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  • Cooking Merit Badge - New Requirements

    Looks like the cooking MB requirements are finally released:

    From 1/1/2014 to 12/31/2014, boys can use either the old or new requirements.

    Although the structure of the badge is still the same, there are some significant changes to the new requirements. The first part is still the "learn and explain" part, replacing the food pyramid with the "MyPlate." However, it requires more in individual application of healthy eating guidelines (appropriate meal plans based on the scout's own level of activity), and the introduction of different types of cooking methods.

    The second part is still the "plan and do" part, and the number of meals required and type required (at home, at camp, and on the trail) are still the same. However, the people the scout serves are now required to evaluate how well the scout did. Multiple cooking methods are required for the "camp" part, and the "trail" part now explicitly requires meals to be prepared while on a hike or backpacking trip.

    Also, cooking done for the badge cannot be the same as used for rank advancement.

    Although I could take or leave all the MyPlate stuff, I think the other changes are good, particularly as it relates to the trail cooking part. The changes do make the badge much tougher in my opinion.
    Last edited by Brewmeister; 12-19-2013, 04:41 AM.

  • #2
    I'm happy that the "My Plate" requirement reads as "or whatever the hell the USDA is calling food groups these days"


    • #3
      While it is definitely an improvement, including possibly strengthening the outdoor elements by actual trail/camping meals, I would like to see a bit more about proper cleanup in the process. I guess it is covered in the first part with discussion, but it is not very specific, or at least I do not see it. Good move though.


      • #4
        To be honest, if I was king, I'd combine parts 4.b and 4.c into requirements 6 and 7, then I'd move requirement 6 into the Camping MB (with the caveat about not using the same meals as used for rank advancement) and requirement 7 would be duplicated in Backpacking and Hiking, with the same caveat. I mean, you have to eat when camping, backpacking and hiking right, so why not incorporate camp cooking into camping and trail cooking into the trail merit badges?
        I'd probably expand requirement 4 then in cooking to spend time talking about the differences of cooking in a gas stove top vs an electric stove top vs on a gas grill vs on a charcoal grill vs a smoker etc. Yeah, I know that turns Cooking MB into a life-skills kind of thing but I think that's ok.


        • #5
          I really think this is a positive change. While the previous version required the boys to plan trail meals, it didn't require them to cook them on trail. I know that was the intent but you know how that goes--if it's not written it isn't so. Now the boys MUST get on the trail to do this badge and it is Eagle-required.

          Maybe Kudu will even be happy. Just a little? Nah, probably not.


          • #6
            I was hoping for positive changes, and am not disappointed. BSA did good on this one.


            • #7
              I earned the "old" Cooking MB last March. It's cool to have a discontinued merit badge on my sash!


              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                My son did the same thing. He earned the "old" Cooking Meritbadge over the spring and summer. I asked him if he wanted the new silver Cooking MB patch, and he looked at me like I was crazy.

              • EagleScout441
                EagleScout441 commented
                Editing a comment
                My troop had a class that started late November 2012 which was spread over several campouts and ended in March. It wasn't till the summer that I realized it was to become required, now I get to watch all the Star/Life scouts, who are getting close to Eagle, now they have to earn an extra MB that most of them didn't realize was being upgraded to Eagle-required. They should have gotten it while they had the chance!
                Last edited by EagleScout441; 12-20-2013, 10:32 PM.

            • #8
              Originally posted by Brewmeister View Post

              Maybe Kudu will even be happy. Just a little? Nah, probably not.
              Nah, definitely not.

              "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to get indoor boys to Eagle without ever walking into the woods with packs on their backs."

              Anyone who has ever witnessed a Wood Badger or adult Eagle parse our Congressional Charter knows that the words "backpack" and "hike" have no meaning without specific mileage requirements.

              Without the Journey system, all Scouting is Cub Scouting.



              • Kudu
                Kudu commented
                Editing a comment
                If it has a "mission," it's not Scouting.

              • Brewmeister
                Brewmeister commented
                Editing a comment
                Let's all just concede the point that you don't like Boy Scouts, loathe Cub Scouts, and view Girl Scouts with disdain.

                Romanticizing the past is a common human failing. Ranks right up there with having to walk to school 5 miles, uphill, both ways.

              • Kudu
                Kudu commented
                Editing a comment
                Just the fact that you characterize a requirement that an Eagle ever walk into the woods with a pack on his back as "romanticizing the past" proves my point. As for an example of anything I like about Scouting, I have 2,000 pages of stuff that Scouts would rather do than explain the concepts of simple and compound interest :


            • #9
              Maybe Cooking MB is a bit overdone. Simplify. First requirement, scout must be at least a First Class scout! Next, design the merit badge such that a First Class scout can complete the outdoor patrol cooking on a weekend outing.

              I think many troops would be hard pressed to find the time for their scouts to fulfill their various cooking requirements. Our troop has more than half our scouts trying to complete their Second and First Class cooking by summer and another six scouts want to earn Cooking merit badge in the coming year.
              3 scouts/patrol/outing could pass Second Class cooking
              1 scout/patrol/outing could pass First Class cooking
              1 scout/patrol/(2 or more outings) could complete outdoor cooking for Cooking mb

              My $0.02


              • #10
                Where does it say that the Scout has to EAT what he cooked?


                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There are plenty of hungry ASMs out there. My utensils and bowl are always at the ready to serve!

                • jpstodwftexas
                  jpstodwftexas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If You don't want to eat the food you cooked, I wouldn't want to eat it either..

                  If your Gonna have to nit pick the rules Where does it say anywhere that it has to be edible?

                • SSScout
                  SSScout commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oooooo.... I guess I forgot the ;-)

                  But still, it would be good to know the Scout is serious about his efforts.

                  If you can find it, I recommend a cable TV show named "Taste of History" . It features Chef Walter Staib, of Philadelphia. He owns the "City Tavern" there. He specializes in historic cooking, demonstrating how a cook might create a meal in Thomas Jefferson's kitchen, or a pioneer family's hearth . High class, open fire, camp cooking. Gourmet, but very interesting.

              • #11
                Hummmm Anyone ever think about a Cooking Merit Badge "Buffet".. Why Not Center 1 or Two Campouts around the Cooking Merit Badge.


                • AKdenldr
                  AKdenldr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My thoughts exactly -- break those patrols into cooking groups.

                  What about cook offs outside at the meeting location. Do they count for any of these requirements?

              • #12
                Not every meal has to be planned and Cooked outdoors.

                Requirement 4 Do the following Discuss EACH of the following cooking methods. For each one, describe the equipment needed and name at least one food that can be cooked using that method: baking, boiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, and grilling.


                • #13
                  For a long time in my council at summer camp this badge was a freebie. Show up to class for 5 days, cook one pancake and one sausage and you earned it. Glad to see this badge getting some strength.


                  • #14
                    Most Merit Badges at summer camp were/are freebies just like Merit badge college are.
                    Sadly Scouters circumvent the intent of the earning of merit badges through means provided to them.
                    Merit Badges are rarely earned through Merit Badge Counselors anymore but through the easy routes of summer camp and Merit Badge Colleges or "Troop" associated mbc


                    • Twocubdad
                      Twocubdad commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Our troop associated MBCs are the only opportunity our Scouts have for earning MBs the right way.

                      We simply say "no" to our boys attending the local MB colleges.

                  • #15
                    So TwoCubs your saying that only your troop associated Merit Badge Counselors are they only ones who teach Merit Badges right?