lake-tahoe

Cooking, Sustainability merit badges to become Eagle-required

Updated Nov. 1: Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about these changes.

Updated Dec. 18: Here are the new requirements for Cooking MB.


Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, this badge will get a silver border.

Moms and dads, prepare the needle and thread!

Sustainability and Cooking merit badges will join the list of Eagle-required merit badges over the next 14 months, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board announced today.

Sustainability, a new merit badge, will join Environmental Science as an Eagle Scout option after its debut at the 2013 jamboree.

Cooking, meanwhile, will become Eagle-required as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The total number of merit badges required for the Eagle Scout Award will remain at 21. In other words, instead of 12 Eagle-required badges and 9 elective badges, a Scout must earn 13 Eagle-required and 8 elective badges.

Why the change? The goal is to “reflect a better balance of the needs of youth and our nation today and in the future,” according to the BSA’s resolution. Personally, I like it. Keeping up with the ever-changing world means questioning the way things have always been done.

Sustainability becomes more important as our population increases while resources decrease. And a boy who reaches Eagle without skills in cooking and healthy eating habits hasn’t become fully “Prepared. For Life.” in my opinion. I think the BSA’s board got it right on here.

What do you think?

For the list of Eagle-required merit badges as it looks now — and as it will look in 2014 — follow the jump. 

Current list of Eagle-required merit badges

Earn a total of 21 merit badges, including the following:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communication
  • Personal Fitness
  • Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
  • Environmental Science
  • Personal Management
  • Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
  • Camping
  • Family Life

List of Eagle-required merit badges, effective Jan. 1, 2014

Earn a total of 21 merit badges, including the following:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communication
  • Personal Fitness
  • Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
  • Environmental Science OR Sustainability
  • Personal Management
  • Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
  • Camping
  • Family Life
  • Cooking

Lake Tahoe photo: Some rights reserved by CaDeltaFoto

257 thoughts on “Cooking, Sustainability merit badges to become Eagle-required

  1. Agree there should be more electives to get Eagle. I often thought, though, that Wilderness Survival should be required. It combines ALL of the basic and advanced scouting skills – safety, clear-headedness in the face of danger, fire-building, building a usable shelter from scratch, etc.
    Adding Cooking to the required list is a great idea, long overdue.
    Sustainability sounds pretty pathetic, though. Try it out as an elective for a while first. Sounds more like a political agenda than a merit badge.

    • It all depends on the requirements for sustainability. If it is memorizing facts about how people are wreaking the world ecosystem, well, they should be learning that in school. On the other hand, if the merit badge were teaching useful skills that encourage sustainability, I’m all for it. Requirements for sewing and patching your fabrics, eating a human portion of meat instead of an American portion, riding a bike or carpooling instead of driving alone, or talking about how buying lots of useless junk, like new clothes or trinkets, hurts the environment and your pocketbook would be requirements I could get behind. The recession has reminded people that spending money frivolously is a condemnable trait, not an admirable one. Take the opportunity to let the country relearn the skills of developing nations for living with less.

    • Benihana,
      I agree with you on both counts. Wilderness Survival would be a great Eagle badge. Sustainability sounds like a PC cave-in.

      If they needed another, I would suggest Orienteering instead of Sustainability.

  2. Can we see the sustainability requirements? I’m concerned that it’s yet another PC badge — watching Scouts head toward more and more political correctness. If the requirements aren’t out yet, can you tell me which group is funding this?

    • Do you have any basis for your belief that groups can pay the BSA to implement a merit badge and/or require it for Eagle?

    • You do realize that basic rescue techniques are still in the basic requirements do you not? One does not need to swim to rescue; “reach, throw, go”, and go means if at all possible in a conveyance or supporting, float capable device. Also, if you reread the preliminary stuff, it appears they are saying the proposed “Sustainability” badge will be an option to “Environmental Science”.

  3. I think it’s curious that we will now establish Sustainability and Cooking as required badges for the Eagle rank, and yet Swimming and Life Saving are “either/or” badges. God help me if I’m drowning and an Eagle Scout says “sorry sir, I can’t swim”

    • I have to admit to not having tracked this year by year, but I’m pretty sure that both swimming and lifesaving have been “either/or” required badges since at least the mid-1970′s.

    • Actually, it would be more like “sorry sir, I can’t swim. But in noticed your swim suit is made of polyester, which isn’t a very sustainable fabric. Have you considered a suit made of natural fibers, such as bamboo? And your heavy breathing is increasing your carbon footprint. Have a nice day!”

    • I love swimming – done so since birth – as have my kids and grandkids! BUT, BUT, BUT – not everyone can or wants to be a swimmer or be in the water. No, it should be an option. Not everyone is a hero – actually, you aren’t supposed to try to ‘save’ someone unless there is absolutely no other way. Hence, the ‘toss, reach, etc.’ – STAY ON SHORE! More peope have died trying to save someone than those drowning. Well, ok, that might be an exaggeration, but when learning lifesaving that’s one of the things they teach you…..drowners climb on top of you and quite often drown the rescuer. So, no, swimming should be an option. Actually, it’s a much easier badge to ge than hiking or biking if you actually LIKE to SWIM.

    • Swimming should remain an option. Not everyone wants to swim and some have a very REAL fear of the water, like heights. Someone mentioned climbing…I’m ok with it as an option, but not a requirement. Lots of boys afraid of heights including my grandson. I love heights – not sure where he got that, lol! And about saving someone – in lifesaving you are taught NOT to get in the water if at all possible. That’s why the toss, reach, etc…..is there – you are taught to stay on shore unless no other option. Not sure of stats, but lots of people have lost their lives trying to save someone. Not for the light of heart, not for those who want to be a hero. Last ditch effort.

      We aleady have a way to ‘award’ those boys who like to do all the options (see the medal for earning water, hiking, riding, camping, and high adventure awards), and the grouping awards, etc.

  4. Glad to see Cooking back in, it was required when I earned it in ’75. Wish they would bring the total minimum requirement back to 24.

  5. Pingback: Cooking, Sustainability Merit Badges to Become Eagle-required | Boy Scouts on Staten Island, NY

  6. As a Eagle with a disability Swimming was not an option for me. I for one am glad that it is an either/or merit badge. I am glad to see that the merit badge requirements are growing and changing with the times, but agree with the other comments with concern about the Sustainability MB being something that is more PC than anything else!

  7. I am somewhat concerned about this new merit badge. Sustainability is a politically correct term that came out (I believe from the mining industry) in an effort to reach middle ground with environmental activists and local community resistance to mining/and or industry when new operations are proposed. It stems from a socialist desire to redistribute wealth and indicate that even though there is a limited resource, the community wants benefits long after the industry or mine closes. The term stakeholders is also used in these cases to reflect the list of folks not making the investment with their hand out because the activity will occur in their neighborhood. Sustainability is a buzz word created to enable an entitlement program. At the bottom of sustainable development you will discover a socialist agenda regarding a perceived class difference and wealth redistribution. I consider this a threat to the American way of life. This opens a very slippery slope.

      • Ron and Steve Richards are on a very slippery slope to insanity. Associating sustainability with some socialist agenda? Sustainability has many definitions depending on the context of its use, but in environmental sciences in its most basic form means that what we depend on to survive comes either directly or indirectly from nature, and systems work best when they can maintain themselves as opposed to being depleted. In the BSA, we’ve talked about being thrifty with our natural resources since our earliest days as an organization, and we’ve been teaching scouts the concept of the Outdoor Code and being “conservation minded” for half a century. I’m not aware of any scouts who have learned the “Outdoor Code” that have gone on to become socialists. Maybe if the MB had the name it had in the 1950′s “Conservation” or in the 1960′s “Conservation of Natural Resources” you guys would be happy little campers instead of paranoid.

        • Dave thank you for your response. I more or less expected someone to step up. I respect the proper use of the word sustainable when used with renewable resources as you have laid out, but I was just pointing out in the world today this terminology has been twisted and my comments were sharing that I have seen this term when applied to non-renewable resources represent some less that desirable implications. We are seeing some benign terms on the surface become code words for other purposes. I got just about all of the nature series of merit badges when I was younger and I respect the outdoors. I think we get in a hurry to try to find new names for “new” programs. We simply were told to leave the area better than we found it.

        • No, we aren’t paranoid. In my life time I’ve gained some wisdom. Maybe Conservation would be a better term. There is an Ecology merit badge that helps even though most Scouts don’t take the merit badge. Environmental Science covers a lot of good things that Scouts need to know and probably learn in school. But Sustainability? And it’s a required merit badge. Words mean things and maybe this was a bad word choice. But as Scout we are prepared for anything.

        • Everything Steve says is very true. It’s called UN Agenda 21. Go to the UN website and the info is all there. That is where this sustainability crap comes from. The UN needs to get out of the US. It is nothing more than a socialist organization that we fund with money so they can give it to other countries, while they tell us how to run our country. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

        • Perhaps more Scouts should become a socialist. As a former Scout who is today a socialist, I would argue that socialism is certainly much more compatible with the ethics of Scouting than is the currently-dominant system of production and social relations in the United States. In fact, I would even go so far as to suggest that perhaps being consistent with the ethics of Scouting requires advocating socialism

        • Good for you if that’s what you want. America is not a socialist nation, and God forbid it ever does. Obama would like it that way. My money is not going to support pathetic lazy people who who won’t help themselves and I’m not talking abut a few people on hard times (I’ve been there), but about those who have for generations lived with their hand out and believing they are ‘entitled’ to my hard earned money. And you are NOT taking my guns. Don’t even try. ‘nuf said on that one.

        • Agreed. I’m leery of the merit badge, but us all declaring ourselves to be the Wolverines patrol and facing Red Dawn is probably a little premature. When do we get to see the requirements to know whether the Cold War has returned?

    • I believe the Sustainability merit badge will be making its debut at the 2013 National Jamboree.

      As I posted earlier, I think Sustainability will address resources, energy and economics, but then again, that’s just speculation. Bryan recently wrote a blog post that gave some information on new merit badges on the way and the only description for Sustainability was, “A badge to teach Scouts to use resources responsibly.”

      That’s open left for broad interpretation, but who can really even accurately comment about the good or evil of the merit badge until the actual requirements come out?

      As far as naming conventions go, choosing “Sustainability” may be a more current term used in its proper context. The term “conservation” is already used in Soil and Water Conservation merit badge. Did anyone stop to think about what happened to Animal Husbandry merit badge? It’s now called Animal Science. Computers merit badge will soon be replaced by Digital Technology merit badge. Signs, Signals and Codes will appear on the new list and that is basically a modern version of Signaling merit badge. I think the BSA is doing its best to try to remain relevant in a modern world as it loses boys to sports and other organizations competing for their attention.

      Remember, too, that Sustainability is one of the “or” merit badges. Scouts have the opportunity to earn it OR Environmental Science. And because it’s an Eagle-required merit badge, I expect it will have some fairly-well involved requirements that will necessitate some work on the Scout’s part, just like Personal Management, Personal Fitness, and Citizenship in the Community.

      No worries here. I’m just pleased that the BSA is expanding its offerings. Eagle Scout requirements need to be more challenging. When I became an Eagle Scout in 1976 we were told Eagles made up 2% of the boys who joined Scouting. Now it’s up to 5%, according to the BSA. I’m more concerned that becoming an Eagle will carry less significance if requirements become lax.

      • I agree there should be more badges that are Eagle required. I wish they would at least give us ‘proposed’ requirements now instea of making us wait 8 months! If it truly is a socialist aimed badge I am totally, 150% against it. We already have 4 more years of Obama heading us in that direction. Scouts is based, at least historically, on a belief in God. We don’t even swear on the Bible anymore (I had to do a deposition in court the other day – all I said was ‘I swear’).

        Now if you want to be politically correct I guess you could ask each person their religio and make them swear on their own ‘bible’. FACT: swearing on the bible put a ‘fear’ into us that the court system did not – as I’m sure a Muslim would if they had to swear on the koran…..so I think the courts missed the all on this one!…ie….looking for the truth. We can’t put a nativity scene up, yet other reigions can stop traffic in NYC to do morning prayers.

        And before anyone jumps on me….I’m not racist. I want equality. We have lost it. I dated a few guys from Iran/Iraq and I worked at a very diverse university – and religion was a popular topic, lol – so no way can you call me racist. But it also gives me personal insights that perhaps others may not have. PS: How many of you pronounce those names right? I didn’t. I was corrected by one of those I was dating. IT gets lost in the written word, but here is his quote to me. After saying I RAN numerous times….he said ‘well, I run, too, but that’s not how my country’s name is pronounced.’ Same for Iraq. Very few people pronounce it correctly.

  8. As an Eagle Scout who earned both Cooking MB and Cooking Skill Award, I welcome the return of Cooking to the required list. Environmental Science, the only problem I have is that they did not get rid of this altogether. Probably the most boring badge I earned. I don’t think I learned a thing.

  9. I am glad to see the cooking merit badge return to the required list. As others have said, it is a life skill.

  10. 2 quick Wikipedia look-ups will validate my apparently out of left field comments:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brundtland_Report
    The concept of sustainability was handed to us by the United Nations in 1987.
    “The Brundtland Commission Report recognised that human resource development in the form of poverty reduction, gender equity, and wealth redistribution was crucial to formulating strategies for environmental conservation, and it also recognised that environmental-limits to economic growth in industrialised and industrialising societies existed.”
    Please forgive me if I offended anyone. I only want the best for our youth and Scouting.

    • I think it will come down to who asked for the badge, why, and what are the goals. If it is socialist – then it should be nixed. There are other things that should be included if they are going to include socialist agenda badges. BSA is already being sued over this.

      HOT TOPIC. Gays. I have lots of gay friends so this is a very hard one for me. I understand the reasoning behind BSA’s ruling, but being gay does not predispose you to being a pervert. I don’t think that 99.9% of our leaders, whether gay or straight, would ever think about behaving inappropriately with the boys. It happens….unfortunately.

      Question is: 1. is our rule outdated; 2. are we missing out on some great leaders and great scouts by enforcing this rule; 3. we are probably just living the military rule of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ anyway; 4. our sister organization the girl scouts already did away with that rule. Has their been anymore issues with them since changing the rule than before? I don’t know, I’m asking?

  11. Regarding Sustainability, it kind of makes me sad to see the politically oriented comments about the badge without seeing the requirements first. I’d like to know from National Council who’s contributing to developing the requirements. I’m always curious about that when a new badge is released. I encourage anybody who is unclear on what sustainability is about to Google about sustainability in their community and see how it is defined locally and see what type of action is happening. In my city, you’ll find Boy Scouts in the mix of actions supporting local sustainability.

    Sustainability directly ties into the Scout Law: “A Scout is THRIFTY.” We always teach that thrift not only applies to your money, but it also has to do with other concepts such as conserving natural resources and that makes itself evident in Scouting’s activities with conservation. So before you jump to political conclusions, research, think about and counsel the badge when the requirements come out.

  12. I am an adult Scouter with two sons, both scouts. My oldest is a14 year old Star Scout & my youngest is a 12 year old 2nd Class Scout. They both have over 20 merit badges, with an assortment of required under their respective belts. My younger son is (quite obviously) more motivated to earn merit badges, as he has the same number of badges as his brother, who has had a two year jump on him, but as you can see they both have a decent number completed during their tenure in Scouting. Personally, I think that increasing the number of merit badges is a good thing, as earning 21 merit badges to make Eagle is certainly an obtainable goal. I always thought that Cooking (specifically Patrol Cooking), Backpacking, Orienteering & Pioneering (my older son struggled with this at summer camp and still hasn’t finished it yet) should be included as Eagle Required. Just my two cents.

  13. I am a life scout whose Eagle BOR is on Sunday. While I have no idea about this sustainability merit badge, and will reserve judgement until that comes out, I agree wholeheartedly with adding cooking as a requirement. The whole reason I earned cooking is I thought it ought to have been eagle required since it wasn’t. I’m totally behind this one. All eagle scouts should be comfortable cooking.

  14. I think we need a Diversity and Inclusion MB more than cooking. Seriously, we need to teach the power and impact of understanding, appreciating and leveraging diverse and differing points of view. This is a critical global skill for our future leaders. Scouts learn to cook earning rank advancement and other MB (like Camping which is Eagle Required). Let’s move forward on real leadership skills for the Future Society.

    • The youth learn about Diversity and Inclusion in there public elementary classes. In fact the US schools appear to favor Diversity and Inclusion over teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

    • Diversity, Inclusion, why don’t you just come out and say you want BSA to reverse their decision on gay leaders. These are not items that can be earned. This is the biggest bunch of crap I have read on this site

      • See my reply to another above. I’m not saying we should or shouldn’t repeal it. Just that I have lots of gay friends, and they would be great leaders, but they aren’t going to hide who they are just to be a leader.

        I also have lots of friends in scouting who say if it’s repealed they will quit. It’s a no win situation either way. My question is this: ok, so they will quit, and go where? Probably scouting is the LAST organization to have this kind of rule. Again, not saying we shouldn’t, but the boys are not going to be protected any better in any other organization. We already have the 2 deep rule, which on the surface, should take care of this situation. Nothing is 100%, but it helps. It’s actually a pain the ass for a small troop like ours which has great parents, but NONE want to take part or go on campouts! Causes real problems!

        • Anyone promoting gays in Scouting has not read the Scout oath, or does not understand it. Morally straight and duty to God spells it out. People are more than welcome to start their own immoral, anti-God group if they want. Stop trying to change this one.

        • Obviously, you didn’t read my post very well. I didn’t say I wanted it repealed, and I’ll have you know I was born and raised in the Baptist Church. I know the bible (or I used to – been a bit of a backslider in recent years, lol) front to back. I SAID in another post, I don’t understand it, couldn’t be one, but I also know God loves everyone – he may not be happy with it, but he still loves them.

          If you took everything in the Bible literally then assholes would be able to beat their wives – do you not remember the 1/2″ rule when beating wives with a stick? Sorry, this is a sore subject – I was an abused wife – for ten years – typical stupid woman thinking he will change. Gun to my head woke me up.

          Scouting is based on religion but it isn’t required. It is preferred. If it was required then all boys would have to get their religion medal….I got mine in GS,. but only 2 boys in our troop have that award. The others are not church goers.

          All I’m saying is that someone’s sexual preference does not determine their ability to be a good leader, and does not make them any more prone to be a deviant than a heterosexual. Perverts are not about the sexual act anyway, its about control….so whether gay or straight does not determine their sickness.

          Anyway, as long as they are not outwardly (while in Scouting situations anyway) promoting their sexuality, teaching that it is ok (that’s my job if I want them taught that) and I would not like to see a heterosexual promoting THIER preference either…..then I, personally, do not make judgments.

          Scouting is oft

        • The word moral is religious in nature. You cannot be morally straight unless you are doing it the Lord’s way.

        • Hi Jennifer- Not everyone in the BSA is a Southern Baptist. Some of us have religious beliefs that say it is immoral not to accept other human beings for what they are. The BSA would be best if it allowed all of us to practice our religious beliefs, not just some of us.

        • I cannot force other people to follow my religion. There are hundreds of religions out there. My belief is that any religion that believes in ONE God that created the world (yes, evolution does confuse things if you believe in science at all) then that is ok. Originally scouting was probably totally Christianity – mostly Catholic or Baptist or something similar, but that’s not the case now. If we start making kids designate their religion before allowing them to join, then scouting will die.

          If for no other reason than a parent saying to scouting….it’s none of your business how we worship. If scouting was free or cheap like it was in the old days, then it could be considered a charity – well, it is considered a non-profit, but it by no means a charity.

          When it costs $1000 to send a boy to any of the high adventure camps, that is beyond expensive! We will never be able to do that. I’m sorry, but choices have to be made, and $1000 would go a long way to paying for a FAMILY vacation. I cannot justify that much money for one member even as much as I would love to.

          MORAL to me means doing the right thing. You do not have to be religious to do the right thing. Following the ten commandments is not just religious but commonsense. Killing would never be right under any circumstances, riligious or otherwise. Stealing likewise. Now cheating on your spouse – well, some religions think that’s ok, and that’s wrong.

          Ok, nuf said. Scouting membership is hurting. I even talked to someone int eh pharmacy that used to be in scouting and saw me in my shirt. He said, ‘I thought scouting died a long time ago’. Huh? But gives you and idea of what even previous scouters who aren’t still involved are thinking.

  15. Cooking is a go. Sustainability is an agenda the United Nations has been trying to shove down Americas throat for quite some time now and the best vehicle is through our youth…something definitely to be very wary of. Educate yourselves. I agree with Steve Richards and when i first heard that Sustainability was a new requirement the hairs on the back of my neck went up.

    • I totally agree with Suzanne and Richard. Any time the United Nations backs a certain plan it usually means the Socialistic Countries and Dictatorships in the UN want to hurt the USA.. America’s Capitalism looks real good to the people of these countries and the leadership knows there failed policies can’t compare to what freedoms the Americans have under Capitalism.

  16. I’ll reserve judgement on Sustainability until I see more about it but I’m very much afraid it’s another politically correct fad from National with loaded socio-political leanings. The topic SHOULD be in keeping with traditional Scouting emphasis on Conservation but is usually used by people more interested in an anti-Western environmental activism than conservation as we’ve known it for decades.

    I’m a big supporter of the Cooking merit badge as boys today seem to think using the microwave is cooking but I’m skeptical about making it Eagle-required.

    • I still think a bunch of you are insane. Sustainability Merit Badge being politically correct? Sustainability being a means for the UN to assume control over the USA? That’s insane. Since when is the BSA political correct? We’re the exact opposite of politically correct. Haven’t you noticed our membership policies and DRP?

      • again, it all comes down to who is asking for it, why, and what are the requirements. If it is UN backed or requested, it should be nixed. PERIOD. If that makes me paranoid or crazy, so be it. Hitler’s people were not paranoid enough, look what happened.

        Sad that an organization that was born out of a really good purpose has turned into a socialist organization pushing its beliefs on America, backed by a president with questionable background. I said QUESTIONABLE….meaning I don’t know. When he releases records that all other politicians have been FORCED to release then I won’t be so paranoid. I guess it comes from CJ background. If you aren’t guilty of something, why hide it?

        RE: 2nd amendment. Hillary went the day after the election to the UN and asked for the arms treaty (which will take away our guns – read the entire thing – it’s THERE) to restart negotiations. GREAT president!

        • Sustainability is a nebulous word that many of us tend to define for ourselves. It sounds benign and rolls off the tongue easily. The problem for me is the fact that we are teaching children the terminology of the socialists. I would just like the BSA to choose another name like “life skills”, “social responsibility”, or other equivalent term.

          Regarding the issue of excluding gays. I don’t know but I would assume when a man and wife invest 18 years into a child loving and protecting them from as much of the world as possible, minimizing contact with the gay lifestyle would probably be high on their list of priorities. After all if their child becomes gay they lose the joy of natural grandchildren. This is a fact. Not bashing anyone. The bottom line is Scouting is just not about sex, gay or straight. Sex has no place in Scouting period. It is about providing children the highest moral example we can provide.

        • So just to be clear. You want to keep gays out of scouting because you think boys will be attracted to “the lifestyle” ? And if you keep gays out of scouting, the boys won’t know about “the lifestyle”, so they’ll be straight and they’ll produce grandchildren? This is your idea of “highest moral example” ?

        • No you keep them out because you took an oath to be morally straight and do your duty to God. Liberalism is a disease and has no place in the BSA.

        • I think BSA needs to get those ‘projected’ requirements out to us quickly. Or this is going to snowball and become ridiculous by the time of jamboree.

          About gays. I don’t understand the lifestyle of gay, I wouldn’t want to be a gay, and I’m glad my children are not. Everyone has to choose their own lifepath and I cannot judge them for that as long as they are not harming me or my family. My friends that are gay are incredible people.

          Gays don’t choose to be gay. They’d have to be an idiot. Look how they are treated, shunned, feared….no one in their right mind would CHOOSE it, nor would any boy be attracted to that lifestyle, unless the propensity was already there – aka – for instance many gays marry trying to NOT BE GAY….it never works.

          NOW, having said that, here goes. Would I not love my child if they were? Of course I would still love them. Would I approve? Not for me to do . Only God can decide on that. God loves everyone. Would he want anyone to be gay….probably not. Would he condemn them? I think he would tell them they were on the wrong path, but he would not condemn or send them to hell.

          Now, if they were pedophiles (which is really what scouting is afraid of) that’s a whole that’s a whole different ballgame.

          But how is that any worse than a teacher, preacher, mentor, o rEVEN A PARENT or anyone else whether gay or heterosexual who abuses a child either the same or opposite sex? As far as I’m concerned anyone – gay or otherwise – who hurts a child in any way – doesn’t deserve to live. Yes, that’s strong language but they have forever changed the life of that person (if they live) so they should lose theirs or be hung up by you know what….or hire Lorena Bobbitt.

          Like I asked earlier….does anyone have stats on this issue regarding Girl Scouts? They changed their rules to not exclude gays. Did it make a different – either way? Anyone know?

        • God spoke on the subject many times in the Bible. Those who choose this immoral behavior will never be given everlasting life. Those who support and accept it will suffer the same. I totally despise when people attempt to change God’s Word or pretend like they know not what his intentions were. The Bible spells it out.

        • Not changing intentions. Grew up in church. Twice a week. Bible school in summer. Actually, if you want to talk Bible, be careful whether talking old or new testaments. That, unfortunately, is where atheists get a leg in. They contradict each other.

          I choose to believe in an all forgiving God in the new testament, not the ‘vengeance is mine’ one in the old testament.

          Just because I believe everyone chooses their own path, whether criminal or whatever, does not make me a non-Christian. In the Bible it says ‘all God’s children’. Some people are just not born with the same chromozones, etc. as the ‘norm’. My grandson is a Downs baby. If you believed totally in the strict interpretation of the Bible, these children would have be put to death the minute they were born. Abnormal children were not allowed to live. IS that ok? I don’t believe God ordered that….man ordered that.

  17. So, Cooking will be required on 1/1/2014. Can a First Class scout who’s expectation of earning Eagle after 1/1/2014 (only a short 14 months away) take credit for Cooking MB as an Eagle Req prior to 1/1/2014 towards the four Eagle Required badges for Star or the required badges for Life?

    Same would work with Sustainability, once the requirements are released. Can this too be counted toward Star or Life Req badges prior to 1/1/2014?

    • Can’t speak for how the wording will appear in the 2013 BSR book but I would think no on Cooking since it’s not an official ERMB until 1/1/14. On Sustainability I would think it will become an official ERMB option upon release.

    • Thinking outside the box, wouldn’t it be up to a Scoutmaster and the Board of Review to exercise their judgment on if the previously-earned Cooking MB satisfied the requirements? Just a thought – I’ve seen rules bent towards and away from a Scout’s advantage, all without oversight from above. It’s within the Unit’s power to do that until the Eagle candidate shows up for their BOR.

      • I believe I am correct that once the merit badge has been earned under the old requirements and before new ones take effect, it’s done and no further “remedial” work needs to take place to re-earn the badge. So if the Scout earns Cooking now, he’s good to go and free to apply it as an Eagle-required merit badge when the time comes.

        With certainty I can also say that if a boy starts the badge, let’s say on November 30 and new requirements are announced on December 1, he finishes under the old requirements. This should be indicated by the date on Scoutmaster’s approval on the blue card. If the Scoutmaster signs the approval for the Scout on 11/30, then whatever requirements are in effect then should be the way he earns the badge.

        No adult leader or review board can adjust the rules or interpret them his or her own way. What’s been earned is done and past history. Of course, the merit badge earned as a non-Eagle required merit badge would not have the white border on it, so it would then be up to the boy or his mom to replace the green bordered Cooking merit badge with the white bordered one.

        I am 99.9% certain of my answer.

  18. Scouting heritage needs to be eagle required. Most scouts know little to nothing about where scouting came from. You have more pride in your organization if you know more about it’s history. Just ask the Marines.

  19. Pingback: Add Cooking to the List! » Boy Scout Troop 94 – Amarillo Texas

  20. Pingback: FAQs about Cooking and Sustainability merit badges « Bryan on Scouting

  21. The issue is not the requirements it is the people charged with enforcing them. A scout at his first year of summer camp should be in a rough rider, dan beard or whatever a first year program the camp runs. These scouts usually can earn one or two badges. I think now a days everyone is so focused on making scouts Eagle Scouts. I see nothing wrong with 2%, now we are at 4%. It is up to the adults to keep the standards high. Why is there scouting college. Please tell me how 50 kids in one class earn a badge. This problem is compounded when you make that a required badge. My troop does not participate in Scouting College. They are also not allowed to take badges atcamp like Emergency Prepardness, Cits, Communications, PErsoanl Fitness. Run the program correctly. Even with saying this, when my boys reach Eagle, which is usually at 16 or 17 they have earned over 30 badges. I think scouts has become sissified. I like the additiona of Cooking and this new Sustainability badge. Scouting has also become too expensive. The uniform should not cost more that $20 for everything. $45 for pants is a disgrace.

    • Hi Rob- We’re no where near 4%. The number of scouts who make Eagle is around 20%. The 4 or 5% the BSA uses is goofy math. It’s based on the total membership in one year. It is not based upon the fact that scouts are in the program for 6. So take the 4% number and multiply by 6 years and you get a much more accurate number of the scouts who join the BSA and who make Eagle. We’ve made it exceedingly easy to accomplish.

      • Well, I’m not good at stats.. But I can speak for our troop. We vary in size from our lowest right now (7) to about 15. Over the past 5 years that I have been scoutmaster – we have had only 2 make Eagle. One is my grandson who got it right after he turned 14. Yes, it was fast, but he worked his butt off. He could have gotten it at 13, but he sat on LIFE for 10 months.

        So, our stats might fit the 2%! Why,you ask? Well, you can only do so much as a leader. The rest is upt to the boy and the parents. One just 18′d out in March. All he had left to do was his project and it had already been approved and this boy wanted to enter the marines. So sad. I fussed as much as possible, but in the end it was his decision. We have another that will be 18 in 6 months, same situation. I’m 99% sure he won’t do it. These boys are going to regret this forever!

  22. Pingback: Cooking, Sustainability Merit Badges To Become Eagle-Required » Washington District Scouting News

  23. I have been a scoutmaster for 18 years and my son is an eagle scout. Environmental Science MB is a wonderful and relatively broad badge that successfully includes a range of critical environmental issues; it includes sustainability concerns. I strongly recommend that BSA revise Env. Science MB a little as needed to better address sustainability and emerging issues, and add Sustainability Merit Badge as a more specialized and advanced non-eagle required MB for scouts interested in learning more about environmental and social issues. . Jery, Scoutmaster, Troop 2, Ithaca, New York Prof. Environmental Engineering, Cornell Univ.

  24. I think Environmental Science is to important to be able to switch to another MB. If you want to add Sustainability MB, then add it as #14. All scouts need Environmental Science MB.

  25. Environmental Science is a good MB to keep for Eagle. I made Eagle back in 2000, and I remember taking environmental science. The requirements teach you a lot of imporatant things about how the outdoors works. I think all scouts need to understand that. Cooking is also a good one. For starters, it is an essential life skill, unless you plan to live in a 24 hour restruant. I think all adults need some cooking skills. Two very god choices! As to the new merit badge, sustainability, I don’t understand what this is supposed to be. Is it an environmental type marit badge? Personally, I feel it is too early to give it a thumbs up or down. Let’s see what this badge is about first.

  26. Pingback: Can they survive? « creativetidalwave

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