Merit Badge team serves up some reminders about Cooking merit badge

Cooking-EagleUpdated | Dec. 3, 2015

Avid 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 in 2013. A Scout could use either the old or the new requirements in 2014. Whichever one he chose counts toward Eagle.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Scouts who had not started working on the Cooking merit badge were required to use the new requirements and supporting pamphlet.

Here are more details and reminders, courtesy of 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 were those Scouts who had completed all of their Eagle Scout rank requirements, including their Eagle Scout Service Project and unit leader’s conference, by Dec. 31, 2013. They needed to 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

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, but there’s no need for the Scout to re-earn the merit badge now that it’s Eagle-required.

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.


  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!

  2. Please clarify this situation with respect to Cooking Merit Badge: If a scout earned his cooking merit badge BEFORE it was eagle required (in August 2012), can he still use it to meet one of his 4 Eagle Required MB requirements for his Star (or Life) rank? If so, where can I find documentation on this? Some members of our troop committee seem to think the answer is no, because it wasn’t Eagle Required at the time it was earned.

  3. A question has come up in our troop. Can the boys cook in teams to earn the merit badge, or does each scout have to cook every meal by himself for it to count?

  4. I would say that Scouts working together to prepare a meal would count. If they were working on this at Scout camp it would be done this way. The caveat is that each Scout must have a role in creating the menu, shopping for ingredients, and meal preparation.

  5. No, the boy plans his own menu, and cooks his meal for his credit. There is no provision for shared credit. This is not rank advancement where you can assist.

  6. Would a 10 day canoe trip fulfill the trail cooking portion since the cooking, packing, & handling methods would all be the same; or does it have to be a hike/backpacking trip?

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