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  • New MB Councelor - Cooking. Looking for tips

    Hey guys, I recently applied to be a cooking MBC and have been approved. I was approached by our affiliated troop (I'm in cubs mostly) to do a MB class for the troop. its small, about 5 boys. I told her I would be more than happy to teach the class, but I would prefer if one of the boys contacted me personally (as the way its supposed to be?). I am now waiting for one of the scouts to get in touch and I have been looking at the requirements and trying to come up with some sort of lesson plan, or plan of guiding them through the requirements. Does anybody have any tips a rookie could get? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Congrats! I'm a MBC for 5 MB, I learned its good to start with a smallish number of scouts so 5 sounds good in my opinion. Cooking has lots of info to cover. Get your Dutch oven & accessories ready you are going go have fun! There us more to trail cooking than tuna in a pouch and ramen noodles (and dehydrated foods - although mountain house has some tasty ones). Remember to explain and guide them - it's ok for them to make mistakes, trying again and getting it right after a goof up is when kids learn best.

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    • #3
      Cooking MB presents one very unique challenge at the moment... two sets of requirements this year. As far as I understand it, by starting the badge in 2014, the scouts can choose whether to use the old requirements to earn the badge or the new ones that become mandatory January 1st. This means that when that scout does contact you (well done with pushing for that request by the way), you'll have to ask him which set of requirements they intend to use.

      I'm sorry I can't give you much in the way of specific guidelines for how to cover all of the requirements, but just remember to take your time and make sure every scout has the time to cover every requirement. There is no particular clock on getting the MB completed, so just work through a few things each time you meet with the boys. Also, I suggest initially partials on their blue cards at the end of every session so that both you and the scouts are clear on exactly what has and has not been completed. Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm also a Cooking MB counselor. My personal plan is that all the boys who started last year will use the old requirements. The boys who started this year will use the new requirements. IMHO, the new requirements make a bit more sense and contain more guidance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Although it isn't specifically required in the MB book, I alway add (for optional, educational purposes only) the opportunity to learn how to cook 5 different ways. Utinseless, mess kit, pot, fry pan, and Dutch oven. Dutch oven is both wood and charcoal. That way the boys can learn how to camp cook in a variety of different situations.

          Everyone does the utinseless method to show off.

          Pot is normal for a ton of applications, i.e. soups, boil potatoes, carrots, etc.

          Fry pan can be used to do up large amounts of patrol messes, pancakes, burgers, gravies and sauces,

          The mess kit for doing personal cooking. The easiest recipe is the Hobo dinner in the plate/pan combo. Otherwise, fry onion and burger in the pan, and boil carrots and potatoes in the pot. Do a bit of flour in the frypan with milk/water from potatoes for gravy, drain potatoes, carrots, mash the potatoes in the plate, add a bit of brown sugar and butter to the carrots, toss in the burger/onions and pour gravy over potatoes/burger. That meal will beat any Hobo dinner out there, even though the ingredients are basically the same. Every time the boys plan a Hobo dinner, I always remember my secret stash of garlic powder, brown sugar, and flour.

          The Dutch oven is a nice way of preparing large amounts easily, but the use of wood vs. charcoal is always a finesse technique. Everyone does the one-Dutch meals but expanding into baking biscuits for biscuits and gravy (one Dutch and one fry pan) is really a nice touch. Too many people limit the DO to an extended pot cooking (stove top) sytle, instead of using it as a baking (oven) type of tool.

          Doing cobblers is pretty much a dump cake no-brainer, but doing a chocolate chip cookie cheese cake is a real treat. In any DO dessert competition, the cheese cake will blow away any kind of a cobbler every time.

          Stosh

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
            Although it isn't specifically required in the MB book, I alway add (for optional, educational purposes only) the opportunity to learn how to cook 5 different ways. Utinseless, mess kit, pot, fry pan, and Dutch oven. Dutch oven is both wood and charcoal. That way the boys can learn how to camp cook in a variety of different situations.
            Everyone does the utinseless method to show off.
            Pot is normal for a ton of applications, i.e. soups, boil potatoes, carrots, etc.
            Fry pan can be used to do up large amounts of patrol messes, pancakes, burgers, gravies and sauces,
            The mess kit for doing personal cooking. The easiest recipe is the Hobo dinner in the plate/pan combo. Otherwise, fry onion and burger in the pan, and boil carrots and potatoes in the pot. Do a bit of flour in the frypan with milk/water from potatoes for gravy, drain potatoes, carrots, mash the potatoes in the plate, add a bit of brown sugar and butter to the carrots, toss in the burger/onions and pour gravy over potatoes/burger. That meal will beat any Hobo dinner out there, even though the ingredients are basically the same. Every time the boys plan a Hobo dinner, I always remember my secret stash of garlic powder, brown sugar, and flour.
            The Dutch oven is a nice way of preparing large amounts easily, but the use of wood vs. charcoal is always a finesse technique. Everyone does the one-Dutch meals but expanding into baking biscuits for biscuits and gravy (one Dutch and one fry pan) is really a nice touch. Too many people limit the DO to an extended pot cooking (stove top) sytle, instead of using it as a baking (oven) type of tool.
            Doing cobblers is pretty much a dump cake no-brainer, but doing a chocolate chip cookie cheese cake is a real treat. In any DO dessert competition, the cheese cake will blow away any kind of a cobbler every time.
            Stosh
            The new requirements include learning about 7 different cooking methods (baking, boiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, and grilling.) and require that food prepared at home use at least 5 of those methods. For patrol cooking, the scout needs to cook with two different methods and another one that uses dutch oven, foil packet or kabobs. And a separate dessert.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by perdidochas View Post

              The new requirements include learning about 7 different cooking methods (baking, boiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, and grilling.) and require that food prepared at home use at least 5 of those methods. For patrol cooking, the scout needs to cook with two different methods and another one that uses dutch oven, foil packet or kabobs. And a separate dessert.
              MICROWAVE????? OMG!

              What's the difference between simmering and pan frying?

              Kabobs? Hotdog on a stick! Yeah, there's a meal for ya!

              No BROILING?

              And marshmallows? Is that Kabob style of cooking and can it be used as a separate desert?

              Gee, I could have a ton of fun and frustration with that MB.

              Is a Wok a fry pan?

              No double boiler work or is that just steaming?

              I bet they never ask me to do this MB...

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the tips so far guys! keep 'em comin if you got em. I will mention the microwave cooking aspect but i'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  troop does a cooking class one meeting every 2 or 3 months. An older scout will teach a recipe they like usually they are given some suggestions like if the boys have constantly having same things for breakfast I'd suggest a breakfast. We usually do more stove lessons during cold months and dutch oven during warmer months. This gives the boys a chance to see and try other things.

                  Usually when a boy is working on cooking MB I will chat with them a week before meal planning meeting if they are planning on being a cook. We discuss what styles they still need to complete and what ideas they have for that. Then they do some recipe digging and bring a few to meal planning meeting where patrol agrees on one. Scout makes full list of things needed - ingredients, pans, etc....

                  At campout if I'm there I take a glance now and then and a taste. If I'm not there they get the historian to take a few pictures and give a taste to the adult in charge. At the next meeting we go over how the meal went. What would they change, how did they adapt to mess ups, etc.... and also talk about other things they could cook in same method and what other methods they want/need to try.

                  The only things I do in full group are talking about food borne illnesses and such. As really the other stuff is taught in groups by their patrols: setting up stoves, work station, etc...

                  also I don't work with the cooking requirements of the MB until they have completed the cooking requirements of T,2,1

                  The one thing I do let my scouts know that just because it says cook a breakfast doesn't mean that it has to be done in the morning. Especially for family meals. Many families around here don't do family breakfasts so cook your family a breakfast meal for supper is allowed as long as it's a typical breakfast type meal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daped01 View Post
                    Thanks for all the tips so far guys! keep 'em comin if you got em. I will mention the microwave cooking aspect but i'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on it.

                    Microwaving is about the best way to cook/steam most vegetables. It's totally appropriate for the meals that have to be cooked at home. No need to spend much time except to discuss that it's usually not the best way to cook meats, and that it requires moisture to work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Regarding requirement 5 specificially the cooking part of the requirement. does anybody see any harm in doing a couple saturday classes where I have each scout cook more than one of their meals? 1st saturday have them (for example) do a breakfast and lunch, and 2nd saturday to a supper and dessert? I guess for my own taste bud preference i'd split up meals so I don't get 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches at a time (selfishness? maybe haha)

                      OR.....would I be better off having the boys focus on 1 meal at a time? they are all younger scouts, not sure of exact ages, in a troop that is just re-forming after a few years of being non active.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I won't say there's any harm in doing the class the way you're thinking, but I don't think it's capturing the spirit of the merit badge.

                        First, stop thinking about it as a class, think about it as a skill they're supposed to learn and use. Cooking is something you do to feed yourself, the best way to learn it is to do it, again and again, and get better at it. The best way to have the boys demonstrate their skill and complete the cooking requirement is to have them cook for their patrol and themselves on campouts. Don't have them all come in somewhere and cook a bunch of meals, rather encourage them each to volunteer to be cook for the next campout, then encourage someone else to volunteer the next campout, etc.

                        You should definitely not have as your goal that all five of these boys will end up earning the merit badge in "x" time frame, unless by "x" you mean a year. This is a badge that, like Camping, can really take a long time to complete.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stosh,

                          InIn case anyone ever does ask you to help with this MB: Broiling and grilling are basically the same thing, pan frying is where you cook something in a fry pan with just enough fat/oil to keep it from sticking, think frying an egg or a piece of fish. , simmering is when you cook something in a liquid just below the boiling point, this is usally how you finish off a sauce. A wok would be excellent to use. I would definitely let a scout cook a hot dog on a stick as a kabob, but he would need to put some veggies on the stick too. The trick is cutting the veggies the right size so that they stay on the stick and cook enough while at the same time you don't burn the hot dog. As for the marshmallow, I would definitely allow that as a kabob, but again you need to add some other ingredients to qualify, I would suggest fruit, probably peaches or apples.

                          As I think more about it that last would work really well, probably roast the fruit a little first then add the marshmallow right at the end. If you're really gutsy put some dough on there too, the timing for that would be tricky. I may try this when we're out next week.
                          Last edited by T2Eagle; 03-21-2014, 11:21 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T2Eagle View Post
                            I won't say there's any harm in doing the class the way you're thinking, but I don't think it's capturing the spirit of the merit badge.
                            First, stop thinking about it as a class, think about it as a skill they're supposed to learn and use. Cooking is something you do to feed yourself, the best way to learn it is to do it, again and again, and get better at it. The best way to have the boys demonstrate their skill and complete the cooking requirement is to have them cook for their patrol and themselves on campouts. Don't have them all come in somewhere and cook a bunch of meals, rather encourage them each to volunteer to be cook for the next campout, then encourage someone else to volunteer the next campout, etc.
                            You should definitely not have as your goal that all five of these boys will end up earning the merit badge in "x" time frame, unless by "x" you mean a year. This is a badge that, like Camping, can really take a long time to complete.
                            being we are in the 2nd full day of spring, and under a winter storm warning, I don't know that any of the cooking will be done at camp any time soon. lol. I will expect them to plan a weekend camp out full of meals, and for them to follow the plan before I sign off on anything. But I felt that getting some hands on experience before doing out at camp would give the boys some confidence. remember these are young scouts, and may not be much more experienced with cooking than re-heating leftovers in the microwave.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Stosh,

                              In case anyone ever does ask you to help with this MB: Broiling and grilling are basically the same thing,"

                              until you want to brown the top of your lasagna or pizza. Then the grilling kinda falls short. But maybe you could give it a try.

                              "pan frying is where you cook something in a fry pan with just enough fat/oil to keep it from sticking, think frying an egg or a piece of fish."

                              Okay, I'll buy that.

                              "simmering is when you cook something in a liquid just below the boiling point, this is usally how you finish off a sauce."

                              I thought you would do that in a sauce pan, not a fry pan???

                              "A wok would be excellent to use."

                              "I would definitely let a scout cook a hot dog on a stick as a kabob, but he would need to put some veggies on the stick too."

                              Isn't that adding to the requirement?

                              "The trick is cutting the veggies the right size so that they stay on the stick and cook enough while at the same time you don't burn the hot dog."

                              They aren't going to eat the veggies anyway, do the dog, toss the rest.

                              "As for the marshmallow, I would definitely allow that as a kabob, but again you need to add some other ingredients to qualify, I would suggest fruit, probably peaches or apples."

                              Along with adding to the requirements, one's gotta remember the rules against catapults mentioned in the other thread. Do the fruit, add the marshmallow, when the marshmallow is done, eat it and catapult the burnt fruit into the woods.

                              "As I think more about it that last would work really well, probably roast the fruit a little first then add the marshmallow right at the end. If you're really gutsy put some dough on there too, the timing for that would be tricky. I may try this when we're out next week."

                              If you think I can butcher these requirements, wait until you get in front of the boys, they can come up with suggestions that could blow away my answers.

                              Stosh

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