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Sophomore makes his mark in Scouting

Scout Sam and Rob crop
Dr. Robert Elsner, left, and Sam Elsner

Erskine College sophomore and Eagle Scout Sam Elsner was honored April 6 during a Court of Honor held in the fellowship hall of the Due West ARP Church. Elsner recently completed his 66th merit badge, along with the ninth Palm on his Eagle.

Professor of Psychology Dr. Robert Elsner spoke with pride of his son’s achievements told a little about how Scouting awards work.

“Before he turns 18 at the end of April, he will have three Silver Palms on his badge,” he said, explaining that the palms earned are first bronze, then gold, then silver, as in the military.

“You are only allowed to wear the highest level you have earned until silver, then you keep the silver on and start over until the next silver. Palms are worn for life, just like the Eagle medal or knot.”

He noted that palms are earned by Eagle Scouts, and only about 4 percent of scouts earn the Eagle. Only about 25 percent of Eagles earn a single Bronze Palm, and only 0.4 percent of Eagle Scouts earn their first Silver Palm. “We have only heard of three other Scouts in South Carolina ever earning three silvers,” he added.

Sam Elsner is majoring in Bible and religion with a minor in theater. He plans to attend seminary and hopes to become a minister.


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