Cooking Merit Badge
Presentation Guide for Scout Leaders
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    Cooking Merit Badge Part of great outdoor program is having an awesome experience at mealtime. Scouts need to learn quickly to have a fun time planning, cooking and eating meals that are safe, healthy and tasty.

    A core element of this program is hands on food prepation in a variety of situations.

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    Cooking Merit Badge A) Why Cooking?
    • Required for Eagle Rank Advancement
    • Cooking is an important part of camping
    • Have fun planning, preparing and eating your favorite meals.

    Earning the Cooking merit badge can help Scouts learn a skill that will be useful throughout life.


    WCTV-Chesapeake Television corespondent Heath Covey shows off his culinary skills by whipping up some tasty vittles with only the Boy Scout basics.

    Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound!
    Special audio visual presentation for the start of program or even one week in advance.


    Cooking Merit Badge B) Prerequisites - Leaders
    Work to be done prior to program start:

      Review Official Requirements
      Easy Printable Version

      10 Tips for Merit Badge Counselors
      Get the most from your Merit Badge Adventure.

      Troop Meal Plans

      As of 01-Jan-2014, the Cooking Merit Badge became a required for Eagle Rank. Many scout troops now run a three month meal rotation for their outdoor events (troop meals, patrol meals, trial meals) to give their scouts abundant opportunities to pass off meal prep requirements. Cooking Merit Badge by itself requires preparing 20 meal plans and cooking 11. Other scouting activities require additional work. Follow this link to our special Scout Meal Plan planning guide tool.

      Cook Fire Plan

      Many outdoor venues now restrict or prohibit open fires. Always check ahead to know what cooking resources will be allowed.

      Also note that more boy scout summer camp venues now emphasize patrol cooking instead of cafeteria plans.

      The meals in requirements 5, 6 and 7 do not have to be done consecutively. Scouts working on this badge in summer camp should take into consideration foods that can be obtained at the camp commissary.


    Cooking Merit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
    Work to be done prior to program start:

      Print Merit Badge Workbook
      One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)
      One copy for each scout.

      Scout Meal Plans
      To earn this merit badge you will need to plan, prepare and eat (!) a number of meals in various settings. This Scout Meal Plan is a neat tool (better than the Merit Badge worksheet) to help you. Look for opportunities at home and outdoors with your troop to get Cooking experience.

      Sample Meal Plans

      Cooking Merit Badge More Meal Plans

      Scoutmaster Hall had lots of experience helping even finicky eaters develope great boy scout meal plans. Here were some of the best ideas - the boys can work on some variations as needed.

      • Mac & Cheese - avialable freeze dried at outdoor adventure stores
      • Pancakes
      • Scrambled Eggs
      • Peanut Butter Sandwiches
      • Chicken Nuggets wrapped in foil
      • Fruit mix
      • Banana Chips

      This session can also get even the finikiest eaters some great ides for meals.

      Favorite Scout Recipes

      Some of my favorite scout camp recipes:

      • Army M.R.E's
      • Camp Stove Pizza - wrap foil over the stove and turn it into a mini-pizza oven.
      • Taco Pie -
      • Hot Dogs - roast a weiner on a stick over an open fire
      • Tin Foil Surprise - wrap food items in tin foil and throw into an open fire.
      • Dutch Oven Cobbler Pie


    Cooking Merit Badge D) Study Hall

    The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

    While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.
    Troop 160 Cooking Slideshow - Great, colorful slide show to cover what you should know for requirements #1-4.

      Req #1: Cooking Safety
      Do the following:


        a. 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.
        b. 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.
        c. 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.
        d. 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
        e. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, food-related diseases, and your awareness of these concerns.

      Req #2: Best Nutrition Food Guide

      Warning: MyPlate.gov was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote purchasing habits to support farmers and is not supported by many nutrition experts.
      Healthy Eating Plate - created by nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health and editors at Harvard Health Publications, was designed to address deficiencies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s MyPlate. Cooking Merit Badge

      Req #3: Food Labels -
      Do the following:


        a. 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.
        b. 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.

      Req #4: Cooking Methods -
      Do the following:


        a. 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.
        b. Discuss the benefits of using a camp stove on an outing vs. a charcoal or wood fire.
        c. Discuss how the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles pertain to cooking in the outdoors.

      Req #8: Careers in Cooking -

      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.

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    H) Extra Credit

    Camping Merit Badge Guide
    Also Required for Eagle Rank - see its Cooking requirement #8.

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    Extreme Scout Recipes

    • Pizza Oven - I know of at least one California scouter whose troop would backpack with a large pizza oven to a mountain top.


    J) Cooking Famous Quotes:

      Do you know where chicken nuggets really come from? - Scoutmaster Hall
      Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors - it's how you combine them that sets you apart. - Wolfgang Puck
      If you're cooking and not making mistakes, you're not playing outside your safety zone. I don't expect it all to be good. I have fat dogs because I scrap that stuff out the back door. - Guy Fieri

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