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Great ways to Earn the Cooking Merit Badge

The Cooking Merit Badge can be one of the hardest merit badges to earn. It isn't offered at most summer camps and can be very hard to earn at home. I am going to talk about some of the best ways to earn the cooking merit badge.



Finding A Merit Badge Counselor

One of the best ways to earn the Cooking Merit Badge is to take a class offered by your troop. Most troops have a list of merit badge counselors and their contact info. Talk to your scoutmaster for more information. You can find a merit badge counselor and ask them to do a cooking merit badge class. If they say yes, that's great, you can do the merit badge class. It should take around 8 weeks to finish the merit badge. If they say no, then you will still need to find a merit badge counselor. Ask them if they will be your merit badge counselor.

Doing a Merit Badge Class

Some counselors are willing to offer a merit badge class for several scouts in your troop. I earned my cooking merit badge in a merit badge class. Cooking merit badge classes do have a lot of sitting at desks, listening to the counselor, and filling in paperwork. But you can make it more fun and get some requirements by doing these things:
  • Go over good foods for backpacking
  • Give a homework challenge - We made 1 day worth of backpacking meals that weighed less than 2 pounds in total.
  • Cook a backpacking meal during a troop meeting.
  • Practice several of the cooking methods talked about in requirement 3.
  • Do a dutch oven buffet. Break into groups of 2-3 scouts and each group plans a dutch oven meal. Scouts show up to meeting early to cook meals and serve to troop members.

Requirements 1, 2, 3, and 7

These requirements are mostly just talking with your counselor. These are pretty easy. Print out a merit badge worksheet(can be found in resources). Yes, this merit badge worksheet is 33 pages. This seems like a lot but you need this merit badge to get your eagle scout rank. Fill in all the boxes that you can, if you need help you can ask your parents. Schedule a meeting with your merit badge counselor. If you want it can be at a troop meeting or a specific time outside of a scouting event. 

Requirements 4, 5, and 6

Plated Foil Pack MealThese are all requirements that require cooking. Requirement 4 says that you need to use the My Plate food guide to create a shopping list for all the meals you are going to make. You need to make 3 breakfasts three lunches three dinners. Then talk about it with your merit badge counselor. Then, make all the meals using at least 5 of the ten cooking methods discussed in requirement 3. Serve them to yourself and at least one adult. Ask the adult that you served to verify with your counselor that you cooked the meals.  Requirement 5 asks you to do the same thing but on a campout. A really good meal to make on campouts is foil packs. You can be creative and put whatever you want in them. I have a post about foil packs on this blog. Then make a dessert or snack on a campout. Talk about how you cleaned the cooking equipment and how you followed the outdoor code and leave no trace principles while cooking. Then do all that again on a backpacking trip. On the backpacking trip, at least one meal must be cooked over a fire or approved camp stove.

Conclusion

The cooking merit badge can take a long time to earn. You need to go on a campout and a backpacking trip to earn it. There are 33 pages of paperwork. But now that you know the easiest way to earn the first aid merit badge and a great way to make meals on campouts, you can go and earn the cooking merit badge! If you like this, share it on social media and leave a comment! Subscribe to Scouting Overload for new content every week.

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