Eagle Scout® Palms
Good morning, Glendon!
You wrote and asked me:
I've seen many documents explaining how many palms a scout should wear, but no indication as to how many physical palm pins are to be given to a scout who has earned them.
After an Eagle Scout has attained that rank, he may earn Palms to the Eagle Scout Award after earning additional merit badges, serve actively in a Scouting unit (Troop, Team, Crew or Ship) for three months, and have participated in a leadership role within that unit for at least three months. He must also participate in a Mentors' (Scoutmaster's) Conference and a Board of Review at the UNIT (not District nor Council) level before he receives the Palm.
The first Palm earned is a Bronze colored one:
Bronze Palm (left) and certificate/card (right).
Scouts have to be a Bronze Palm holder for three months before qualifying for the Gold Palm by the earning of the additional merit badges, serving actively in the unit, performed a leadership role and participate in the Conference and Board of Review.
The Scout REPLACES the Bronze Palm with the Gold Palm -- he does not wear BOTH.
The second Palm earned is a Gold colored one:
Gold Palm (left) and certificate/card (right).
Like with the Bronze Palm, there is a three month tenure period between earning this Palm and earning the Silver Palm.
Also like the previous Palms, the Scout REPLACES the Gold Palm and wears the Silver Palm - he does not wear BOTH.
The third Palm earned is a Silver colored one:
Silver Palm (left) and certificate/card (right).
What Glendon is asking is "Do we have to buy and award a SECOND Bronze or Gold Palm or just the card? He already has a Bronze and a Gold Palm..."
YES, you should purchase and award the SECOND Bronze, Gold and Silver Palm (along with the matching certificate/card) as well as the THIRD Bronze, Gold and Silver, FOURTH Bronze, Gold and Silver to each Eagle Scout who earns a Palm -- until either the Scout exhauses the current merit badges available or the Scout turns 18 years of age (whichever comes first). At 18, Boy Scout/Varsity Scout advancement ends; he cannot earn additional merit badges purely as a Venturer/Sea Scout since the merit badge program is not available to Venturers/Sea Scouts.
Even though you award the additional Palms, ONLY THE HIGHEST COMBINATION OF PALMS representing the total number of merit badges earned should be worn on the Eagle medal's ribbon, the cloth Eagle patch, or the Eagle or NESA Life Member Eagle square knot insignia. For instance, if you earned 38 merit badges above the 21 required for Eagle, you should wear two Silver Palms (representing 30 merit badges) and a Bronze Palm (representing five merit badges).
Merit badges earned at any time since becoming a Boy/Varsity Scout (and not used for Eagle nor a previous Palm) may be used to meet the merit badge requirement for each Palm.
Scouts earn Palms ONE AT A TIME because they have to be earned in sequence -- the Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms are not a "combination award", given to a Scout just because at the time of Eagle, he has 38 merit badges over Eagle, for instance.
Is there authoritative documentation that answers my question, or does it even matter? Local council office doesn't seem to know the answer.
There is an Eagle Palm APPLICATION which explains the process. I'm surprised that nobody at your Council pointed it to you; the process is also explained in the Boy Scout Requirements booklet.
There's a three-month period of time (presently) between each earned Palm. The BSA is looking at changing the period of time between each earned Palm. Those working on the issue are telling me that the three month period may be extended to as long as six months, so that the leadership role can be expanded and be more meaningful.
So, right now, after three months' tenure and the meeting of all of the requirements, Eagle Scouts have to appear before a *unit Board of Review* and afterward earn the Bronze Palm. Three months tenure and the meeting of all of the requirements, the Eagle earns the Gold Palm. Another three months and the meeting all of the requirements, the Eagle earns the Silver Palm. Another three months and the meeting of all of the requirements, the Eagle earns the second Bronze Palm. And it continues like this until either the Eagle Scout has exhausted the *current merit badge list* or he turns 18 years of age, whereby advancement stops.
Eagle Palms are not considered advancement steps by the BSA -- which means it is not tracked at the National level. There's an advancement report which must be submitted *manually* since ScoutNet does not include Eagle Palms in their tracking.
Seems like a scout should only be presented with the maximum combination he can wear - that is, he should own no more than one bronze and one gold, even though he can own one silver for each set of 15 merit badges earned beyond those used for Eagle.
No, an Eagle Scout would be presented with Bronze and Gold Palms each "cycle"; but he *wears* the highest *combination of Palms* he has earned, which should be the highest Silver Palm and either a Gold or Bronze Palm to represent parts of 15 (5 or 10) the Scout has earned.
I'm a troop advancement chairman, and some parents are telling me I need to continue buying additional bronze and gold pins for boys who have earned their 2nd, 3rd etc. bronze or gold palm - even though such scouts shouldn't wear more than one bronze or gold palm.
They are correct, Glendon. Same goes for Silver Palms also.
To help you and other advancement chairs and parents, I've put together a PDF which explains the Palms and gives a simple chart as to the number and type of Palms worn. I hope it helps!
But those same parents need to know that the Scout has to meet the leadership requirement, participate in a Scoutmaster's conference and appear before a unit Board of Review before each Palm is earned.
Even though he won't be able to wear, say, two Bronze Palms, it is the *achievement of earning* that second, third, fourth Bronze and/or Gold Palms which is part of the process: Bronze - Gold - Silver; Second Bronze - Second Gold - Second Silver; Third Bronze - Third Gold - Third Silver, etc. etc. There's a pocket card which goes along with earning each Palm.
Thank you for asking me!
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