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Phrogger

First class required for Cooking?

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My son recently signed up for the Cooking merit badge which is being offered with a group in my son's troop. I received an email from the organizer who told me it was only for First Class scouts and up and it would be "too hard" for him because it is Eagle required.

 

My son is almost done with his Scout rank and has not had any merit badge opportunities yet. I read the requirements and didn't think they sounded too hard, especially since the troop expects him to do more difficult things on his own during campouts.

 

Is this reasonable? Or is the organizer just trying to weed out the younger ones for his own convenience? I can't find anywhere that it says you have to be First Class to work on that badge.

 

 

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I would say that some of the MB's that require more physical maturing, i.e. backpacking, lifesaving, etc. might be too much for a small scout and would need a bit of discouragement in the early years.  But Cooking?  No brainer.  My kids were cooking from grade school on and that's without the microwave.  Stove top and oven.  My kids stood on a stool to be able to reach the front burners.  They were careful, never had an accident.  In today's society I bet we could have Child Welfare all over us, but now all of them are good cooks.

 

Unless there's a focus problem with a scout and can't stay on task, Cooking would be a great start with the MB's.

 

I'm thinking one might be getting jerked around a bit here.  But if the MB counselor doesn't want him, I wouldn't recommend pushing the issue.  Just find a different MB counselor more receptive to everyone involved.

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It's not a requirement to be First Class. You could ask the counselor which requirement lists a minimum rank and then you can quote the guide to advancement "No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements." 

 

Of course, that may start him off on the wrong foot with the counselor so it might be best to find a different counselor. 

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I'm not going to push the issue. The last thing I'd want is for him to be resented for "dragging down" the older scouts. But it's too bad. Our troop doesn't seem to like the younger scouts and don't plan many activities for them. My son alternates between being bored to death and in way over his head. Next year, after my job is more stable, I'm going to join the committee and try to push for change. If things don't work out I'm afraid he's going to quit. At the very least we'll be shopping for a new troop.

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On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with?  He's going to Ransburg for summer camp so they'll be working on the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements there.

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Although a MB counselor can not add requirements As a cooking merit badge counselor I encourage the young scouts to work on their cooking requirements for rank FIRST.  There is no double counting between the rank requirements and the merit badge.  So I have one young scout in my group, but the rest have more than a few campouts under their belts.  If that young scout uses his campouts right now to focus on cooking requirements for the cooking merit badge he will be slowing down his rank advancement.  

 

In addition, I like to limit the number of scouts in a group (8 being a good number for me), so I will tend to want the older scouts to have an opportunity to take those slots first.   (Not uncommon for our troop.)

 

In our troop, sometimes new scout parents get all excited about what they think their new scout is missing out on (merit badges in particular).  I like to encourage the new boys to bond with their patrol and work on scout craft requirements.  Summer camp is a great first time to work on merit badges as a new cross over.

 

If your son really enjoys cooking, look at the T-F rank requirements for that and work towards those items.  Then he should reconnect with the MB counselor.  

 

Enjoy the journey.....

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On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with?  He's going to Ransburg for summer camp so they'll be working on the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements there.

 

SOMETHING FUN THAT HE PICKS!  :)

 

Summer camp should not be an extension of school.  Whittling, leathercraft, nature study, astronomy is always a fun one.  mammals, reptiles, whatever he thinks would be FUN.  Too often the newer and even second year scouts are so intent on getting the biggy MB's they forget to have fun at camp.  If he's into water sports and can pass the swimmer test, there's canoeing, kayaking, small boat sailing if the camp offers it.  Fishing.... hey what can I say, go fishing. 

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SOMETHING FUN THAT HE PICKS!  :)

 

Summer camp should not be an extension of school.  Whittling, leathercraft, nature study, astronomy is always a fun one.  mammals, reptiles, whatever he thinks would be FUN.  Too often the newer and even second year scouts are so intent on getting the biggy MB's they forget to have fun at camp.  If he's into water sports and can pass the swimmer test, there's canoeing, kayaking, small boat sailing if the camp offers it.  Fishing.... hey what can I say, go fishing.

 

Well, the "First Year Camper" class is required and unfortunately it takes up 2/3 of the schedule. I hope they let them have some fun time too.

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Did your son sign up because he thought cooking would be fun? If so, then he shouldn't be discouraged.

But if he did it because he thought he should do what everyone else was doing, or because he got it into his head that he was to do required badges before electives, he should be encouraged to pursue his interests.

 

Son #1 signed up for archery his 1st year. Our CC tried to discourage the choice, but I told him I know the drill and partials were not a problem. He had a great time earning it with his PL.

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Did your son sign up because he thought cooking would be fun? If so, then he shouldn't be discouraged.

But if he did it because he thought he should do what everyone else was doing, or because he got it into his head that he was to do required badges before electives, he should be encouraged to pursue his interests.

Son #1 signed up for archery his 1st year. Our CC tried to discourage the choice, but I told him I know the drill and partials were not a problem. He had a great time earning it with his PL.

He signed up because it's the first badge that has been offered as a group. I know that badges can be done individually but he hasn't shown an interest in doing that yet. Honestly we are hanging on to scouts by a thread. He hates camping and since that's the majority of scouts well, I can see how things are going to go. At the suggestion of others on this forum I made sure to sign him up for summer camp this year to see if he will have a "bonding" experience and come to enjoy it. But if that doesn't happen after the next year I can't keep forcing it on him. Cub Scouts was so different. He had a lot more fun and learned more, I felt, than knot tying and such. The curriculum was more diverse to be sure.

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Adults cannot set rank or age requirements for MBs. Perhaps getting the cooking MB might inspire him.

 

Merit badge counselors can't alter the requirements of the merit badge itself, but they most certainly CAN decline to work with anyone, for any reason.

 

Unless he has all the T/2/1 cooking requirements already done - and if he's barely a Scout, I doubt it - that should be his primary focus, IMO.

 

 

My son is almost done with his Scout rank and has not had any merit badge opportunities yet.

 

 

Your son needs to make his own opportunities.  There's 145 merit badges to choose from.  Pick one.  This isn't cub scouts - things aren't going to be handed to him because he's cute and he showed up to a meeting.

 

 

Or is the organizer just trying to weed out the younger ones for his own convenience?

 

 

 

So what if he is?  Its his prerogative as the counselor.  BSA "frowns on" group merit badge workshops, anyways.

 

If your son really wants to stick it in their eye, he should contact a Cooking MBC on his own, and try to complete the badge before the "group" does.

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Merit badge counselors can't alter the requirements of the merit badge itself, but they most certainly CAN decline to work with anyone, for any reason.

 

Unless he has all the T/2/1 cooking requirements already done - and if he's barely a Scout, I doubt it - that should be his primary focus, IMO.

 

 

 

 

Your son needs to make his own opportunities. There's 145 merit badges to choose from. Pick one. This isn't cub scouts - things aren't going to be handed to him because he's cute and he showed up to a meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

So what if he is? Its his prerogative as the counselor. BSA "frowns on" group merit badge workshops, anyways.

 

If your son really wants to stick it in their eye, he should contact a Cooking MBC on his own, and try to complete the badge before the "group" does.

Please note the section of the GTA where this is allowed. Because what I see is this:

 

7.0.0.3 The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader

A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or quali ed Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time.

 

So unless you have a section of the GTA that contradicts this section, you're not allowed.

 

BSA frowns on group instruction? Really?

 

7.0.3.2 Group Instruction

It is acceptable—and sometimes desirable—for merit badges to be taught in group settings. This often occurs at camp and merit badge midways, fairs, clinics, or similar events, and even online through webinars. These can be ef cient methods, and interactive group discussions can support learning. Group instruction can also be attractive to “guest experts†assisting registered and approved counselors. Slide shows, skits, demonstrations, panels, and various other techniques can also be employed, but as any teacher can attest, not everyone will learn all the material. Because of the importance of individual attention and personal learning in the merit badge program, group instruction should be focused on those scenarios where the bene ts are compelling.

Edited by Back Pack

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Sorry @@MrBob, but a good MBC should not hide behind the alleged "right of refusal" of an MBC to avoid working with a Scout because of his age or rank. Not only is that un-Scoutlike, it runs against the GTA. 

 

I *do* agree that the MBC should have the option of not working with a Scout due to distance, time constraints, etc. But using that option as an excuse from barring a Scout from working with you on an MB -- and a class that you are clearly offering to other Scouts -- is not only wrong, it is discriminatory and totally against the sections of the GTA noted above.

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If this group thing is happening during a Troop meeting, it should definitely be open to everyone, since the skills required are pretty universal. If there are Scouts present who already have the MB, they can assist the others. That being said, I would encourage this young Scout to also complete the cooking requirements for Rank, since they are a logical progression from assisting another cook to preparing a meal for themselves and finally serving as the Patrol cook for 3 meals. This sets them up for success in both the Cooking Merit Badge and also the cooking requirements for Camping Merit Badge. We regularly hold cooking nights- we have the Scouts show up early and they eat what they cook. We give demos on things that they might never think to make if left to their own devices, and it has allowed us to discourage the constant consumption of hot dogs and mac & cheese. Now we get steak tips, fajitas, walking tacos, tortilla pizzas and even dessert burritos and roasted bananas. We even have some indian dishes and chinese stir fry now.

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