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New Eagle Palm Process as of Aug. 1st, 2017

Eagle Palms are bronze, gold and silver awards presented to young men who earn five, 10, 15 or more merit badges beyond the 21 required to become an Eagle Scout.

Aug. 1, 2017, the BSA has announced significant changes to the way Scouts earn Eagle Palms.

The changes bring Eagle Palm requirements in line with the needs of older Scouts. The National Boy Scouting Subcommittee has eliminated unnecessary obstacles, such as the Eagle Palm board of review, and expanded the definition of active participation.

But the biggest change affects young men who haven’t yet earned Eagle. Beginning Aug. 1, all earned Palms may be awarded instantly to new Eagle Scouts at their Eagle court of honor. This abolishes the wait of months or years for these young men to receive all Palms available to them.

Here’s a look at what’s changing. Below that, an in-depth guide to the new Eagle Palm requirements.

What’s changing?

A new Eagle Scout can instantly receive, alongside his Eagle medal, all Eagle Palms he has earned for merit badges completed before he became an Eagle Scout. These Palms recognize additional merit badges earned before completing the Eagle board of review. Previously, an Eagle Scout needed to wait three months between each Palm — even if he earned the extra merit badges before becoming an Eagle. This meant that, under the old rules, a young man who became an Eagle Scout at 17 years and 10 months, was mathematically unable to earn any Eagle Palms.

Example: Glenn, a 16-year-old Life Scout, has 36 merit badges at the time of his Eagle Scout board of review — 15 more than required. Previously, 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 new rules, 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.

Note: After becoming an Eagle Scout and receiving the Palms already earned, additional Palms may be earned by completing the revised requirements, including the three months tenure between awarding each Palm.

The three-month tenure requirement has been expanded to allow active participation in any BSA program — not just the troop and patrol.

This recognizes that as some Scouts get older, their Scouting participation shifts to the Order of the Arrow, summer camp staff or elsewhere.

The leadership requirement has been broadened to include “accepting responsibility” as well as “demonstrating leadership.”

The Eagle Palm board of review has been eliminated.

Eagle Palms: the official requirements

These are effective Aug. 1, 2017.

After successfully completing your Eagle Scout board of review and being validated as an Eagle Scout by the National Service Center, you will be entitled to receive an Eagle Palm for each additional 5 merit badges you have completed before your Eagle Scout board of review.

After becoming an Eagle Scout, you may earn additional Palms by completing the following requirements.

  • Be active in the Boy Scouts of America for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after the last Palm was earned. **
  • 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.
  • Continue to set a satisfactory example of accepting responsibility or demonstrating leadership ability.
  • Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last Palm. ***
  • While an Eagle Scout, participate in a Scoutmaster conference. *


*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 Palm.

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

*Eagle Palms NO LONGER need action by local council but are approved and recorded at the unit level.  The attached Eagle Palm Workbook/Checklist is not a requirement but a great resource that may be used by the scout and/or leaders to clarify and manage the Palm Advancement Process. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the WPC Registrar for further Clarification. 

Eagle Palm Workbook

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