements then add the ones earned “before eagle”? Also saying that the two palms earned after were using 10 new merit badges that the scout earned after eagle. Do they get them all?

  26. This disturbs me. My son has over 50 merit badges. He also was awarded the Medal of Merit. He is Beotherhood in OA. He received his Eagle scout in March of 2017 before aging out in May of 2017. He purposefully gave up on being able to get the palms Under the old system so that he could make his Eagle project have greater impact. What is the purpose of specifically excluding those who got their Eagle before August of 2017 but then turned 18 before August of 2017? This seems like it is excluding a specific group of scouts for no reason. I would really like to see an official answer on this.

    • We don’t know why National pick August 2017 and in such rush manner (thus some Scouts could have plan better miss the intended result). On the other hand, he did evaluate and made his choice to have greater project than a palm, even he can predict 8/1, the choice likely still the same. When he made that decision, he understood the added palm for the MB he already earned not worth to trade off greater impact. Very mature fine young man.

    • The issue to to take care of the current Eagle Scouts under 18. Those that are over 18 have aged out so nothing for them. If they did, they would have to go back 100+ years for them all.

  27. This is a definite start, but it still penalizes some. I have a scout that has already been working on palms for 2+ years and has earned 9 (the “old” way). He currently has a 128 merit badges and is working on the last 10. The new rules allow you to only take credit for merit badges earned up to your EBOR for the “quick palms”. Unfortunately for this scout, he was using his merit badges in an orderly fashion (from earned first to last). So even though he has enough merit badges for Eagle + 21 Palms right now, he can only have Eagle +11 Palms right now with the new rules, because he didn’t use his “newest” merit badges first. It would seem that he is still being “punished”. Life’s not fair and in the big picture, it doesn’t matter whether he has 1 Palm or 100 Palms, but it would seem that if National is going to make amendments, they would have made one a little more inclusive to account for this detail.

    • I wouldn’t slight a scout for re-assigning which MBs count for which palms. If he believes insta-palms are a good thing, award him those 21 palms.

  28. To clarify…..Does this new rule take effect today, October 25, 2017 or is it retroactive to August 1, 2017 as well? For scouts currently working on a Palm, do they “quick up” and start their 3 months today or do they get to “quick up” and start from Aug 1?

  29. I still do not understand the need for instapalm. Palms used to mean you spent extra time after earning your Eagle to develop the troop. How has this not devalued palms?

  30. There are aspects of this I like, but I don’t like how it seems to make Palms only about the merit badges and not the participation and leadership/responsibility. I would prefer to keep the requirements the same EXCEPT for allowing Scouts to use participation after the 6 months as Life are up and continued leadership/responsibility during that period towards Palms.

    My son was fortunate enough to earn his 2nd Silver, but the timeline was very tight; he only had about three weeks of slack between his Eagle Board and his 18th birthday and he had to really work things carefully to get Scoutmaster conferences and BoRs on schedule, especially since he was camp staff during the summers. Unfortunately, I have seen a number of his peers with lots of merit badges and long tenures as Life who did not have the time to realize their “Palm potential.”

    Under the change, my son would have received 2nd Bronze with Eagle. Between camp staff and OA, I know he would have stayed plugged in, regardless. He was busy, but who knows, he might have found a way to get the experience of five or ten more merit badges.

  31. Why not make it totally fair to EVERYONE and easy to figure out.

    How many merit badges did you earn in total? Minus 21 and divide by 5= # of palms!
    76 merit badges-21=55 so they have 11 palms regardless if they earned Eagle yesterday or 1960.

    Just saying, make it simple and stop restricting things.

  32. If my son is out of BSA and tales the Eaglr Board in Novemver 2016. What I do to tales the Palm. Can I do the reclamation directly ?

  33. I think this is out of hand. Eagle is Eagle. At COH we always mention and recognize the scouts number of merit badges. Shame on the BSA. There are much better things or good deeds to be recognized or noted in a scouts character then counting meeit badges.

  34. My son earned is Eagle in 2007. He had enough merit badges for 5 palms but only received 2 before he aged out. I remember commenting to him that it we to bad he didn’t Eagle sooner so he could have received all his palms. His reply to me was “I’m and Eagle Scout, that’s what matters. When I put that on my job applications I won’t put Eagle plus 2 palms.”

    • Well said, so technically can your son now receive the 3 palms, THAT is what I am wondering? I made Eagle 33 years ago and earned 4 palms but aged out before I could collect on 3 of them. I would love to have them for old time sake. You son is right, I only wrote I am an Eagle Scout. On one government board I was asked by a fellow Eagle Scout interviewer about my palms and I said I had earned 4, received 1 and aged out. So I am hoping to hear can I award my past scouts their palms?

      • Because he, you, and most of your scouts were born before 8/1/1999 (are older than 18 as 8/1/17), you cannot. That’s how ageism works.

      • Scouter Donn: You can’t. Any Scout who turned 18 before the changes in the program cannot use the new “insta-palm” system. When a Scout is asked how many palms in a future job interview. The answer of 20 (for one Scout in my troop) or 23, the max number that currently could be earn, could create a good discussion on changes in the program and does it really matter.

  35. How many comments have been submitted and rejected on this topic? Does the system at times just “turn off” and reject all comments for some period of time?

    • Hey KLM. I moderate each comment individually, so the only time the system “turns off” is when I’m asleep or otherwise unavailable. I do read every comment and approve more than 95 percent of them. Thanks for your patience!

  36. The BSA released this “fix” to yet another one of the many changes made recently to our program that the majority of us think (know) was a bad idea to begin with.

    Not wanting to re-hash the arguments against changing the old Palm earning process but basically the BSA made a change that will encourage some or most Eagle Scouts to leave scouting.

    In the real world, what do you think would have happened to an executive of a business that came up with a change that would drive customers away??

    “Let’s make car tires that get more flats”.

    “Let’s make ice cream that doesn’t taste good”.

    “Let’s change a system that currently encourages Eagle Scouts to stay and give back to Scouting but instead give them another reason to leave scouting”.

    Months ago, I would have thought that all 3 of the above are an April Fools prank.
    I’m afraid to ask but what’s next?

    • Anthony G.,
      I am afraid that horse left the barn a long time ago as evidenced by the various changes these past few years as directed by the National Board. In reading a recent letter from National, I realised that their entire world view was summed up in a single word; Brand. They certainly repeated it enough times. So we can assume that every decision produced by the National office and/or the National Board, is based on the effect to the “Brand.” Every policy decision is now made to protect the brand.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter.

        (Sorry but I accidentally gave your reply a thumbs down).
        Interesting comment you made regarding the word “brand” repeatedly used in the BSA letter you mentioned.

        It reminds me of the NFL leadership who for many years repeatedly said that their main goal was to protect the shield (the NFL shield) or their brand.

        They spend so much time trying to protect the shield that they ignored the problems bubbling beneath the surface.

        If you regularly read the comments on these blogs and speak to other adult scout leaders in your community, you might find that many if not most of us disagree with many of the changes made in recent years to the BSA.

        To the BSA National Leaders, please note that there’s a lot bubbling beneath the surface.

      • H.B. Scouter

        Sorry but I gave you a thumbs down by accident. Sometimes it’s tough to press the right “thumb” symbol on a small smartphone.

        I tried to reply to you several times but my message would not go through.

        Thanks for your reply/comment mentioning that National is mostly concerned about protecting the BSA’s brand. It’s ok for any organization to try to protect their brand. However, when it comes at the expense of what its employees or customers believe then many problems can arise.
        For many years, the NFL has mostly been concerned about protecting its shield (or brand) but they’ve missed many problems that were bubbling beneath the surface.

        The BSA is a great organization with a long and storied history. I’m not sure if we Scouters or boy scouts should be considered employees, customers or something else but many if not most of us don’t understand or agree with many of the recent decisions made by National.
        Protecting the brand sounds nice but out here in the real world, National, there might be problems bubbling beneath the surface.

      • To H.B. Scouter

        I tried to reply to you several times but my original message would not go through. I appreciate what you wrote regarding National mostly being concerned with trying to protect the brand. The most popular American sport’s main goal for many years was to protect it’s shield or brand. It did so but it ignored many of the problems that were bubbling beneath the surface within it’s organization. For the first time in my years in Scouting, I now meet adult leaders who no longer want to stay in scouting for decisions being made at National. Many if not most of the adult scout leaders around the country don’t agree with many of the recent decisions being made to our organization. For any organization, protecting it’s brand is fine so long as problems bubbling beneath the surface aren’t being ignored. There are problems and they are bubbling!

  37. The point of an Eagle Palm should be to reward an Eagle Scout who is staying active in their troop, practicing and sharing their leadership abilities, and otherwise working to still be a Scout after earning the Award. When I was a Scout, having palms meant that you got your Eagle before the last minute, and that you didn’t just leave the program after getting it.

    I should mention I don’t have palms because I got my Eagle rank at the last minute.

    This now cheapens the meaning of the Palm awards. No longer does it mean any part of what I mentioned above, it’s just a Merit Badge counter.

    These awards shouldn’t be designed so that everyone and anyone can achieve them. They’re supposed to be difficult to achieve so that those who earn them stand out. If we keep cheapening them like this, they will eventually be meaningless.

    • Sorry – I realized after re-reading the article and other comments. My objection isn’t to the change mentioned in this article, it’s to the original insta-palm decision. This isn’t the right place to discuss this.

    • I respectfully disagree. What about the Scout who makes Life at 12 and stays über-active earning tons of MB’s, and makes Eagle just before 18? Do those MB’s and active membership mean nothing? I think this should be totally retroactive without any artificial date pinned to it. By the way, the Scout who makes Life at 12 and disappears from everything BSA until just before turning 18, should not get the Palms not associated with the months active. Maybe start the three month clock after the earliest possible date that he could have earned Eagle? If he is not active during that time, then no Palms awarded. Most SM’s will have the knowledge of who was and was not active.

      I have two who did the disappear trick a month or two after making Life. Then showed up just in time to squeeze the months needed in to make Eagle. I cannot add extra requirements such as it must be 6 months of continuous activity and leadership. Though, I would not mind that. I even had members of the committee lobbying me to not sign off on Scout spirit. I could not do that as their spirit was perfectly fine during their active months – and that is all a SM can consider.

      Immediate recognition is the method of recognition in BSA. If an über-active Scout is on the go enough to make Eagle at 13 and have enough MB’s for a simultaneous Palm award, I think that encourages more participation. As it was, kids would calculate their months and stop earning MB’s if they could not get a Palm for it. That is until I found out about the calculations and reminded them of Scout spirit. Those are the ones who earned over 100 MB’s.

      • What do you mean “do those merit badges mean nothing?” They should mean that the Scout had new experiences and learned something new – through “merit.” They should not be looked at as check boxes on the road to more bling.

  38. It is nice that the BSA is allowing previous Eagle Scouts to receive Palms. However, this change should apply to ALL past Eagle Scout, not just those who turned 18 on or after August 1, 2017. If you are going to limit the change in this way, then the change should not be retroactive at all. Instead, they should have just said “this change will be effective on this date.” Period. Nothing retroactive about it.

  39. Sorry I am really confused here so if any nice readers would email me… Is this saying that ALL Eagle Scouts who technically earned palms but aged out before collecting them can now receive them retroactively regardless of how many years ago, as long as he was 18 before 8/1/2017. So my scout who eagled in 2009 can get his palm? How about dad who eagled in 1984 and aged out and lost out on three palms, LOL!
    I would REALLY like to know the clear answers since I am an advancement chair and have about 12 past eagles that could get these palms if the keyword is “retroactively”.

  40. Thank you for sharing the new policy with us and helping us to understand it.

    I have a separate, but related question to this policy. Nowhere did I read what would be the award date for the Eagle Palms that were retroactively earned. Do we use Aug 1, Oct 25, or EBoR date?

  41. So if a scout now qualifies for 4 silvers and a bronze retroactively that were pre-BOR but had already been awarded a bronze and a gold post Eagle BOR (and has enough merit badges for both) do you go back and convert the post eagle bronze and gold to a gold and a silver to true-up? otherwise the scout would now have back to back bronzes when you marry the new pre-BOR he is getting with the Post BOR ones he was already awarded?

  42. Bummer. I had my BOR back in 1999 and I only received one palm. I was really hoping this will allow me obtain a palm I missed out on due to aging out.

    • Jacob, now you understand the feelings of every SM/ASM who would like to earn Eagle but can’t because he was born after 1965.

      At least you have a nice MB sash that you may show your kids one day.

  43. Bryan:
    When the first revision was made on Eagle Palms the Board of Review was removed because it was not considered a rank. Please look at the original post.
    Now according to the new post is it back in or not can you clarify?
    Thanks

    • No requirement for a BOR for Eagle palms. The only BOR is for the Eagle rank. For palms (for merit badges earned after the EBOR) still takes the 3 months and other requirements including a Scoutmaster Conference, BUT no BOR by the unit.

  44. If palms are simply a reward of getting more badges than required for the Eagle badge, wouldn’t it be equally fair for a 2nd Class Scout who is a Patrol Leader, shows Scout Spirit and has a SM Conference plus 5 merit badges also get a bronze palm? Let’s give everyone lots of badges even if they cease meaning anything. BTW, where do you put 7 or 8 silver palms, anyway? 1947 Eagle

  45. So I was 1 week shy of my third palm when I aged out. This was in 1998. In this latest change I could apply for my third palm that I feel I deserved since the committee chair refused hearing my board a month earlier, thus screwing my chances of the third palm.

    • Aside from your age, which National has prejudicially decided would disqualify you, you would have needed to have earned 26 MB’s before your EBoR.

      I think part of the reason for the many changes in Palm requirements were precisely due to the endemic delays in BoR’s that troops across the nation seem to have.

  46. If I understand this my son who didnt have his board till after August 1st and was 18 at the time of his board still qualifies for the original change.

  47. I do not think this change goes far enough. There should not be a date by which anything happened other than the EBOR. I have several Scouts who made Life by the age of 12 and stayed very active in the Troop, OA (all Vigil and all ceremony and/or dance team), and later in a Venture Crew – all at the same time. Rarely missed a meeting, even more rarely missed an activity or outing. All served in leadership positions in everything they did. Some of them did not finalize their Eagle until just before their 18th birthday. Some of these guys have over 100 merit badges. One had every merit badge offered before he turned 18.

    For these guys, they should be able to receive Palms. They met the Eagle active membership requirements, and even if you were to limit it to one Palm ever 3 months after he first became eligible on the calendar for Eagle, they would still max out on the number of Palms.

    I do not think this diminishes the semblance of an Eagle Palm at all. I earned Eagle at 13 back in 1976. I had over 60 merit badges at the time of Eagle. I had 5 Silver and 1 Gold Palm by the time I turned 18. I had enough merit badges to get that next Silver Palm, but I ran out of months. Made Eagle in April after my 13th birthday in March. If this were retroactive, I could have my 6th Silver Palm. I do not remember the precise numbers, but I can find them, I may have had enough to have gotten another Palm after the 5th Silver. (This means calling Mom and seeing if she can find my box of Scout stuff. We were an Army family, so she is the official keeper of records. I gave her everything I had when my career had me moving all over the place.)

    By the way, the Palms only mean something to the person wearing them. The observer can draw any inference they wish. I have heard people that are Key-3 regional say that Palms are a waste of time and have no meaning. I politely engaged him in conversation as he had myself and two of my Eagle Scouts sitting at the table next to his. This was before the youth could wear their Palms on their Eagle patch. They would have to wait to become an adult to wear them daily on their Eagle knot. I sincerely hope the gentleman left with a better understanding of the dedication that each Palm represents.

  48. I disagree with the change on Palms. Earning the Palms has always been tied to continually serving the Troop in some form. That is no gone.\

  49. Another change by BSA to make things easier and allow more “bling” to be awarded, which seems to be a driving force these days.

  50. I hate to a stickler, but… First the rule was changed to allow scouts whose Eagle BOR was on or after August 1st, 2017 to get palms for all their earned merit badges immediately. Now it’s any scout whose BOR was before August 1st, 2017 and whose 18th birthday is on or after August 1st, 2017 can get palms for all their earned merit badges. So if your Eagle BOR was before August 1st, 2017 and your birthday was BEFORE August 1st, 2017 you CANNOT get palms for earned merit badges. What if they are still scouts in Venturing or OA…still youth according to Venturing and OA? We just disregard their achievements based on the timing of their 18th birthday. ALL OR NONE! We’re becoming a law office and not a character building organization for young men and women! I’ve spent over 25 years as a Scout or Scouter and am quickly becoming disenchanted with National leadership and the decisions that are being made! GET IT TOGETHER! QUICKLY!

    • Although I appreciate your sentiment, both Arrowmen and Venturers are no longer eligible for Boy Scout awards after age 18. So the ageist decision is applied across all decisions.

    • Merit Badge program is for Boy Scout, not Venturing nor OA.
      There was no issue before this change and Palm is Palm. Now everybody want a piece of it like lolly pot.
      Palm was not MB counter! it should be service indicator beyond Eagle rank. and it stop at 18th of age.

    • If a scout turned 18 before the Aug 1 rule change, there is really nothing for them. They are no longer boyscouts. They are now men.

      The correction was for scouts that got their Eagle before Aug 1, but had not yet turned 18. Its actually quite simple. The correction was to prevent any boy scouts from being penalized for simply earning Eagle earlier than their peers who happened to wait until after August 1.

      If you think about it, any boy who is under 18 by Aug 1, could have waited until that date to have their EBOR. They just chose to do it sooner.

      YIS,
      Paul

  51. So, when does this retroactive policy start? Does it start today (10-25-2017) or does it start earlier (10-1-2017, 8-1-2017, etc.)? Because my troop has an Eagle Scout who just turned 18 on 10-18-2017. He earned his Eagle rank on 8-14-2013. He has still been registered and active since his Eagle board of review date and had earned 5 complete sets of Eagle palms plus a 6th Bronze Palm as he hit his 18th birthday on 10-18-2017 (going by the old rules–3 months & 5 merit badges for each palm since his Eagle board of review date).

  52. The elimination of the service requirement to earn an eagle palm has defeated the incentive for boys to remain active once the Eagle rank is earned. In my opinion this change is big mistake.

    When I earned my Eagle in 1968, palms required BOTH merit badges and months of service/leadership to the troop and community. The same was true when my son earned his Eagle. We earned our palms by remaining active within our troops. We would both have received more palms had the service time requirement not existed, but more importantly, we might not have continued to serve our troop and our communities had we been handed a collection of palms along with our Eagle medals. I received my last Eagle palm while a freshman in college.

    I am a registered adult leader for over 30 years of service leading packs and troops. I have received the William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award, having been instrumental in forming a new pack, a new troop, and a new venture crew in my community.
    I have earned my beads for both Cub Scout Trainers Woodbade (no longer offered) and Boy Scout Woodbadge, and the The Lions Club Scouting Service Award,

    I am deeply concerned that this change which eliminated the service requirement for Eagle palms is going to reduce the amount of service provided to our comminities and also inflict damage to the future of the BSA by removing the incentives for Eagle scouts to remain active in their troop.

  53. so then an Eagle Scout who has had his Eagle Scout Board of Review on June 18th, 2015 can get his Eagle Palms also cause he earned at least 12 more merit badges

    • If the Scout has 33 Merit Badges on 18 June 2015 AND was still under 18 on 1 August 2017, they are eligible for 2 palms (actually they would only wear a single gold palm). If they earned 3 additional MBs & met the other requirements, they could still earn additional palms until their 18th birthday.

  54. For others and Zack way above. The change is okay, but the incentive is to continue in scouting as a youth and be active, earn MBs and be an example to those young men up and coming to Eagle. For Zack hang in there. You will have many opportunities to give back. Maybe with your future son or daughter will benefit from your experience. I supported my two Eagle sons and with my daughter, that participated in a lot of scouting activities, as a SM and a lot more. Now a DESA I give back a lot at many levels and enjoy it a lot too. My grand children will have full support if they want to climb the trail EAGLE SCOUT. Scouting, the best program for our youth today! Eagle, August, 1969, Combination 2 Silver Palms, 51 MB. Ran out if time turning 18. DESA 2006. Bill

  55. I have been trying and trying to get my post on here, but I guess it keeps being blocked for some reason. This will be at least my fourth attempt to post and PRAISE the committee for their decision. I think this is a great decision and I am so happy the committee heard our voices and has made it fair for the boys it had excluded. I see no more controversy to this decision whatsoever. I believe it will encourage more boys to earn more merit badges on the front side of Eagle, and they still have the SAME incentive to earn more palms on the other side. I think this is win-win all around. There can be no harm at all in encouraging the boys to earn more than 21 merit badges, and exposing them to more knowledge, interests, hobbies, and potential careers. I applaud the committee for acknowledging the need to make the adjustment, and I now feel this is a very positive decision for scouting overall. I always felt the decision was fine, just not it’s implementation, now I feel it’s good all around. This was a good move by the committee, thank you to all that made their voices heard, and thank you to the committee for listening.

  56. I don’t feel like people’s argument that this gets rid of arbitrary deadlines is entirely accurate. If we were going to get rid of arbitrary deadlines, than any Eagle ever would be allowed to go back and get their palms based only on the number of merit badges they earned beyond the required minimum. Any cut off point at any time is arbitrary.

  57. Question… We still can’t somehow give a Palm if the Scout has his Eagle BOR with 4 extra merit badges and earns another but there isn’t 3 months between his BOR and turning 18? That’s not exactly fair, either.

    • Sure it’s fair. The boy had 7 years to earn 26 MBs. He didn’t.

      (Actually, I do think it’s unfair that it takes so long to review candidates and schedule BoRs. The new requirements don’t help scouters address this.)

  58. I think the committee is to be commended for correcting their error on the initial decision. This is a giant step toward fairness and good will among Eagles and parents in the field. It leveled the playing field and made things right, in my opinion. Yes, there are always going to be exceptions, but the main exceptions are already aged out and on to other things now. This made things fair for current scouts, and it was the right thing to do. I’d like to thank the committee for taking this step, and also thank all the scouters that took the time to make their voices heard.

    I also think this decision is an overall positive one. I think it will encourage more boys to earn more merit badges on the front end of Eagle. Even earning just five more than the 21will expose them to great experiences and knowledge they may not have had. I also think it does nothing to deter the motivated scout that would have stayed and continued to earn palms after Eagle. They can still earn more merit badges and serve three months and continue earning palms as always. I see this as win-win.

  59. So a scout has his EBOR in September 2017 has 52 merit badges. How many palms would he receive. He also turned 18 in September.

  60. If the Scout “successfully complet[ed]” his EBOR in September 2017, at which time he had 52 MBs, and after “being validated as an Eagle Scout by the National Service Center,” he was entitled to receive two Silver Palms. (One Palm for each five MBs in excess of those required for the Eagle rank–here a total of six Palms–which means the Scout could wear two silver Palms.) These facts are controlled entirely by the original new Palm requirements (effective August 1); and is not affected by the revised rule.

    • Fine point: he is entitled to *receive* 6 palms: bronze, gold, silver, and bronze, gold, silver again in that order — just as if he had waited 3 months between each. But, per the insignia guide he should only where the two silver palms.

      (Note: it doesn’t matter when he earned the extra MBs. He could have earned his 21 for eagle 6 years ago … then the next 30 this past August. Or, he could have engaged the program steadily over the years earning an MB every other month or so. Both trajectories now receive identical recognition.)

  61. Hi guys.

    My son is going to benefit from this rule change and correction. He had his EBOR in March 2017, and turned 18 in October. On 6/2017 and 9/2017 he received Eagle Palms. We thought he was done until we saw this notice. At the time of his EBOR, he had 46 merit badges. He completed his scouting career with 53. So, I believe he has 4 coming.

    How do we apply for the 4 palms? Is there a new Eagle Palm Application?

    Thanks!

  62. This is a reply to H.B. Scouter to your 10-26-17, 6:48 pm comment.

    To H.B. Scouter

    Sorry but I gave you a thumbs down by accident. Sometimes it’s tough to press the right “thumb” symbol on a small smartphone.

    I tried to reply to you several times but my message would not go through.

    Thanks for your reply/comment mentioning that National is mostly concerned about protecting the BSA’s brand. It’s ok for any organization to try to protect their brand. However, when it comes at the expense of what its employees or customers believe then many problems can arise.
    For many years, the NFL has mostly been concerned about protecting its shield (or brand) but they’ve missed many problems that were bubbling beneath the surface.

    The BSA is a great organization with a long and storied history. I’m not sure if we Scouters or boy scouts should be considered employees, customers or something else but many if not most of us don’t understand or agree with many of the recent decisions made by National.
    To National: Protecting the brand sounds right but out here in the real world there may be problems bubbling beneath the surface.

  63. I have questions. My son turns 18 this weekend. He has completed Eagle project and such but has not had his Eagle BOR yet. I am confused about the palms. He has 32 merit badges completed. So that would give him a gold palm I believe. Can he earn the palm simultaneously with his Eagle even though he has not had the eagle BOR yet? And if so, what steps need to be taken? I see an Eagle Scout Palm Application dated August 2017 but read a comment on a previous blog post that there was not a form anymore. So confused. Please someone help (waiting on a call back from my council but we are short on time).

  64. I have argued with BSA for years about the recognition of scouts who are high achievers (see meritbagdeknot.com). The response I continually get is that they don’t want to encourage scouts to earn an excessive amount of merit badges as they feel these scouts do this at the expense of participation in their own units. I have argued that palm achievement at least encourages them to stick around their units and remain active. These palm changes go against most everything they have been arguing. I’m just scratching my head as to how inconsistent they can be.

  65. Since there is a retroactive rule, this rule should apply to Boys who turned 18 within 3 months prior to Aug 1. If this announcement had been made earlier in the year, instead of in July, boys who were approaching the age of 18 before August 1 but no sooner than May 1 would have had the opportunity to delay the Eagle board until August 1 or after, subject to the 3 month rule, ie the Eagle board must be held within 3 months after the boys 18th birthday.
    (Guide to Advancement section 8.0.3.1 Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday
    1. An Eagle Scout board of review may occur, without special approval, within three months after a Scout’s 18th birthday. If a board of review is to be held three to six months afterward, the local council must preapprove it. To initiate approval, the candidate, his parent or guardian, the unit leader, or a unit committee member attaches to the application a statement explaining the delay.)

    For example, Boy A had his Eagle Board of Review on June 24 and passed. He had 50 merit badges at the time. He turned 18 on July 23. He cannot receive any palms.
    In another scenario, Boy B who also turned 18 on July 23 and was scheduled to have his board on July 29 was afforded the opportunity to delay his Eagle Board until after August 1 to be able to earn the palms,as per the new rules.
    Had Boy A known about the upcoming rule change, his board of review could have been delayed until after August 1 and allowed the Boy A to earn 5 palms.

    The Palm rules were changed to be very specific, that after August 1 any boy earning the rank of eagle may be awarded the palms he had earned prior to that date.Then rules were updated to include more boys who were not 18 as of Aug 1, and had earned their Eagle before August 1, possibly years ago before this rule was even an idea. I propose that an additional update be made to include boys as stated above: they turned 18 before August but not sooner than May 1, 2017. As stated above, these young men would have had an opportunity to take advantage of the rule change had they known about it earlier in the year. This deadline of 3 months is within the Guide to Advancement rules, include, and puts a realistic deadline on the rule and includes those who would have been duly qualified.
    As the rule stands now, it almost goes against the scout oath and law. It is not helpful to those who just missed something that could have been obtained with proper timely knowledge. It is does not afford a simple courtesy to those same boys. it is not obedient to the Guide to Advancement. It is not loyal to young men who have put a lot of themselves into scouting and in many cases, still do.

    I had not read every comment before mine. If this suggestion has already been made previously, I apologize for repeating, and wholeheartedly support it.
    If I am the first to make this suggestion, I ask that you strongly consider it.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Yours in scouting,
    Eric Sharrin
    Hudson Valley Council,
    Rockland District Advancement Chair.

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