Cooking Merit Badge Questions

A general question for clarification. I have a scout that is working on the Cooking merit badge. Requirement 5, Camp Cooking, states cooking outdoors. From the wording of the individual requirements camping does not need to take place only cooking outside. Is that an an acceptable understanding of the requirement? The counselor thinks that it should have to involve some form of camping.

That is up to the MBC - you can ask your Council for opinions

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@DonovanMcNeil is correct. Part of the reason you’re getting pointed back to the council is not because folks here are unhelpful, but because the BSA has specifically directed that these forums are now exclusively for official BSA software-related questions. All program related questions are to be directed to your council. An ill-conceived policy in my opinion, but since they operate the forums, they get to set the rules.

If your council doesn’t want to address those questions from all and sundry, you could consider asking them to request that the BSA reinstate the program-related forums, and provide official reviewers (with corrections where necessary) if they are concerned about accuracy of the responses.

I would also suggest reviewing the Guide to Advancement, which is available from the BSA’s website.

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@AaronMason1 - if you are the MBC i suggest finding other counselors to discuss this with

I am the cooking merit badge counselor. During COVID, I allowed the scouts to complete the camp cooking requirements at home using the outdoor cooking methods for their family members because some scouts needed to earn this merit badge for the Eagle rank.

My take on signing off this requirement would be:

  1. Outdoor
  2. Cook for a group of youth (since it’s not easy to accommodate someone who is not your family member, and the menus need to be followed the MyPlate guideline)

The requirement simply says the outdoors. The MBC cannot require that it be done at a campout as that is exceeding the requirement.

The one thing that is the stickler is that the meals must be served to their patrol or a group of youth, which most MBCs interpret as scouts. Thus it is the only one that typically is interpreted as having to be done at a scout outing vs. just your family. That said, there is nothing in this merit badge that states that any of these meals need to be done at a campout.

Even the trail/backpacking meals don’t need to involve a campout at all, they can even be done on an urban hike.

NOTE that the requirements have changed quite a bit in 2023, so if they are starting a new merit badge that they have changed the language to make it easier to obtain this badge than before. For example they no longer need to do all the clean-up themselves, nor create their own menus for Home or Camp Cooking.


Cooking Merit Badge - 2023 Changes (