Eagle Palms Changes
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. The BSA has announced significant changes to the way Scouts earn Eagle Palms. The modifications take effect August 1, 2017. 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.
Second Class Camping Requirements Changing
The number of overnight campouts required for a young man to earn the Second Class and First Class ranks will be reduced under new requirements that take effect August 1, 2017. But the total number of camping nights a Boy Scout will experience in the program as he progresses toward the rank of Eagle Scout will not change. In 2016, alongside the release of the 13th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, the BSA increased the number of campouts required for Second Class to three since joining from two. It increased the number of campouts required for First Class to six since joining from three. The August 1, 2017, revisions return the number of overnight campouts to pre-2016 levels but preserve the amount of time spent outdoors. The change, the BSA says, maintains a focus on life-changing outdoors experiences while recognizing that not all outdoor activities need to include overnight camping. Hikes, service projects and outdoor-heavy merit badges like Geocaching and Orienteering add to the adventure of being a first-year Scout. The changes leave untouched the Eagle-required Camping merit badge, which calls for at least 20 nights of camping. Because all camping nights since becoming a Scout can be used for this requirement — even those that count toward Second Class and First Class — the effect is that the total number of camping nights required to become an Eagle Scout is unchanged.
2017 Guide to Advancement Released
The Guide to Advancement was recently updated. Read about the significant changes on pages 7-9. The Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in helps Scouters understand and implement the advancement programs and procedures of the Boy Scouts of America: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.
2017 Guide to Advancement