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What’s on the menu for the revamped Cooking merit badge, served up later this year?

Cooking MB is set to become Eagle-required on Jan. 1, 2014

Any Scout who has already earned Cooking will not need to re-earn it. His existing, Cooking merit badge will count toward the Eagle rank beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

A Scout who has sewn the green-ringed Cooking merit badge onto his sash may replace it with a silver-ringed version beginning on Jan. 1, if he chooses. It’s not required.

Release date for redesign?

The revamped Cooking MB is due before Thanksgiving 2013. Hey, just in time for all those Scouts to help Mom and Dad prepare their family’s feast.


What are the big changes?

 The new requirements will merge four sets of materials into the improved Cooking MB:

  1. The best parts of the existing badge pamphlet
  2. Insight into nutrition from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s top heart hospitals
  3. Suggestions from the BSA’s volunteer-led team
  4. Additional content, including indoor/life-skill cooking, more information about careers in cooking, better nutrition and menus, new material on food allergies, and more on preventing food-borne illnesses


Types of cooking

To better prepare Scouts for life, the new Cooking MB will focus on three kinds of cooking: indoor, outdoor, and backpacking. That makes sense, because not every meal is prepared outside, and encouraging a complete understanding about food will make for better-rounded Scouts.

And the emphasis on healthy cooking will make sure Scouts don’t become too well-rounded, so to speak.

What else is new?

Other expected additions include:

  • Cutlery kits: How to create one for home use, personal use on a campout, and patrol use
  • Heating: Home appliances, fires, at-home grills, and camp/trail stoves
  • Cooking methods: Baking, roasting, broiling, pan frying, stir frying, microwaving, foil packs, and more
  • First aid: Choking, allergic reactions, food allergies, and food-related diseases
  • Choosing what to eat: Serving size, limiting fat and sugar intake, special diets
  • Planning/shopping: Considering who you are cooking for
  • Backpacking/trail food: Leave No Trace, weight considerations, special equipment

Ref: Bryan on Scouting,, 13 March 2013

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