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Philzer

Cooking Merit Badge Worksheet and questions asked

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Thank you evereyone for helping me get through running my first cooking mb as a counselor. Im sure the scouts wont appreciate it..lol but I least like most have siad Igot ideas to make it interactive for them..

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MB Worksheets ... you might want to know more background why people push-back on those.  

  • Active, moving and doing ... Merit badges like scouts are supposed to be active, moving and doing things.  Unless the requirement says "write", the rest of the requirements (explain, discuss, show, etc) are to be live, not a report.  
  • Adult interaction ... Worksheets take away a key value of the MB program which is the interaction between the youth and an expert in the topic.  
  • Inspiration ... Inspiration to further pursue a MB topic is often killed by making them fill out a long, painful MB packet.  
  • Too much time ... Worksheets end up taking way more time to fill out than the amount of time the scouts spends with the counselor.  The time is supposed to be with the counselor, not the paper.
  • Workbook is not required ... There is nothing in BSA that says you have to use the workbook.  BSA doesn't provide them.  And if they could sell them, I'm sure they would try to make money on them.

BSA provides guidance on this in BSA's Guide To Advancement, section "7.0.4.8 Unofficial Worksheets and Learning Aids".    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

 

I strongly discourage my sons and help them avoid MB programs that are fill-out the workbook and then talk to me type of programs.  IMHO, this is what is killing scouting.  People create a nice helpful tool (the workbook) that is bleeding alot of fun out of the MB program. 

 

You want to help them with the cooking merit badge:  get them cooking.  And in the process of doing that, also cover the requirements.  

 

IMHO, the requirements should be for the merit badge counselor to make sure they cover.  The MB requirements should not be for the scout to chase.  In your case, the scout should exhibit and openness and willness to be mentored by you.  Through that mentoring, the requirements get covered. 

Edited by fred johnson
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MB Worksheets ... you might want to know more background why people push-back on those.  

  • Active, moving and doing ... Merit badges like scouts are supposed to be active, moving and doing things.  Unless the requirement says "write", the rest of the requirements (explain, discuss, show, etc) are to be live, not a report.  
  • Adult interaction ... Worksheets take away a key value of the MB program which is the interaction between the youth and an expert in the topic.  
  • Inspiration ... Inspiration to further pursue a MB topic is often killed by making them fill out a long, painful MB packet.  
  • Too much time ... Worksheets end up taking way more time to fill out than the amount of time the scouts spends with the counselor.  The time is supposed to be with the counselor, not the paper.
  • Workbook is not required ... There is nothing in BSA that says you have to use the workbook.  BSA doesn't provide them.  And if they could sell them, I'm sure they would try to make money on them.

BSA provides guidance on this in BSA's Guide To Advancement, section "7.0.4.8 Unofficial Worksheets and Learning Aids".    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

 

I strongly discourage my sons and help them avoid MB programs that are fill-out the workbook and then talk to me type of programs.  IMHO, this is what is killing scouting.  People create a nice helpful tool (the workbook) that is bleeding alot of fun out of the MB program. 

 

You want to help them with the cooking merit badge:  get them cooking.  And in the process of doing that, also cover the requirements.  

 

IMHO, the requirements should be for the merit badge counselor to make sure they cover.  The MB requirements should not be for the scout to chase.  In your case, the scout should exhibit and openness and willness to be mentored by you.  Through that mentoring, the requirements get covered. 

 

THIS a million times repped!!

 

This worksheet mentality is what drives the issues with lack of "engagement" in scouting. There's a reason the wording for each badge --  where they say "show" or "demonstrate" or "do" -- is written so carefully. They want participation, and filling out a worksheet or sitting in what amounts to a MB focus group -- where everyone repeats the same answer without deep thought or conversation -- is meaningless.

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We're dealing with upper elementary and Junior High kids who get enough homework sheets at school.

 

Why in heaven's name would anyone want to make them do another homework sheet???

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We're dealing with upper elementary and Junior High kids who get enough homework sheets at school.

 

Why in heaven's name would anyone want to make them do another homework sheet???

 

Because too many MB counselors define success as getting the scout the badge or making sure the requirements are fulfilled.  IMHO, that's the wrong approach.  MBCs need to cover the requirements, but success is increasing the interest and/or abilities of the scout within the boundaries of the MB.

 

It's easy for MBCs to look at a worksheet and say, yep the scout fulfilled the requirements.  It's easy to use the worksheet to increase the number of scouts you can council.  It's much harder to increase interest or skill.  IMHO, if we are filling out worksheets, we might as well turn the MBC program into online learning modules with automatically scored tests at the end.  

 

I like what the Boy Scout handbook said (not sure about current version) about merit badges.  It says merit badges exist to 

  • increase skill in things boys like to do
  • try out new activities that might result in new interest

IMHO, workbooks do the opposite.

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Want to start a youth on the path to Cooking MB success?

 

Invite him to a meal at your home.

 

I don't mean, eat dinner.  I mean spend a couple hours making dinner from ingredients.

 

One good one I use is kebabs.  Shrimp, red, green, and orange bell peppers, onions, spices.  I'm not talking L' Ecole Culinaire knife work technique, I'm talking big old one inch squares of veggie.  We talk cleanliness and sanitation as I get the cutting station set up and done, along with aspects of nutrition.... proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and what my mom called "roughage" or we call "fiber".

 

He helps a bit as I set up the grill, lay the fire, and get it going.  We talk about fire safety on the deck as I build the fire.

For dessert, I let him help me cut up strawberries, then I teach him how easy it is to make real whipped cream with my "wand of power" (immersible mixer rod).

Then, we eat as a family and clean up.

I've done camp foil dinners too.

Want the Scout motivated?  Drop the homework sheets, get him doing stuff and discussing it with you.

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