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fred johnson

BSA requirements are out of hand

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There has to be counselors for these badges.

Archeology professors, county agricultural agents, forest rangers, Native American leaders ...

 

Where did all these people go?

If your son or troop is interested in these, bring the forms to one of the above, and recruit them.  The paperwork is simple. 

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Again, I would argue are we better off now?  My son took Cooking Merit Badge at summer camp this year.  I asked what he cooked and he is telling me things like Grilled Cheese sandwiches.  I asked which meals he cooked, breakfast, lunch, or dinner?  He told me they did the cooking during the afternoon slot for his merit badge class.

 

I remember when I took Cooking Merit badge at summer camp in the late mid to late 80's.  We cooked our meals instead of going to the dining hall for those meals.  I don't remember everything we cooked, but I know for a fact that on family night we cooked an entire Chicken for dinner - I know this because it took longer than expected and took away time we could have spent with our families.  I seem to recall another meal was spaghetti with meat sauce.

 

While some merit badge counselor at camp may have signed off on my son's Cooking merit badge, I don't believe he learned how to cook.  Something is very wrong when more emphasis is placed on the paperwork and theory than on the actual doing. 

 

Since it's an important outdoor skill, I know I'll be challenging him on future family campouts to take the lead on our meal preparation and cooking.

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If I'm not wrong, I think some of the Cooking MB now has parts where the boys are to cook meals at home?????

 

If that be the case, it makes it kinda hard to finish at camp.

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Again, I would argue are we better off now?  My son took Cooking Merit Badge at summer camp this year.  I asked what he cooked and he is telling me things like Grilled Cheese sandwiches.  I asked which meals he cooked, breakfast, lunch, or dinner?  He told me they did the cooking during the afternoon slot for his merit badge class.

 

I remember when I took Cooking Merit badge at summer camp in the late mid to late 80's.  We cooked our meals instead of going to the dining hall for those meals.  I don't remember everything we cooked, but I know for a fact that on family night we cooked an entire Chicken for dinner - I know this because it took longer than expected and took away time we could have spent with our families.  I seem to recall another meal was spaghetti with meat sauce.

 

While some merit badge counselor at camp may have signed off on my son's Cooking merit badge, I don't believe he learned how to cook.  Something is very wrong when more emphasis is placed on the paperwork and theory than on the actual doing. 

 

Since it's an important outdoor skill, I know I'll be challenging him on future family campouts to take the lead on our meal preparation and cooking.

 

Well said !!!!!!!!!

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Yes, they need to cook some things at home now. Glad when oldest took it, he had to plan a non-refrigerated menu. Glad I had a backpacking cookbook for him to use.

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Gee, I just wandered through my garden this morning and have a ton of non-refrigerated items to make meals with.  Steamed green beans, wax beans, broccoli and peas to go along with corn on the cob.  A massive handful of raspberries for the cereal this morning. (oops, I used milk on my cereal)

 

Tonight it'll be zucchini, onion stuffed acorn squash along with fresh picked tomatoes for desert.  I'll probably have another ear of corn to go with that.

 

From now until October I really don't go to the store much.

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They whithered away when Councils and Districts, with the wink and nudge of National, started accepting Troop-only Merit Badge Counselors as acceptable practice - once that gate was open, there was no way to stop the practice from becoming Only-Troop Merit Badge Counselors.

 

About five years ago, when my son was in Cub Scouts, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up as a merit badge counselor.  There was a training session at University of Scouting, so I went to that.  Nobody told me that there were "troop counselors" now, so I was quite surprised when people asked what troop I was with, and I told them I wasn't with one.  Most of the discussion focused on how they did things in their troop.  Some of them were actually surprised to learn that you didn't have to be connected with a troop.

 

None of my merit badges are Eagle required, and so far, I have yet to receive a single call from a scout.  I have done two of them in a "merit badge university" context, but that's only because those two are among the rare ones where I think they can be meaningfully done in a class, and all of the requirements meaningfully completed in one day.  The other 3 or so that I counsel don't fit in that category, and I've declined offers to "teach" a class.

 

In our district and council, there is a merit badge counselor list, but it's a closely guarded secret list that can only be looked at on a need to know basis.  In fact, for the first few years, I didn't know for sure which ones I was the counselor for.  Even though I might be qualified for a few more, I thought it would be best to limit myself to just a few.  So on the application, I listed the ones I wanted to counsel, but also listed a few others and let them know they could put me in one of those slots if they needed me.  Since the list was a top secret document, I never found out whether they wanted me for any of those.

 

I suspect that there are a lot of people in the community who would be eager to serve as counselors.  One untapped pool is Eagle Scouts.  I suspect most of them would be happy to be a counselor for a badge that relates to their profession or hobbies.  Having them sit through a one hour training course, and then watching the YPT videos at home probably isn't too big a burden if a district put on the sessions at reasonable times.  

 

One thing that prospective counselors don't have to worry about is their phone ringing off the hook.  I've received a grand total of zero phone calls from scouts wanting to do a merit badge.  In fact, the district's counselor list is such a closely guarded secret that I suspect that many scoutmasters don't know it exists, or if they do know about it, they use it only as a last resort.  I asked the other MBC's in my troop if they had ever gotten a call, and most of them hadn't.  The only exception was the counselor for Environmental Science, who occasionally gets calls from scouts in other troops who got a partial at summer camp.

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My district is in the same shape, only a handful of MBCs will work with anyone. It has caused me to do something I not only dislike, but discourage: "officially" sign off on my son's MBs.  I'm an MBC for several MBs, including two my son got partials in at summer camp. Looking at the MBC list, I'm the only  MBC who will work with anyone, everyone else will only work with folks in their troop. Way I handle it is to get him to do the work with one of the ASMs, and when they say he's done it, then sign off.

 

In the 24 years as an MBC, I've had 4 people contact me, either by phone or in person at a camporee. Bulk of my counselor work has been summer camp, and MBUs.

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They whithered away when Councils and Districts, with the wink and nudge of National, started accepting Troop-only Merit Badge Counselors as acceptable practice - once that gate was open, there was no way to stop the practice from becoming Only-Troop Merit Badge Counselors.

One of my councils has barred troop-only MBCs.   :D

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Since living in Brazil and practicing as a Lone Scout, it is very difficult for us if not impossible to find a merit badge counselor to complete badges partially earned at summer camp.  When I asked how to handle this, I was told that the Scoutmaster for the troop is allowed to act as the merit badge counselor and sign off on all requirements completed after the Scout has returned from camp.  So as long as the Scout can accomplish the requirements on his own and show proof of this to his Scoutmaster, there is no need to find a local merit badge counselor.  I have had this information from two different councils in two different states. 

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One of my councils has barred troop-only MBCs.   :D

 

Yah, but has this really made a change?    By and large, they still sign up and assign lads within-troop I expect.  Da rest are from MB fairs or Summer Camp.

 

Say it isn't so!

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Yah, but has this really made a change?    By and large, they still sign up and assign lads within-troop I expect.  Da rest are from MB fairs or Summer Camp.

 

Say it isn't so!

 

Beavah is right.  There problem between the concept of a merit badge counselor and how it's really happening these days. 

 

BUT ...  When I started this thread though, it was because I see 11 and 12 year old scouts looking at earning a merit badge with requirements written like below.  It's out of hand !!!!

 

 

 

COOKING MERIT BADGE 

 

Requirements

1. Health and safety. Do the following:

a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cooking activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

b. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while preparing meals and eating, including burns and scalds, cuts, choking, and allergic reactions.

c. Describe how meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fresh vegetables should be stored, transported, and properly prepared for cooking. Explain how to prevent cross-contamination.

d. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, and food-related illnesses and diseases. Explain why someone who handles or prepares food needs to be aware of these concerns.

e. Discuss with your counselor why reading food labels is important. Explain how to identify common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and shellfish.

 

2. Nutrition. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, give five examples for EACH of the following food groups, the recommended number of daily servings, and the recommended serving size: (1) Fruits (3) Grains (5) Dairy (2) Vegetables (4) Proteins

b. Explain why you should limit your intake of oils and sugars.

c. Determine your daily level of activity and your caloric need based on your activity level. Then, based on the MyPlate food guide, discuss with your counselor an appropriate meal plan for yourself for one day.

d. Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide.

e. Discuss the following food label terms: calorie, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, protein. Explain how to calculate total carbohydrates and nutritional values for two servings, based on the serving size specified on the label.

 

3. Cooking basics. Do the following:

a. Discuss EACH of the following cooking methods. For each one, describe the equipment needed, how temperature control is maintained, and name at least one food that can be cooked using that method: baking, boiling, broiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, grilling, foil cooking, and use of a Dutch oven.

b. Discuss the benefits of using a camp stove on an outing vs. a charcoal or wood fire.

c. Describe for your counselor how to manage your time when preparing a meal, so components for each course are ready to serve at the correct time.

 

Note: The meals prepared for Cooking merit badge requirements 4, 5, and 6 will count only toward fulfilling those requirements and will not count toward rank advancement or other merit badges. Meals prepared for rank advancement or other merit badges may not count toward the Cooking merit badge. You must not repeat any menus for meals actually prepared or cooked in requirements 4, 5, and 6.

 

4. Cooking at home. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan menus for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menus should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you kept your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:

a. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

b. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

c. Using at least five of the 10 cooking methods from requirement 3, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*

d. Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time. Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor. *The meals for requirement 4 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively. The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.

e. After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.

 

5. Camp cooking. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan five meals for your patrol (or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip. Your menus should include enough food for each person, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you keep your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. These five meals must include at least one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, AND at least one snack OR one dessert. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.

b. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

c. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

d. In the outdoors, using your menu plans for this requirement, cook two of the five meals you planned using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire. Use a different cooking method from requirement 3 for each meal. You must also cook a third meal using either a Dutch oven OR a foil pack OR kabobs. Serve all of these meals to your patrol or a group of youth.**

e. In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**

f. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, and then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure successful outdoor cooking.

g. Explain to your counselor how you cleaned the equipment, utensils, and the cooking site thoroughly after each meal. Explain how you properly disposed of dishwater and of all garbage. h. Discuss how you followed the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles when preparing your meals. **Where local regulations do not allow you to build a fire, the counselor may adjust the requirement to meet the law. The meals in requirements 5 and 6 may be prepared for different trips and need not be prepared consecutively. Scouts working on this badge in summer camp should take into consideration foods that can be obtained at the camp commissary.

 

6. Trail and backpacking meals. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack. These meals must not require refrigeration and are to be consumed by three to five people (including you). Be sure to keep in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you will keep your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.

b. Create a shopping list for your meals, showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

c. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor. Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.

d. While on a trail hike or backpacking trip, prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for this requirement. At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**

e. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals. f. Discuss how you followed the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles during your outing. Explain to your counselor how you cleaned any equipment, utensils, and the cooking site after each meal. Explain how you properly disposed of any dishwater and packed out all garbage.

 

7. Food-related careers. Find out about three career opportunities in cooking. Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you

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Beavah is right.  There problem between the concept of a merit badge counselor and how it's really happening these days. 

 

BUT ...  When I started this thread though, it was because I see 11 and 12 year old scouts looking at earning a merit badge with requirements written like below.  It's out of hand !!!!

 

 

 

COOKING MERIT BADGE 

 

Requirements

1. Health and safety. Do the following:

a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cooking activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

b. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while preparing meals and eating, including burns and scalds, cuts, choking, and allergic reactions.

c. Describe how meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fresh vegetables should be stored, transported, and properly prepared for cooking. Explain how to prevent cross-contamination.

d. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, and food-related illnesses and diseases. Explain why someone who handles or prepares food needs to be aware of these concerns.

e. Discuss with your counselor why reading food labels is important. Explain how to identify common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and shellfish.

 

2. Nutrition. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, give five examples for EACH of the following food groups, the recommended number of daily servings, and the recommended serving size: (1) Fruits (3) Grains (5) Dairy (2) Vegetables (4) Proteins

b. Explain why you should limit your intake of oils and sugars.

c. Determine your daily level of activity and your caloric need based on your activity level. Then, based on the MyPlate food guide, discuss with your counselor an appropriate meal plan for yourself for one day.

d. Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide.

e. Discuss the following food label terms: calorie, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, protein. Explain how to calculate total carbohydrates and nutritional values for two servings, based on the serving size specified on the label.

 

3. Cooking basics. Do the following:

a. Discuss EACH of the following cooking methods. For each one, describe the equipment needed, how temperature control is maintained, and name at least one food that can be cooked using that method: baking, boiling, broiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, grilling, foil cooking, and use of a Dutch oven.

b. Discuss the benefits of using a camp stove on an outing vs. a charcoal or wood fire.

c. Describe for your counselor how to manage your time when preparing a meal, so components for each course are ready to serve at the correct time.

 

Note: The meals prepared for Cooking merit badge requirements 4, 5, and 6 will count only toward fulfilling those requirements and will not count toward rank advancement or other merit badges. Meals prepared for rank advancement or other merit badges may not count toward the Cooking merit badge. You must not repeat any menus for meals actually prepared or cooked in requirements 4, 5, and 6.

 

4. Cooking at home. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan menus for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menus should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you kept your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:

a. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

b. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

c. Using at least five of the 10 cooking methods from requirement 3, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*

d. Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time. Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor. *The meals for requirement 4 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively. The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.

e. After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.

 

5. Camp cooking. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan five meals for your patrol (or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip. Your menus should include enough food for each person, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you keep your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. These five meals must include at least one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, AND at least one snack OR one dessert. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.

b. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

c. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

d. In the outdoors, using your menu plans for this requirement, cook two of the five meals you planned using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire. Use a different cooking method from requirement 3 for each meal. You must also cook a third meal using either a Dutch oven OR a foil pack OR kabobs. Serve all of these meals to your patrol or a group of youth.**

e. In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**

f. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, and then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure successful outdoor cooking.

g. Explain to your counselor how you cleaned the equipment, utensils, and the cooking site thoroughly after each meal. Explain how you properly disposed of dishwater and of all garbage. h. Discuss how you followed the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles when preparing your meals. **Where local regulations do not allow you to build a fire, the counselor may adjust the requirement to meet the law. The meals in requirements 5 and 6 may be prepared for different trips and need not be prepared consecutively. Scouts working on this badge in summer camp should take into consideration foods that can be obtained at the camp commissary.

 

6. Trail and backpacking meals. Do the following:

a. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack. These meals must not require refrigeration and are to be consumed by three to five people (including you). Be sure to keep in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you will keep your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.

b. Create a shopping list for your meals, showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

c. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor. Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.

d. While on a trail hike or backpacking trip, prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for this requirement. At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**

e. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals. f. Discuss how you followed the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles during your outing. Explain to your counselor how you cleaned any equipment, utensils, and the cooking site after each meal. Explain how you properly disposed of any dishwater and packed out all garbage.

 

7. Food-related careers. Find out about three career opportunities in cooking. Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you

 

High school graduation requirements are less daunting.

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High school graduation requirements are less daunting.

 

IMHO, those requirements are only written for people who passed the bar.  Not a scout who wants to be active and learn.

Edited by fred johnson

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New policy.  One can only hope.  

 

When BSA starts refusing to certify mills, we could see big change.

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