Scouting FAQ: Eagle Palms

The Eagle Scout Award marks the pinnacle of achievement in Scouts BSA, but it’s not the last thing many Eagle Scouts achieve in the program. Eagle Palms, introduced way back in 1927, give Scouts something else to earn — and another good reason to stay involved in the program.

WHAT IS AN EAGLE SCOUT PALM? A Palm is an additional recognition an Eagle Scout can earn. For each Palm, the Scout must: 1) be active in Scouting for three months after becoming an Eagle Scout (or after earning the last Palm), 2) continue to live by the values of Scouting, 3) set an example by accepting responsibility or showing leadership, 4) earn five merit badges beyond those required for Eagle (or for the previous Palm) and 5) complete a Scoutmaster conference (or Advisor or Skipper conference).

IS A BOARD OF REVIEW REQUIRED? No. That requirement was dropped in 2017.

Photo by Roger Morgan

DO THE MERIT BADGES HAVE TO BE EARNED AS AN EAGLE SCOUT? No. Any badges the Scout earned since joining count (as is the case with rank requirements).

ARE PALMS CONSIDERED RANKS? No. They are degrees of the Eagle Scout rank.

WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT COLORS MEAN? Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms are awarded. The first Palm a Scout earns is bronze, representing five merit badges. He or she can then go on to earn a Gold Palm, representing 10 additional merit badges, and a Silver Palm, representing 15 additional merit badges. After that, the Scout would continue the cycle by earning another Bronze Palm.

WHAT WOULD A SCOUT WHO HAS EARNED FOUR PALMS WEAR? He or she would wear a Silver Palm (15 merit badges) plus a Bronze Palm (five merit badges).

WHY IS SILVER HIGHER THAN GOLD? The colors are based on U.S. military traditions.

Photo by Roger Morgan

HOW MANY PALMS CAN A SCOUT EARN? A Scout who reaches the Eagle rank at age 12½ could conceivably earn seven Silver Palms and one Bronze Palm, representing 110 additional merit badges.

WHERE ARE PALMS WORN? Palms may be worn on the cloth ribbon on the Eagle medal, on the Eagle Scout rank emblem worn by Scouts and on the Eagle Scout square knot worn by adults.

WHAT IF A SCOUT EARNED, SAY, 31 MERIT BADGES BEFORE BECOMING AN EAGLE SCOUT? New Eagle Scouts can receive, along with the Eagle medal, Palms that equate to the number of additional merit badges they earned before the Eagle board of review (not before the Eagle court of honor). So a new Eagle Scout who has 31 merit badges would be eligible to receive a Gold Palm, representing 10 badges beyond the 21 required for the rank. That Gold Palm could be presented at the Eagle court of honor.


BSA File Photo


  1. I earned 27 merit badges as an active youth member of the Boy Scouts of America plus one Centennial merit badge. I completed my Eagle Scout board of Review in 2018. Would I be able to wear a bronze Eagle Scout palm?

  2. I read this article and it has made me wonder the following. Would I be able to wear a Bronze Eagle Scout Palm? I was a youth member of the Boy Scouts of America from 2004 until 2011, I earned 27 merit badges and 1 Centennial merit badge. I had an Eagle Scout extention of three months because my mental handicap. I was not able to have my Eagle Scout Board of Review until April 2018 because of the very poor quality of the Scoutmaster and adult leadership in my Troop in 2010 and 2011. I successfully completed my Eagle Scout Board of Review but have not had my Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I am still active at the Troop, District and Northern Star Council levels of Scouting.

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