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ItsBrian

Has The Quality of Eagle Scout Gone Down?

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I’ve seen the first few episodes of the new season Worst Cooks of America. There’s twins that are both Eagle Scouts and are in my opinion, mocking the program. They are making a mockery of the cooking merit badge (even though it’s not always taught the best). 

Heres some articles with scenes.

https://www.dailyherald.com/amp-article/20180110/entlife/180119899/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-lns-worst-cooks-wauconda-st-0106-20180105-story,amp.html

Edited by ItsBrian
Rephrased

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There's hope @ItsBrian! These guys would have earned Eagle under the old cooking MB requirements -- it might not have even been a required badge. The new requirements are a bit more stringent.

That said, don't rush to judgement. It sounds like the twins loved being scouts, but are probably more about cheerfulness than spit-and-polish.

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1 minute ago, qwazse said:

There's hope @ItsBrian! These guys would have earned Eagle under the old cooking MB requirements -- it might not have even been a required badge. The new requirements are a bit more stringent.

That said, don't rush to judgement. It sounds like the twins loved being scouts, but are probably more about cheerfulness than spit-and-polish.

It could’ve been that the producers or writers want them to act like they know nothing which leads them to “mock” BSA.

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Also keep in mind that this is a "reality show" (or at least it looks like one, I've never seen it) so it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with actual reality.

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Well that's a rather harsh judgement to make about other Eagle Scouts, don't you think?  They appear on this show, try pulling out some tried and true (and truly awful, frankly) BSA cooking techniques, and you're first thought is the quality of Eagle Scout may have gone down because the cooking techniques weren't as successful being translated in an indoor setting as they might have been in an outdoor camping setting?

 

We've had a whole thread on here that pretty much boiled down to Cooking Merit Badge isn't very good at teaching cooking.  And it isn't - its not supposed to be some all encompassing course in cooking. 

I didn't learn anything about cooking from cooking merit badge, or from the BSA, except how to cook basic foods for upwards of 200 people.  I learned my culinary knife skills and how to really cook by working in restaurants.  I don't think "he can cook" when I hear Eagle Scout - and I doubt anyone else does either.

 

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I think every scout probably has had a part of the program they struggled with or were just weren't as good at, even if they did get through the requirements. I also hope people don't look at the Eagle Scout badge as some sort of confirmation that anyone who wears it is highly proficient in each and every task associated with the rank. Especially many years after those merit badges were earned.  

It also looks very set up for the reality show. Did they have to cook eggs in a zip-lock bag? They're in a full kitchen. I'm guessing the producers asked them to do some camp cooking and intentionally not take advantage of the tools and equipment around them. 

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Besides, let's be honest, camp food often is "situationally good" After a cold night of sleeping in the backcountry, a ziplock bag egg is pretty good. In my house? Heck no. I want an omelet with veggies and meat, preferably sausage. 

We also have to understand that different programs have different strengths and weaknesses and that does have an impact on Scouts and what skills they retain. A pair of Eagles across the country's inability to cook on a TV show has no bearing on my experiences as a Scout or the value I place on my Eagle. 

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Apologies for the title, I summed it up. 

I didn’t mean to convey it like this, but I mean’t those who earn eagle but dont use the knowledge they learned (didn’t practice, pay attention...) or had to learn again.

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Of all the Eagle-required merit badges, the Cooking merit badge is considered to be the hardest by most our troop members. Frequently, it is the last one earned before Eagle.

I think the twins said it correctly ... food must be edible - not perfect - to get the badge.

Rarely do campfire meals cooked by a 13 year-old rise to the standard of fine dining. I view it more along the lines of survival cooking. That is why I'm glad our adult leaders cook and eat separately from the boys.

 

18 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

We've had a whole thread on here that pretty much boiled down to Cooking Merit Badge isn't very good at teaching cooking.  And it isn't - its not supposed to be some all encompassing course in cooking. 

Agreed.

The First Aid merit badge does not generate proficient EMTs - it teaches basic, rudimentary, fundamental, introductory first aid skills.

The Cooking merit badge does not generate gourmet chefs - it teaches basic, rudimentary, fundamental, introductory cooking skills.

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In order to do a good Cooking MB one must 'add' to the excitement if not the requirements. We have tried in the past to combine ours with various cooking competitions both individual and patrol and follow up on making sure Patrols are actually cooking real food on some campouts. Once it becomes part of the culture -vs pringles, ramen, and pop tarts- they get better at it. If the emphasis is on just getting the Eagle required MB and moving on than you will see much improvement.

Progress is apparent if a parent tells you later that their boy starts cooking a dish at home frequently or if a particular Patrol starts acting a little 'foodie' at campouts and other patrols kinda get jealous and up their game.

I was going to carp on how much more boring the food safety book learning expansion has made the Merit Badge BUT both my Eagle sons were arguing the other day on how no one needs to worry about e-coli or salmonella anymore. Not reassuring when they are cooking the family meal. *sigh*

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19 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

I’ve seen the first few episodes of the new season Worst Cooks of America. There’s twins that are both Eagle Scouts and are in my opinion, mocking the program. They are making a mockery of the cooking merit badge (even though it’s not always taught the best). 

As with ANY course or program, much depends on the instructor, the curriculum, student participation/attention, the class size, how confirming prerequisites are completed, and many other factors. We have all seen well-run courses and some real howlers. The important thing, as an individual, is to do your own research, read and practice. This can make up for a lousy course, instructor or otherwise.

As for reality TV, do yourself a favor and don't watch it. Your IQ will drop 10 points with each one you watch. Read a good book or watch something about science or history. If not available, stream Dr. Who on Prime. :cool:

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Those guys look like Boy Scouts for sure

Someone is mocking Cooking merit badge...oh no!!!!

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Cooking MB teaches you sort of an urban survival skill - hopefully you learn enough to not starve if you cannot eat out every night. Though some Scout will take it to higher level.

It does not teach you to be a Chef any more than Swimming merit badge teaches you to be an Olympic swimmer or Chess MB makes you an Grand Champion. It may spark the desire to achieve those things, but it is just a starting point for most Scouts.

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1 hour ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Cooking MB teaches you sort of an urban survival skill - hopefully you learn enough to not starve if you cannot eat out every night. Though some Scout will take it to higher level.

It does not teach you to be a Chef any more than Swimming merit badge teaches you to be an Olympic swimmer or Chess MB makes you an Grand Champion. It may spark the desire to achieve those things, but it is just a starting point for most Scouts.

My mom made us boys cook just enough to survive and so we wouldn't be so reliant on a girlfriend. I knew enough to make a couple things and survive. When my wife and I were dating she went off to graduate school in a city about 2 hours away. One thanksgiving break she had to stay and wrap up her masters project and couldn't go home so I showed up at her apartment with a basket of groceries and made us a thanksgiving dinner (canned ham, instant mashed potatoes, canned green beans-hey it was the early eighties). I did not know she was running low on groceries and really didn't know how to cook anything--I looked like a wizard and I think that was when I 'clinched the deal'. I was very glad I knew some rudimentary food skill (thanks Mom!) then and I have told some of my scouts the same story. A man who can cook can earn some smoochy benefits! <3 <3 <3

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I think it most assuredly has.  

 

Side note, Arrow of Light used to be the highest award you could earn in Cub Scouting and you needed to earn Webelos first.  It was to show dedication above and beyond.  Now, it's just another grade.  It's degraded what the award means.  

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