Merit Badge team serves up some reminders about Cooking merit badge

Cooking-EagleAvid readers of this blog have been hearing about changes to Cooking merit badge since October 2012.

But new Scouters or new blog readers might not know about the exciting, important changes to this now-Eagle-required merit badge.

The basic facts are these:

  • Cooking merit badge became required to earn the Eagle Scout Award on Jan. 1, 2014.
  • A revised Cooking merit badge pamphlet and new requirements were released last year. A Scout may use either the old or the new requirements in 2014. Whichever one he chooses will count toward Eagle.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Scouts who have not started working on the Cooking merit badge must use the new requirements and supporting pamphlet.

Here are more details and reminders, courtesy of Frank Ramirez and the Merit Badge Maintenance Team.

Now Required for Eagle Scout Rank

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts must now earn the Cooking merit badge in order to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. This was communicated in and reinforced in both the 2013 and 2014 Boy Scout Requirements book. The only exception are those Scouts who have completed all of their Eagle Scout rank requirements, including their Eagle Scout Service Project and unit leader’s conference by December 31, 2013. They must only lack their Eagle Board of Review going into 2014 to be exempt from earning Cooking.

Revised Requirements and Pamphlet

cooking-mb-old-and-newDuring 2013 the Cooking merit badge underwent a major revision which has greatly enhanced both the requirements and supporting pamphlet. Improvements to the badge include:

  • Usage of USDA’s MyPlate food guide to aid Scouts in learning better nutrition and eating habits, reading food labels, and becoming aware of ideal caloric food intake related to daily activity
  • Increased awareness of cross contamination of food and related allergies
  • Preparation of required meals no longer limited to consecutive days, giving Scouts and units greater flexibility
  • Variety of cooking methods and flexible locations
  • Outdoor Code awareness

Usage of Old or New Requirements Allowed in 2014

Regardless of the requirements the Scout chooses to earn Cooking, old or new, in 2014, once he’s earned the badge, it counts towards his advancement. The Guide to Advancement, topic, “What to Do When Requirements Change”allows Scouts these options:

  • If Scouts have already started working on the merit badge before Jan 1, 2014, they may switch to the new requirements or continue with the old ones until the badge is completed.*
  • If Scouts have not started working on the badge during 2014, they may opt to use the new requirements and new pamphlet, or choose to use requirements published in the 2013 Boy Scout Requirements book and 2013 supporting pamphlet edition.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Scouts who have not started working on the Cooking merit badge must use the new requirements and supporting pamphlet.
  • Scouts who’ve already earned Cooking since first joining his Boy Scout troop or Varsity team do not have to re-earn the badge – Once it’s earned, it’s earned!

* The Guide to Advancement, under the same topic, goes on to say, “There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used.” This applies to Cooking as well.

Green vs. Silver Border

Scouts who earned and received a green-bordered Cooking patch may purchase or be presented with the new silver bordered patch, signifying it’s Eagle-required. A Cooking merit badge certificate or blue card must be presented to obtain the new patch. The green-bordered patch may then be retained as a keepsake. Scouts are not permitted to wear both merit badge patches on their sash or uniform at the same time. No “trade-in” program for exchanging one for the other is available at Scout shops.


2 thoughts on “Merit Badge team serves up some reminders about Cooking merit badge

  1. My Eagle Scout son just came home for the summer after his first year of college. I had to look at his record to see if he has the Cooking MB. Nope. That would probably partly explain why he had 4 pan fried wieners and a couple of cookies for supper last night… (That and my failure to raise him properly, I suppose some of you will be happy to tell me.)
    Requiring this is this is a good thing!

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