sustainability-cooking

FAQs about Cooking and Sustainability merit badges

When I announced that Cooking merit badge and the new Sustainability merit badge would join the Eagle-required list in 2013 and 2014, a lot of you had questions.

You asked about rollout plans, what happens with Scouts nearing the end of the Eagle trail, and an explanation of what will be covered under Sustainability merit badge. At the time, I was silent.

But today, courtesy of Advancement Team Leader Christopher Hunt, I’ve got some answers. Here they are:

Cooking merit badge FAQs

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Cooking merit badge will be required in order to obtain the Eagle Scout rank.

  • What about Scouts who started working on Eagle before 2014?
    • Regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working on Eagle, unless he fulfills all the requirements—with the exception of his board of review—before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.
  • Will the Cooking merit badge requirements change?
    •  Yes. During 2013 the Cooking merit badge will undergo a major revision. The process for implementing changes to merit badges is covered in the Guide to Advancement, topic 7.0.4.2, “What to Do When Requirements Change.” The changes to Cooking will first appear in a revised merit badge pamphlet that will be released during 2013.
  • Once the revised requirements are released, which version will count?
    • cooking-mb-old-and-newThe new requirements become effective Jan. 1, 2015. The BSA allows the following options for the period of time between the release of the revised pamphlet and the Jan. 1, 2015, effective date:
      • If Scouts have already started on the merit badge, they may switch to the new requirements or continue with the old ones until the badge is completed.
      • If Scouts have not already started on the merit badge, they may opt to use the new requirements and the new pamphlet or the old requirements and old pamphlet.
      • If work on the merit badge begins before Jan. 1, 2015, they may use the old requirements and old pamphlet until the badge is completed.
      • In other words, consider 2014 a transition year during which a Scout may use either requirements book.
    • 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 will apply to Cooking as well.
  • Let’s say a Scout has already earned Cooking. Will he have to re-earn it with the revised requirements to earn Eagle?
    • No. Scouts completing the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank after Jan. 1, 2014, must earn the Cooking merit badge under either the existing requirements or under the requirements as revised during 2013. Scouts are not required to earn the badge under the new requirement in order to qualify for Eagle.

Sustainability merit badge FAQs

Upon its release during the summer of 2013, Sustainability becomes available as an option with Environmental Science as an Eagle-required merit badge. At that time Scouts may choose to earn Sustainability in place of the currently required Environmental Science.

  • If a Scout earns Sustainability and Environmental Science, do both count toward Eagle?
    • Scouts who have already earned Environmental Science may also earn Sustainability, but only one of the two merit badges would count as “Eagle-required.” The other, however, may count as one of the electives necessary to reach the total of 21 required merit badges.
  • Can you give me a general description of what Sustainability MB will cover?
    • The Sustainability merit badge, in essence, takes conservation and environmental science to another level. The protection, preservation, and management of wildlife and natural resources involved in conservation provide a foundation for what we call environmental science. The latter integrates physical and biological sciences such as ecology, biology, soil science, atmospheric science, and others in order to generate solutions to environmental issues. Sustainability takes off from there by taking responsibility for balancing long-term environmental, social, health, and economic needs with progress and development. It further suggests that development, while meeting the needs of the present, cannot compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
  • What subject areas will Scouts be studying?
    • Ecology
    • Air pollution
    • Water pollution
    • Land pollution
    • Endangered species
    • Pollution prevention, resource recovery, and conservation
    • Ecosystem—living and nonliving
    • Environmental impact
  • What are the requirements for the merit badge?
    • The requirements for Sustainability have not yet been finalized, but initial discussions include the following topics:
      • What is sustainability?
      • Examining our current needs and our choices in meeting them, with attention to extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal
      • Impact on our natural resources
      • Problems we must address, including plastic, electronic, and medical waste; species extinction, and climate change
      • New habits to adopt, including green chemistry, recycling, zero waste, and sustainability-conscious citizens
      • Careers related to sustainability

Other questions?

Leave ‘em in the comments below and I’ll see what I can find out.


Photos from flickr. Cooking: Some rights reserved by secondtree.

109 thoughts on “FAQs about Cooking and Sustainability merit badges

  1. If a scout earns cooking as an elective will he be able to count it as an Eagle required bade, or will it still count as an elective. Furthermore, will he be able to display the new badge with the silver ring?

  2. Very excited about the Sustainability Merit badge and the message it will bring to Scouting. I’m curious, as others, about the energy component plus the positive impacts that sustainable practices have on the built environment. Being a long-time professional in the field, I see growth in the design and building professions because these notions, concepts and practices are helping professionals build a better product – and this is a market-driven phenomena. This is not a “flash in the pan” trend — the organization that I work with has for the last 35 years educated building science professionals and we have seen interest in sustainable practices expanding. It saddens me that political activists, supporting a conspiracy theory, are bringing their misinformed rhetoric to this forum. There is so much to be gained by learning about sustainability and the professional possibilities — this is perfect for Scouting.

    • You’re right. It is a market driven industry. Is that why it has to be propped up by government subsidies and they each, like Solyndra, continue to go bankrupt. No one thinks that Conservation is a conspiracy. However, sustainability is a progressive term used to push a “social justice” agenda. Please continue to refer to those that use sound reason to debate the issues, rather than inflated statistics, as conspiracy theorists. Your pollsters are showing that fewer Americans believe in “Climate Change” than those that believe it’s a hoax. It might help your perspective to travel off the west coast and see that most Smericans could care less if there are recycling bins and solar powered hand dryers.

      • Brad, history shows that science seldom is influenced by pollsters unless the polling alerts us to evolving facts. Indisputable is the fact that man influences his environment. We are simply debating the degree of influence that has no bearing of how far we live from the West Coast. Squandering of natural resources is totally contrary to Scouting’s basic principles.

        • Unfortunately mathew, the reason that science is seldom influenced by pollsters in history, is because in the past, the government has not had the “conservation”and “global warming” agenda that it has today, thus influencing the polls

  3. Sorry to disappoint you Brad. I’m Deep South and the Sustainability movement is happening here whether you like it or not – learn about it – that’s what we want the Scout to do.

    • By “we” you mean progressives. Conservation MB was just fine, if there is nothing political about it, why did they choose such a politically correct name like “sustainability?” I would venture to say that the people I associate with have done more to conserve land and wildlife than the granola eaters you associate with. It is unfortunate that the BSA have buckled to the fascist environmentalists in this country.

  4. Offering Sustainability as an alternate to Env Sci makes sense. What does not is adding Cooking as an additional required merit badge when it is being added because too many kids are fat. When I was in Scouting, Cooking was really about Cooking in the outdoors and not another badge filled with paperwork and a few to do’s. Eagle is at the tipping point of becoming a training regimen for bureaucratic apparatchiks. While I can’t fault the BSA for the desire to make improvements in this area (fighting obesity), this could easily and more appropriately be handled as a revamping of Personal Fitness merit badge. And while I am on a rant, the fact that 4 citizenships are required now is too much (note: Family Life is the old Citizenship in the Home which was not required in the old days and prior to 1972, Cit in the World was not required either). That could be rectified by pairwise merging into Family and Community (Family Life and Citizenship in the Community) and Citizenship (Nation and World). Having 13 out of 21 be required is too much and too many of them are paperwork instead of doing.

  5. If the Cooking MB is completed this summer, does it count towards Star or Life ranks for Eagle required merit badges?

  6. This form of implementation flies in the face of very long standing policy in the Advancement Guide. See the Guide to Advancement (pub 33088), Section 4.0.0.1:

    Advancement requirements change from time to time.
    For Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting, check the latest
    annual edition of Boy Scout Requirements, No. 34765.
    Changes usually appear first in a revised handbook,
    and then become effective the next January 1 and are
    published in the requirements book. Unless otherwise
    stated there, or in the member handbook, the following
    options are allowed.

    • I f members have already started on a rank, Eagle
    Palm, or Venturing award when a revision is
    introduced, they may switch to the new requirements
    or continue with the old ones until it is completed.
    • If members have not already started on a rank, they
    may use the new requirements; or, if work begins
    before the end of the current year, they may use the
    old requirements to complete the badge.

    There will be many surprised Eagle Candidates who may well be lost by the “new twist” on Advancement… I do think more thought and tolerance should befit in to this and stay with the published policy in the Guide to Advancement.

    • Joyce,

      You partially correct for Cooking. This should not apply to any Life Scouts as of Dec 31, 2013 according to the Guide to Advancement 2011, except they have a weasel phrase in Section 4.0.0.1 .

      “… Unless otherwise stated there [annual edition of the Boy Scout Requirements], or in the member handbook, the following options are allowed. If members have already started on a rank, Eagle Palm, or Venturing award when a revision is introduced, they may switch to the new requirements or continue with the old ones until it is completed. If members have not already started on a rank, they may use the new requirements; or, if work begins before the end of the current year, they may use the old requirements to complete the badge.”

      I think we all have to make some noise to get the BSA to follow its usual policy.

      On Sustainability, it is moot because the Scout will have an option between the existing Env Sci required badge and Sustainability. That is just as well. Sustainability sounds like another boring paperwork badge instead of a do something badge.

      • Kip, it IS our usual policy when adding a new merit badge to the Eagle-required list to set a date by when all Scouts must earn it in order to achieve the rank. The last time we did this was back in the 90s with Family Life, and we used the same approach then. It is for precisely this sort of scenario that our “weasel phrase,” at which I got a nice chuckle, was carefully and purposefully written in to the new Guide to Advancement. As you know, it takes some Life Scouts many years to finally get around to completing everything for Eagle. A lengthy multi-year phase-in of such an important change would be difficult for advancement coordinators and committees at all levels to administer, but more importantly, the National Executive Board had good reason to add Cooking to the required list, and it wants to see Scouts benefitting from learning basic cooking skills and knowledge of nutrition sooner, rather than later.

        • Well my time frame for “usual” goes back to the 1972 Eagle requirements change where we were given the choice of finishing under the old system or changing to the new and because I lived it, I remember it well. It is just disappointing to see another required badge added to go over the Federal food guidelines “Choose My Plate” (formerly Food Pyramid) yet again. They do that three times in Cub Scouts and already do it again in Boy Scouts for First Class and Personal Fitness. It is a drag on the program which is becoming less and less fun. The basic reaction is “Oh! Do we have to do that again?”

          Lastly, citing the National Executive Board at this time does not help your argument. The polite way to put it is they are out of touch with those actually running the program and the boys in it.

        • I know that back in the late 70′s, when I was working on Eagle, the policy requiring prior approval of Eagle projects was implemented. There was a deadline for completing the write-up, after which the Scout would have to start over with new process. Just another example of how the current change is consistent with past practices.

          I know the change is no big deal in our Troop. When I announced it at our Court of Honor in December it received a positive response from Scouts and Parents. For a handful of our older Life Scouts, this is providing the inspiration to get on the ball and finish up before the end of the year. The rest were excited about earning the Merit Badge (17 are now “in process.”)

          Yes, they find the MyPlate stuff and the menu planning boring, but repetition is still a valuable instructional method, especially this type of material. I notice that new scouts work to plan proper menus, but then start to get lazy with their menu planning. I welcome another opportunity to help them get a fresh look at planning enjoyable, quality menus. Cooking Merit Badge gives them a great opportunity to try some new stuff and get the valuable reinforcement from their Patrol and their family on the great meals.

          Provided Scouts have Leaders who do their jobs, stay current, and communicate, this change should not be a hardship for a Scout worthy of Eagle. If leaders maintain a positive and productive attitude, it will be reflected in the Scouts. Let’s not sour their experience with our attitudes.

  7. Joyce, these changes were made in full cooperation of the National Advancement Team and done in accordance with the Guide to Advancement. You’ll note in topic 4.0.0.1 in the first paragraph you quoted, the statement, “unless otherwise stated there…” “There” refers back to the Boy Scout Requirement book, which is mentioned earlier in the paragraph as the place to check for requirement changes. On the inside of the front cover of the 2013 BSRB, it states how these changes will be otherwise implemented.

    There has been quite a lot of debate on the wisdom of these changes and their timing. It makes for some interesting reading. Most of the posts and other feedback we’ve received indicate that the timing will work–that Scouts still have time to wrap up Eagle requirements and not earn the Cooking merit badge. And that if they think they will need to earn it–if they will not complete Eagle before 1/1/14–then it is not a particularly difficult badge, and it developes valuable life skills.

    • Specifically Chris, can a Boy who will receive his Life rank in September, use the Cooking MB earned this summer at summer camp as one of the 7 required for Life of Eagle required MBs? Our Council has been unable to provide an answer on this.

  8. Hi Kip, would you mind sending a message to advancement.team@scouting.org, and explain in a little more detail your concerns with the repetitions you mention? Mike Dunn is suggesting the repetition is positive, but perhaps we could look at some minor adjustments that might put some different spins on the requirements and provide more interest. If you would be willing to do this I’ll forward your message to the member of the National Advancement Committee who specializes in Boy Scouting. I will also pass your views on to the task force that is working on the revision to Cooking MB. They’re an open minded group of people who will want to hear what you have to say. Anyone else reading this post is encouraged to do the same. And remember, too, that once the new version is released we’ll be listening to reactions and will consider them when it comes time to revise and reprint the pamphlet.

    Regarding your view on the executive board, it’s the body that makes the decisions, and the members think for themselves, but in this case they acted on the advise of a national task force made up of around 50 volunteers at all levels from across the country who picked up on the debates of other task forces that have been discussing adding Cooking over the last 10 years. You are certainly not alone with your view, but from the beginnings of the debate those many years ago up through the vote last year, a clear majority of Scouters have favored the change.

  9. Just learned about the Cooking mb requirement last night at a troop committee meeting. I’m wondering what the changes to the requirements are going to look like. I’m interested to know if there is an alternative for my son, for whom the act of completing this badge will be a complete waste of his time. In the current merit badge requirements, although there is a discussion of food-related illnesses, there is no discussion of food allergies, food sensitivities, gluten intolerance, Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, all of which require special diets and keep many people out of the mainstream when it comes to food. My family has gone to great lengths to protect my son from situations that could put him into life threatening situations, and the food handling that is done on the trail to first class has been a challenge for us, to say the least. But we figured it out because the trail to first class is done while the boy is still young and has more supervision than the older boys. In it’s current form, the Cooking mb requires kids to share the food they’ve made. BSA is asking these boys to make food choices for others, possibly not knowing the detrimental outcome of these actions. In making this merit badge a requirement, the BSA is, in effect, threatening to undo the food education that my son has received, and pointing out to him how different he is, yet again. How is this merit badge any different from the cooking required on TTFC with safe food handling practices employed? Any thoughts?

    • With my with developing Celiac 3 years ago I hear you. Both of us are now Paleo/Primal and attempting to move the kids over as well (not easy). The reliance on the Food Pyramid (or whatever they call it this month) is unconscionable.

      My reading of the requirements also show that these meals are individual requirements not group. So a new scout patrol of 8 that starts the badge will have a very difficult time completing this within a year of starting, at least in our troop. Each of the 8 scouts will be responsible for cooking on 8 separate camping trips. If we break up the patrols into two separate groups it will help a little, but that is not exactly the patrol method. Outside of summer camp that is all the camping our troop does in an entire year. That does not count the 8 separate backpacking trips this will require. I can see this badge taking at least 2 years to complete if the requirements are not drastically changed.

  10. Cooking Merit Badge – My question is on implementing requirements 5 & 6. Specifically, does the scout need to cook and serve the meals while on a “trail” outing whether that be a backpacking or biking event? Could the scout do the planning as required by 5A, but prepare and serve it at the base camp or on a regular campout? The requirement 6 does not specifically say it has to be done while on the trail. For reference, the abbreviated requirements for 5A and 6A are below.

    Requirement 5A says “Plan a menu for one day (three meals) or for four meals over a two-day period of trail hiking or backpacking. Include the following:
    A breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a trail or backpacking trip where light weight is important. You should be able to store all foods used for several days without refrigeration. When preparing your menu, follow the nutritional guidelines set by the food pyramid….”

    Requirement 6A says “Using the menu planned for requirement 5, do the following:
    Prepare and serve for yourself and two others the trail breakfast and dinner. Time your cooking so that each course will be ready to serve at the proper time.*….”

    • As MBCs, we need to insure that the requirements are met as written, no more and no less. The requirement does not specify that the meal must be prepared on the trail. The requirements only specify the type of heat source, how many to serve, packing trash out, etc.

  11. Pingback: Ask the Expert: Rapid-fire FAQs, round 3 « Bryan on Scouting

    • Hey Matthew,

      Cooking will not replace an Eagle required already on the list — it will be the thirteenth Eagle Required merit badge. So, currently, a Scout must have 21 merit badges with twelve specifically delineated ones. As of 1/1/14, said Scout will still need 21 merit badges, but will need 13 specific ones to qualify.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Question on the Cooking MB with respect to Star and Life requirements *prior* to 1/1/2014:

    If a Scout earns the Cooking MB TODAY, can it count as one of the 4 Eagle-Required MBs for Star or 3 for Life, to complete those ranks prior to 1/1/2014? Obviously, by the time he completes his Eagle, it will be Eagle-required. But is it considered Eagle-required for the Star/Life ranks earned before 1/1/2014? I have several Scouts who are planning to do this, and I can’t unequivocally tell them it is legit.

      • I question this, because since July 1, 2013 it has become impossible for a Star Scout to become Eagle without the cooking merit badge. Wouldn’t that mean that at this point it is a required merit badge?

        • As I understand it — If a boy earns the merit badge right now under the older MB requirements he can meet the Eagle requirement after the rollover to the new Eagle requirements – which can be advantageous since the newer MB requirements are more rigorous.

        • No. It does not become a required merit badge until Jan 1, 2014. For a Scout working on Star of Life it would count as an elective merit badge until then. On Jan 1, 2014 it would count as Eagle-required.

  13. Let me ask this another way. Can a Scout that is Star rank today advance to Eagle without the cooking merit badge?

    • With all due respect, Mr. Trujillo, and with gratitude for what you do with the Boy Scouts of America, the Cooking merit badge is not an Eagle-required merit badge until Jan. 1. Until then, there are 16 merit badges (including Sustainability) on the required list from which a Star Scout may choose in order to achieve his Life rank. Then on Jan. 1 Cooking joins the list so there will be 17. Since on the average it takes more than a year to make it from Life to Eagle he will have plenty of time to work on Cooking.

  14. An intresting discussion. Here is another question. If a boy earns the old Cooking Merit badge before 1 Jan 2014, but does not earn his Eagle before 1 Jan 1014, it is pretty clear that he will need to earn the new Cooking Merit Badge in order to earn his Eagle. Will the boy be allowed to display and COUNT both merit badges: The old as an elective and the new as a required? They were both earned properly. Will the council maintained computer records of scouts’ accomplishments be able to differentiate between the two merit badges?

    • If a boy has already earned the Cooking merit badge, he isn’t going to have to earn the new Cooking merit badge in order to earn his Eagle. If he hasn’t earned the badge already by Jan. 1, 2014, he will have to complete the badge in order to earn his Eagle. There isn’t going to be a pre-2014 Cooking merit badge and a post-2014 Cooking merit badge in the system.

  15. Does anyone know when the new Cooking merit badge requirements will be available? I’ve got some scouts starting the merit badge next month, and would like to see the new requirements.

  16. Tim, my understanding is that the new reqs for the Cooking MB will be rolled out sometime in 2014 and the revisions won’t take effect until Jan 1, 2015. I found info on a diff post on this website. Here is what they said about the 2014 revisions on the Cooking MB reqs: “They have been moved to 2015 because the new requirements and the new pamphlet are coming out so close to the end of the year.” Look at: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/10/24/more-details-on-the-jan-1-update-to-cooking-merit-badge/ It looked like a more recent article…

  17. Just Inquiring:
    My young man trying to earn his Eagle Rank got approved to start the Eagle Project 12/12/13. At the time this Cooking Eagle Badge was not required, (at least to our knowledge), he had met all but two merit badges. His focus, with obstacles, was on his approved Eagle Project completion. He has accomplished this, finished his required two badges. His next round table with Eagle Advancement Chairman is on 3/13/14. He will age out one day before they could meet again (4/10/14) I would think he should be granted a waiver to be grandfathered in since his approval to start was with the understanding (from Eagle Advancement Chairman) he only needed the two other badges was before this went into effect on 1/1/14, (this is what they informed him of at this meeting) I would think the Eagle Advancement Chairman should of made him aware of this change at that time, looking and themselves only seeing two required badges left to do, to which they did inform him of these two, that he also knew of these two and has earned them. I would think that he, under these circumstances should be granted a “Waiver” and grandfathered in, from this Newly Implemented Eagle Cooking Merit Badge due to the fact that His age is a major factor, that if they inform him of two, they should have been knowledgable enough in their position, to also have informed him of this and any changes for an Eagle Rank. Thus giving him the knowledge to accomplish this. The Boy Scouts of America should want to see sucess from these young men if they have so dilegently made it this far.
    The paperwork (adding this badge) were very vage and unclear as to the dates to meet and finish all Eagle steps as well as handing in of the paper work before this other came into effect.
    I feel as if he has slipped through the cracks while the Boy Scouts of America were changing the guidelines to meet Eagle Scout. I need some positive feed back on this issue. We have very little time left to get him to what he has worked hard for and earned. Money was generously donated for his Eagle Project not to mention man hours.
    This is to say the least, very disheartening.
    Cindy Loveless

    • I feel the same way. We were first told no, he is not required to earn cooking, then yes, then no, then finally, yes. My son was in the middle of raising $$ for his planned Eagle project when this change was made. Since he had to raise several thousand dollars, it took quite awhile. He finished his project in February and is now trying to complete the Cooking MB. He has been on several camping trips, but there seems to always be something missing or incorrect in the details (like a meal written in the wrong place on the paper, or a food eaten at the camp, but not written in the meal plan). He is down to 1 1/2 weeks until his18th birthday and on his 5th attempt to complete the camp cooking…will be devastated to have been a part of scouting since he was 10, only to miss Eagle by 1 sign off on the Cooking MB.

  18. Cindy Loveless on February 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Just Inquiring:
    My young man trying to earn his Eagle Rank got approved to start the Eagle Project 12/12/13. At the time this Cooking Eagle Badge was not required, (at least to our knowledge), he had met all but two merit badges. His focus, with obstacles, was on his approved Eagle Project completion. He has accomplished this, finished his required two badges. His next round table with Eagle Advancement Chairman is on 3/13/14. He will age out one day before they could meet again (4/10/14) I would think he should be granted a waiver to be grandfathered in since his approval to start was with the understanding (from Eagle Advancement Chairman) he only needed the two other badges was before this went into effect on 1/1/14, (this is what they informed him of at this meeting) I would think the Eagle Advancement Chairman should of made him aware of this change at that time, looking and themselves only seeing two required badges left to do, to which they did inform him of these two, that he also knew of these two and has earned them. I would think that he, under these circumstances should be granted a “Waiver” and grandfathered in, from this Newly Implemented Eagle Cooking Merit Badge due to the fact that His age is a major factor, that if they inform him of two, they should have been knowledgable enough in their position, to also have informed him of this and any changes for an Eagle Rank. Thus giving him the knowledge to accomplish this. The Boy Scouts of America should want to see sucess from these young men if they have so dilegently made it this far.
    The paperwork (adding this badge) were very vage and unclear as to the dates to meet and finish all Eagle steps as well as handing in of the paper work before this other came into effect.
    I feel as if he has slipped through the cracks while the Boy Scouts of America were changing the guidelines to meet Eagle Scout. I need some positive feed back on this issue. We have very little time left to get him to what he has worked hard for and earned. Money was generously donated for his Eagle Project not to mention man hours.
    This is to say the least, very disheartening.
    Cindy Loveless

  19. This sounds very similar to my Scouts experience. Why change this rank, was told it was in taken out put back in. Why was it ever taken out in the first place then. These boys so close to Eagle should be grandfathered in. These rules for Eagle should not change period. Sounds like they are now trying to jump back on board with the healthy Ms Obama plan (her husband smokes, really?) put it in or leave it out but do not change it. Leave a loop hole for those about to Eagle or age out as this is a huge complicated badge to earn.
    Just my opinion which I am sure means nothing, years of investments here.

  20. Scouts in situations like this, who believe that through no fault of their own, should be allowed more time beyond the 18th birthday to wrap up Cooking merit badge, may apply for an extension of time to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The instructions for filing an extension can be found in the Guide to Advancement, topics 9.0.4.0 and 9.0.4.1. The Guide can be accessed at http://www.scouting.org/advancement. Extensions are not often granted, so there is no guarantee, but they are considered on a case by case basis based on the circumstances. There is a form in the appendix of the Guide that must be completely filled out, signed by the Scout executive, and submitted to advancement.team@scouting.org.

    Note that an extension is not a waiver of requirements. That Cooking was to be required was made public in 2012, and unless all the Eagle requirements except for the board of review were fulfilled before the end of 2013 Cooking must be earned to qualify for the Eagle Scout rank.

  21. It is unfortunate that Scouts and all their associated adults remained oblivious to the requirement change that was communicated well in advance through numerous channels.

    While I understand that this is all a hassle, it is not insurmountable (especially for an Eagle Scout). Scouts starting Cooking MB have the choice of working under the 2007 – 2014 requirements or the 2014+ requirements. Note, the 2007 requirements DO NOT SPECIFY that the cooking must be done on actual camping trips, just that the proper stove/fire, equipment, sanitation techniques, etc. are used. This MB can be accomplished in a few weekends and setting up your camp kitchen in your backyard or the park. (Remind the counselor, that the requirements are only what is written, not what is assumed/traditional/etc.)

    (The 2014 requirements don’t require the cooking for #6 be on a campout, only in the outdoors for a patrol of group of youth. Requirement #7 MUST be cooked “on the trail” – either a hike [could be a day hike] or backpacking trip.)

    One thing I do have a problem with, would be arbitrary limits on opportunities to meet with appropriate adults – monthly roundtables, etc. I would hope that the adults will go out of their way to be available when the time gets tight.

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