Even though it is a different topic I can answer your question. Your right, when I earned Eagle I did not have the cooking merit badge. However, I cooked all the time at home, did try cooking on campouts etc so for me it would have been no more work! We did not need Merit Badge workbooks to work on Merit Badges but still went through each requirement thoroughly. Today I see many MB counselors and leaders "teaching" the material, say at a Troop meeting and signing off the requirement and NOT following the Learn, Test, Review method. Too many adults are afraid to "fail" a Scout and ask them to study some more and retest. I have recently seen Life Scouts that have never used flint and steel to start a fire, cannot tie lashings or knots, and cannot repeat the Outdoor code. I just took over as SM and we had a Life Scout move to the troop in July last year and turns 18 this year. He has not held 1 qualified Leadership position ever, but his dad signed it off for Star. After talking with him to try and give him the opportunity to hold a qualified position as Life Scout (which he has not fulfilled properly) before turning 18, his dad wanted to argue. Some might roll over but I will have not sign the Eagle Application and will be happy to explain all this to Council.
The SM conference should involve some testing of the basic requirements, otherwise these Scouts are slipping through the cracks. BSA has a hypocritical Uniform policy. The Scouts need it, but cannot be required. We ALWAYS had uniforms, and did not question it! We are not able to require uniforms for SM Conference or BOR? If we are following the 8 Methods of Scouting, Uniforms should be required.
Today, many troop are more Glamping than camping. They have gas stoves, benches, tables, plastic "mess kits", fancy dining fly's. The parents are buying Taj Mahal tents for "backpacking" trips. What happened to the basics, cooking over fire, enjoying the outdoors? Luckily my son loves the basics and the cold weather camping and keeps asking when we are going to do it. Well I am now SM so these ideals will be implemented to one degree or another.
These are just a few of what has changed, maybe not on paper but how the Program is being run!