Merit Badge Update

Changes to Eagle Required Merit Badges

Jul 19, 2013 11:07 am | clarkegreen@gmail.com (Clarke Green)

 

Sustainability (1)

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Before long (January 1, 2014) the list of Eagle required merit badges will change slightly with the addition of cooking as a required merit badge and the new sustainability merit badge as an alternative to environmental science.

Here’s an overview of the current and new lists:

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

I welcome the addition of cooking as an Eagle required merit badge. Scouts who camp and cook in patrols regularly will complete many of the requirements in the course of their routine activities and many of the requirements correspond to rank requirements up to first class rank.

Sustainability as an alternative to environmental science is fine, I suppose, but it doesn’t really get me all that excited.

These changes get me thinking about the merit badge program as a whole and Eagle required badges in particular.

Looking at the list of  Eagle required badges I note that  academic-style requirements (listing, defining, explaining, planning, writing) far outweigh requirements centered on actual activities and experiences – even with badges like cooking and camping.

Fulfilling these requirements,  to borrow a phrase from Baden-Powell,  ’retrenches the work of schools’.  Theres a dissonance that drains the enthusiasm from my Scout’s faces when they contemplate the pile of repetitive, academic-style busywork applied to a lot of these requirements. We promised them exciting adventures and they end up with worksheets and notebooks.

I’ll agree that the list of Eagle required badges are aimed at Scouting’s formative goals; engaged citizenship, competent outdoor skills, helping those in distress, physically active and fit, young people able to manage their own affairs, active family members, an understanding of the way the natural world works and our place in it. The problem is, at least to my mind, that most of these badges emphasize academic oriented methods over Scouting methods.

What would I change about this? Probably a great deal given the chance, but that’s not a likely option. Perhaps the best thing we can do to minimize the dissonance of these things is to better understand and apply the processes and benefits of Scouting.

Cooking Merit Badge

The official Scouting Magazine Blog has announced the new Cooking Merit Badge requirements. They are also reporting that new Cooking pamphlets will be in Scout Shops by the end of January 2014.

The New MB requirements become Eagle-required on Jan 1, 2014. Scouts will prepare meals using the MyPlate food guide, understand and explain food allergies and learn about cooking food indoors. Scouts may use either the old or new requirements until Dec 31, 2014 but the new requirements are mandatory for Scouts who begin the merit badge on or after Jan 1st, 2015. Scouts who have already started the Cooking MB may use the old requirements or switch to the new ones; there is no time limit to complete a MB. Scouts earning the Cooking MB may receive the new silver bordered patch regardless of which set of requirements were used and do not need to re-earn it, but they cannot wear both the green and silver bordered patches. Scouts who begin the Cooking MB in 2015 or beyond MUST use the new requirements.

 

Requirements

  1. Do the following:

    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cooking activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

    2. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while preparing meals and eating, including burns and scalds, cuts, choking, and allergic reactions.

    3. Describe how meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fresh vegetables should be stored, transported, and properly prepared for cooking. Explain how to prevent cross-contamination.

    4. Describe the following food-related illnesses and tell what you can do to help prevent each from happening:

      1. Salmonella

      2. Staphylococcal aureus

      3. Escherichia coli (E. coli)

      4. Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)

      5. Campylobacter jejuni

      6. Hepatitis

      7. Listeria monocytogenes

      8. Cryptosporidium

      9. Norovirus

    5. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance,
      food-related diseases, and your awareness of these concerns.

  2. Do the following:

    1. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, give five examples for EACH of the following food groups, the recommended number of daily servings, and the recommended serving size:

      1. Fruits

      2. Vegetables

      3. Grains

      4. Proteins

      5. Dairy

    2. Explain why you should limit your intake of oils and sugars.

    3. Determine your daily level of activity and your caloric need based on your activity level. Then, based on the MyPlate food guide, discuss with your counselor an appropriate meal plan for yourself for one day.

    4. Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide.

  3. Do the following:

    1. Discuss the following food label terms: calorie, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, protein. Explain how to calculate total carbohydrates and nutritional values for two servings, based on the serving size specified on the label.

    2. Refer to “How to Read a Food Label” in the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, and name ingredients that help the consumer identify the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and shellfish.

  4. Do the following:

    1. Discuss EACH of the following cooking methods. For each one, describe the equipment needed and name at least one food that can be cooked using that method: baking, boiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, and grilling.

    2. Discuss the benefits of using a camp stove on an outing vs. a charcoal or wood fire.

    3. Discuss how the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles pertain
      to cooking in the outdoors.

Note: The meals prepared for Cooking merit badge requirements 5, 6, and 7 will count only toward fulfilling those requirements and will not count toward rank advancement. Meals prepared for rank advancement may not count toward the Cooking merit badge. You must not repeat any menus for meals actually prepared or cooked in requirements 5, 6, and 7.

  1. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menu should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) of those to be served. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:

    1. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

    3. Using at least five of the seven cooking methods from requirement 4, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*

    4. Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time. Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor.

    5. After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.

    6. Explain how you kept foods safe and free from cross-contamination.

  2. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for your patrol (or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip. Include five meals AND at least one snack OR one dessert. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:

    1. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

    3. In the outdoors, cook two of the meals you planned in requirement 6 using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire. Use a different cooking method for each meal.** The same fireplace may be used for both meals. Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.

    4. In the outdoors, cook one of the meals you planned in requirement 6. Use either a Dutch oven, OR a foil pack, OR kabobs. Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.**

    5. In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**

* The meals for requirement 5 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively. The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.

** Where local regulations do not allow you to build a fire, the counselor may adjust the requirement to meet the law. The meals in requirements 6 and 7 may be prepared for different trips and need not be prepared consecutively. Scouts working on this badge in summer camp should take into consideration foods that can be obtained at the camp commissary.

    1. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, and then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your
      meals. Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful outdoor cooking.

    2. Explain how you kept foods safe and free from cross contamination.

  1. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack. These meals must not require refrigeration and are to be consumed by three to five people (including you). List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:

    1. Create a shopping list for your meals, showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.

    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor. Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.

    3. While on a trail hike or backpacking trip, prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for requirement 7. At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**

    4. For each meal prepared in requirement 7c, use safe foodhandling practices. Explain how you kept foods safe and free from cross-contamination. Clean up equipment, utensils, and the site thoroughly after each meal. Properly dispose of dishwater, and pack out all garbage.

    5. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell
      how better planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals.

  2. Find out about three career opportunities in cooking. Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

New Cooking Merit Badge Requirements Released