Texas Eagle Scout achieves rare 17th Palm

A Dallas-area Eagle Scout has earned his 17th Palm award, a level accomplishment achieved by only a small fraction of Scouts.

Roland Salatino was honored with the prestigious distinction the day after turning 18, the age at which Scouts are no longer eligible to participate, MyFoxDFW.com reported.

Salatino’s scout master, Ram Venkertaraman, explained that less than one in 20 scouts achieve Eagle status, and that one in 100 then go on to earn a Palm. To get to Eagle status, a scout must earn 21 merit badges, and each Palm equals five merit badges and three months of consistent service to the scouts.

“You have a Super Bowl event every year. You don’t have a 17 Palm guy every year," Venkertaraman, said. "So I would put it more along the lines of a perfect game or something like that."

The event was not only a special occasion for his family, but also for fellow Scouts and parents who came out to support Salatino at the award ceremony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Dallas.

It took Salatino, a St. Mark’s School of Texas high school student, four years to earn his 17 Palm awards. He recently was accepted into Harvard University,

Salatino said in an interview with MyFoxDFW.com that his advice to young Scouts is that there is always going to be someone ahead of you or behind you, but that “no matter what, you have to reach forward and find the guy who can give you a hand."

"And then when it’s your turn you can reach back and help the person behind you," he said.