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First class required for Cooking?

cooking merit badge requirements

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#21 CalicoPenn

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:22 PM

Well, the "First Year Camper" class is required and unfortunately it takes up 2/3 of the schedule. I hope they let them have some fun time too.

 

Who is requiring "First Year Camper"?  I don't think it's the Scout Camp.  Their website gives no indication at all that they require it.

 

It sounds like the Troop is requiring it - and given what you've already mentioned about the Troop, that would be a second (maybe even third) strike against them and I'd be looking for a new Troop. 


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#22 perdidochas

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:33 PM

My son recently signed up for the Cooking merit badge which is being offered with a group in my son's troop. I received an email from the organizer who told me it was only for First Class scouts and up and it would be "too hard" for him because it is Eagle required.

 

My son is almost done with his Scout rank and has not had any merit badge opportunities yet. I read the requirements and didn't think they sounded too hard, especially since the troop expects him to do more difficult things on his own during campouts.

 

Is this reasonable? Or is the organizer just trying to weed out the younger ones for his own convenience? I can't find anywhere that it says you have to be First Class to work on that badge.

Well, there is no  restriction per BSA, but if the counselor doesn't want to teach Cooking MB to younger boys he shouldn't have to.  That said, as a Cooking MB counselor, I don't see what the problem would be. 


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#23 perdidochas

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:34 PM

On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with?  He's going to Ransburg for summer camp so they'll be working on the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements there.

First Aid and Swimming are good choices to begin with. 


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#24 Back Pack

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:35 PM

Well, there is no  restriction per BSA, but if the counselor doesn't want to teach Cooking MB to younger boys he shouldn't have to.  That said, as a Cooking MB counselor, I don't see what the problem would be.


Bull! What reason can he fall back on that doesn't violate what he's required to do under his role as MBC?
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#25 perdidochas

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:36 PM

I was visiting a troop recently and I heard the scoutmaster telling the scouts that they would be responsible for their own food if nobody signed up to cook at their next camp out. Several new scouts spoke up and said they would cook. The SM yelled at them and told them they were under no circumstances going to cook on their first camping trip. I'm glad I'm not part of that troop. 

What?  If it were up to me, I'd have all new scouts cook on their first camping trip.


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#26 perdidochas

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:41 PM

Bull! What reason can he fall back on that doesn't violate what he's required to do under his role as MBC?

He's a volunteer, and if he doesn't want to work with a particular boy he doesn't have to.


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#27 qwazse

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 02:08 PM

The trick, here, is to discourage MBC's from discriminating against boys based on age or rank.

If a boy decides his trail to Eagle is going to start with earning 100+ MBs -- after which he will attend to the tedium of T2FC, so be it. Work with the boy, and every 10 MBs or so acquired, mention, "Hmmm, wouldn't you like a new oval patch on your left pocket?"

 

I think that's the real issue in Phrogger's troop. They have an advancement "meat grinder" that works perfectly for 7 of 8 boys. For the 8th kid it's "Sorry, Square, that hole we drilled doesn't have any corners."

 

In my troop, I've seen this happen a few times (one in eight), but I've also seen boys stick up for the out-of-place scout. They wouldn't attend the class until they were sure the odd man out was welcome. That's the problem as troops become boy-led, they pretty directly question your crazy schemes. :laugh:

 

Edited: I'm changing my advice: Talk to the MBC. Explain to him the situation and ask if he could play this one by the book. If you explain that your boy is losing interest in scouting fast, and you think this time with his fellow scouts might be a game-changer -- even if he comes away with a partial -- might help turn that attitude around.


Edited by qwazse, 05 April 2017 - 02:13 PM.

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#28 Col. Flagg

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 02:30 PM

He's a volunteer, and if he doesn't want to work with a particular boy he doesn't have to.

 

Then he shouldn't be an MBC. What reason can the MBC give for not working with a Scout other than "I am busy" or "You live too far away"? Those work *if* they are the truth. If they are a lie to cover up a prejudice of not working with younger Scouts, then he's not upholding his role as MBC.

 

In the example above, the MBC is clearly discriminating against the boy due to age/rank and that is not honest or Scout-like.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 05 April 2017 - 02:31 PM.

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#29 Phrogger

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:29 PM

I would encourage this young Scout to also complete the cooking requirements for Rank, since they are a logical progression from assisting another cook to preparing a meal for themselves and finally serving as the Patrol cook for 3 meals.


I was told not to push him on advancements. He's been working on Scout most of the year. I have had to gently encourage him to make progress, as he isn't inclined to on his own. I guess I could suggest that.

Sounds to me like the real issue is that this scout is not enjoying scouts. My guess is that a lack of fun with friends is the issue, not advancement.

Phrogger, does he have friends in the troop? Just my opinion but finding something fun to do with other scouts should be the focus. Friendships are important.. Are there other scouts roughly his age in the troop? Does he do anything with them? If the older scouts are doing cooking MB, what is the program for the younger scouts? If there's really no program for the younger scouts then I can see him being bored.

Just a thought, but if there are other young scouts that are bored, and there is not much for them while the older scouts are doing camping, why not get them together and have them pick one MB that they'd like to do.


You are right, he isn't enjoying it, There is no program for younger scouts. He does have friends his age that he crossed over with, but they are split into different patrols and not all are present at the activities he goes to. I think it's a good idea to have the younger scouts pick a badge, but I don't really have any role in the troop yet and my work doesn't make time for it. I was very involved in Cubs in the past, I plan to help out again in the future, I just can't do it now,

The very first Boy Scout activity I went on (I was still wearing my Cub Scout uniform) I was visiting the troop. It was a 10 mile hike, five miles out, and five miles back. While we were out there we stopped in the woods. I made a fire and cooked my meat and potatoes lunch in my mess kit. No one offered to help the new guy... :( I did just fine.

I had the advantage of camping out with my family since 4 years of age. Not many scouts have that opportunity, but the point is, at age 10-11, the skills needed to cook are learnable. As I found out, learnable before one even gets to that age.


The only camping I did with my family growing up was the four of us sleeping in a tent at the beach because we couldn't afford a hotel. So camping was never something I thought of as "fun." Ironically, Both me and my spouse were Marines, so I have done enough camping to be competent but I still don't find it enjoyable. We both have tried hard not to let our dislike rub off on our son, but I haven't exactly jumped at the chance to go camping with him either. The first event we went on in the troop was a "Family Campout." 90 degrees in July in an open field with no shade. They wouldn't allow him to use a kayak because he hadn't gone to summer camp and passed the swim test (this despite the fact that siblings not part of the troop were allowed to do it). They do a lot of "primitive" camping and long hikes too, so yeah, I would say it is not younger-Scout friendly.
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#30 qwazse

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:27 PM

I was told not to push him on advancements. He's been working on Scout most of the year. I have had to gently encourage him to make progress, as he isn't inclined to on his own. I guess I could suggest that.
....

The only camping I did with my family growing up was the four of us sleeping in a tent at the beach because we couldn't afford a hotel. So camping was never something I thought of as "fun." Ironically, Both me and my spouse were Marines, so I have done enough camping to be competent but I still don't find it enjoyable. We both have tried hard not to let our dislike rub off on our son, but I haven't exactly jumped at the chance to go camping with him either. The first event we went on in the troop was a "Family Campout." 90 degrees in July in an open field with no shade. They wouldn't allow him to use a kayak because he hadn't gone to summer camp and passed the swim test (this despite the fact that siblings not part of the troop were allowed to do it). They do a lot of "primitive" camping and long hikes too, so yeah, I would say it is not younger-Scout friendly.

Here's the deal, IF HE WANTED ON HIS OWN TO TRY THIS MB, he's ready to give it a go. You were absolutely right not to push on advancements. That's his patrol leader's job. And, it really depends on what the scout is doing. So, if they are going to a waterfront and one member hasn't passed a swim test, then the PL busts hump to line up a swim test so his guy who missed camp can qualify to use a kayak. That has nothing to do with advancement, it has to do with safe swim defense. A tall order for a PL, but one that helps a scout feel taken care of.

Now, this is another opportunity for a scout to be part of the group. Lean on that MBC and ask him to allow your son in the class like the GTA says he should. But, more importantly, so this caring adult could help you and his SM make this boy feel like he really is a scout (the concept, not the patch), appealing to the 4th point of the scout law.

 

BTW, you are not the first soldier who I've met who would rather not camp and hike. I've known WW-II vets who when they came home vowed to never spend a night under stars again. (Vertical warfare in the Alps will do that to a fella.)

 

I'll admit that some of those camp outs my first year were really rough. (Dad/brothers never came with me, either.) But, coming back the second year having learned how to enjoy myself -- ultimately sealed the deal. So, pardon me if I read into this, but your son might be just the kind of guy this troop needs ... if they can keep him engaged until he gains his footing.


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#31 Phrogger

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:49 AM

Who is requiring "First Year Camper"?  I don't think it's the Scout Camp.  Their website gives no indication at all that they require it.

 

It sounds like the Troop is requiring it - and given what you've already mentioned about the Troop, that would be a second (maybe even third) strike against them and I'd be looking for a new Troop.

Nobody actually said it was required. Parents were sent a confusing schedule to sign up for and one of the options was "first year camper," so I assumed it was required. Even if not, I'd be afraid that he'd miss out on something important if he doesn't. There aren't any descriptions for the class except that it works on certain merit badges. I surmised that it might also contain "tips for first year campers" and extra help learning how to set up camp and such. This really is his first year at a sleepaway camp of any kind and I want him to have the best opportunity for success, whatever that looks like. I don't care about merit badges. I'm just sad he can't take the Movie Maker badge or do the Archery/Rifle classes because of it (he might still get to do the Open range though). There are pros and cons to both. I want him to have fun and do things he likes, but if he misses some crucial area of instruction in the First Year class it might not be the best idea.


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#32 KenD500

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:20 AM

When Cooking became an Eagle required MB, I had a Life Scout come to me to work on it.  I asked him to set up a group of no more than 6 (max I thought I could work with at a time).  Due to the # of Scouts that signed up, we (the Scout & I) gave priority to Scouts based on rank.  

 

Since this is the internet and we are only getting 1 side of the story, something similar may be happening.


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#33 perdidochas

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:23 AM

Then he shouldn't be an MBC. What reason can the MBC give for not working with a Scout other than "I am busy" or "You live too far away"? Those work *if* they are the truth. If they are a lie to cover up a prejudice of not working with younger Scouts, then he's not upholding his role as MBC.

 

In the example above, the MBC is clearly discriminating against the boy due to age/rank and that is not honest or Scout-like.

First, I have no problem with Scouts earning most MBs when below First Class.  I actually think it would be an ideal time to start Cooking, as it's an involved badge that takes a lot of time. That said, if I knew a Scout wasn't ready physically or emotionally for working on a badge, I wouldn't agree to be his MBC for that badge. For example, if I were a Climbing MBC, and a boy in the troop was 5' tall, 300 lbs and weak physically, I wouldn't agree to be his counselor.  There is no requirement that an MBC be a particular boy's counselor.  Volunteers can't be forced. 


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#34 perdidochas

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:26 AM

Here's the deal, IF HE WANTED ON HIS OWN TO TRY THIS MB, he's ready to give it a go. You were absolutely right not to push on advancements. That's his patrol leader's job. And, it really depends on what the scout is doing. So, if they are going to a waterfront and one member hasn't passed a swim test, then the PL busts hump to line up a swim test so his guy who missed camp can qualify to use a kayak. That has nothing to do with advancement, it has to do with safe swim defense. A tall order for a PL, but one that helps a scout feel taken care of.

Now, this is another opportunity for a scout to be part of the group. Lean on that MBC and ask him to allow your son in the class like the GTA says he should. But, more importantly, so this caring adult could help you and his SM make this boy feel like he really is a scout (the concept, not the patch), appealing to the 4th point of the scout law.

 

BTW, you are not the first soldier who I've met who would rather not camp and hike. I've known WW-II vets who when they came home vowed to never spend a night under stars again. (Vertical warfare in the Alps will do that to a fella.)

 

I'll admit that some of those camp outs my first year were really rough. (Dad/brothers never came with me, either.) But, coming back the second year having learned how to enjoy myself -- ultimately sealed the deal. So, pardon me if I read into this, but your son might be just the kind of guy this troop needs ... if they can keep him engaged until he gains his footing.

 

I agree totally about setting up a swim test.  Before a kayaking trip, we had several boys who were new to the  Troop (before their first summer camp) that hadn't taken a swim test.  The SPL (and the ASMs) had a swim test for them before things began. 


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#35 DuctTape

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:50 AM

In general I think more of the scout skills type mb's should have pre-requisites. Perhaps not the full 1st class rank, but the sections pertaining to that skill. One of the commonly discussed issues here is scouts "forgetting" or never truly learning, or one-and-done, etc... The idea of having these skills as a progression which (if required) to fulfill in order and the previous being a pre-requisite of the next provides a system by which a scout will demonstrate their experience multiple times, over a period of time thus strengthening and growing each time. This would provide the scout a more enriching opportunity and decrease the complaints of one&done, etc... It would not eliminate, but at least the system would not encourage it. And lastly it would be consistent with the original goal of scouting for boys to learn to do things for themselves and others.
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#36 Ankylus

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:16 PM

@Phrogger,

 

The quick answer to your question is "no".

 

There is the theoretical, and there is the practical.

 

The literal, theoretical answer to your question lies in the MB requirements. Do the requirements for the Cooking MB anywhere in them state that the scout must be a First Class scout before taking the MB? No, they do not. And so the answer to your question is "no". For a counter-example, look at Lifesaving MB which requires a scout to first, "Complete Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d and First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e."

 

Also on the theoretical side, the SM is given some level of discretion in permitting any particular individual scout from taking certain MBs. For example, Lifesaving MB (again) requires as scout to, "Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feetfirst surface dive. Repeat using a headfirst surface dive." If a scout is a non-swimmer, or a poor swimmer who is slightly built, the SM might decide that Lifesaving MB is not a good choice at this point in his scouting career.

 

Also in theory, requirements over and above those stated in the national program cannot be "added" by any individual or unit. That includes MBs and earning them. This circumscribes the SM's discretion described in the paragraph above. So, what he cannot do is say something like, "A scout must be First Class to work on Eagle-required MBs."

 

Finally, a unit may NOT artificially retard, inhibit or hamper a scout's advancement. Every scout advances at his own pace. This is closely tied to the rule that units and leaders cannot 

 

So, now let's talk practice. 

 

Every troop I have ever seen that says something like, "A scout must be First Class to take Eagle required MBs" is trying to intentionally retard the scouts' advancement. The goal is to make sure that they don't have any 14 yo Eagles, or some such other prohibited rationale. Every single time without exception. And if you look at it more, I am willing to bet that other aspects of their policy will have that same effect. They also typically control the Positions of Responsibility for the same reason and with the same effect.

 

As a practical matter, this is not necessarily all bad. I agree that most 14 yo Eagle scouts aren't really ready and that they typically don't get the most out of scouting that they can. They typically also drop out of scouting instead of giving back, running off to check yet more boxes and add yet more things to their "college resume". Also, Eagle-required MBs are indeed usually a bit more intensive and require more effort, which means that it is more likely to he will earn only a partial at Summer Camp rather than the whole badge. And, he can focus more closely on earning First Class if he's not working on MBs.

 

But it is not fair to the scout and it perverts the program. The justifications in the previous paragraph also prevent the scout from learning valuable life lessons about over-reaching one's abilities and overcoming failure. These things, too, are part of the scouting program. 

 

Whether this is a problem for you and your scout depends on you two. Perhaps you are willing to put up with it because the program is so good. Or, perhaps it really meshes well with your scout's personality.

 

I will tell you that the few times I have seen scouts and their parents push on these points it has never ended well for anybody. The scout usually ends up transferring troops anyway.

 

In my opinion, good first year at camp MBs include Swimming, First Aid, Leatherworking, Wood Carving, Indian Lore, Horsemanship, Forestry, Geology...lots of good ones. 


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#37 Phrogger

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:00 PM

Yeah,  not worried about 14 year old Eagle here, since I have a major procrastinator. But I don't want to put it off either (assuming we even last that long). In a neighboring troop we had a scout who was trying to get Eagle done basically skip school to do 7 merit badges in a week right before he aged out. Did he learn anything from that? I seriously doubt it. A few merit badges a year and Eagle at 17 sounds more like it.


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#38 fred johnson

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 02:00 PM

On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with?  He's going to Ransburg for summer camp so they'll be working on the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements there.

 

Find merit badges that will promote great experiences.  To be honest, it's supposed to be HIS CHOICE and HIM PURSUING.  But I'm guilty too of nudging my sons in certain directions.  If you do this, I'd be tempted to screen / feel out / try to learn about what the experience will be.  Weed out the work book MBs.  Weed out the lectures and large classes.  Look for experiences that will inspire him and make him want to continue.

 

I've seen too many scouts that give up early on MBs because of just way too lame of experiences.  


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#39 MrBob

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 04:40 PM

On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with? 

 

Metalworking, if the Troop can find a counselor that does the blacksmithing variant.  Fire, loud noises, banging on things with hammers, threat of bodily injury - all the things boys like.  


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#40 Stosh

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

AND.... you get to play in the fire and no one is going to yell at you?


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)






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