Sustainability merit badge will be available as an alternate requirement, as soon as the Jamboree begins. Cooking Merit Badge will be required of all Eagle candidates, beginning in January 1, 2014.
When the 2013 National Scout Jamboree begins, the newest Eagle-required merit badge will officially become part of the advancement program. The Sustainability merit badge, an alternative to Environmental Science, will help Scouts discover ways they can personally contribute to ensuring that our natural resources will last from generation to generation. Even more, this new badge will help Scouts educate their families in finding ways to reduce their
consumption of water and energy, and to waste less food.
As Scouts work their way through the requirements, they will learn how each of us can contribute to a more sustainable way of life within our families and communities. We consumers purchase a lot of "stuff" every day; the question is, how much of it relates to a "need" as opposed to a "want?"
The word "sustainability" may be new to some, but the concept is not. It builds on the common Scouting practices of being thrifty and conservation-minded, and the BSA has taught many of the sustainability principles throughout its history.
Cooking Merit Badge to Be Required for Eagle Scout Rank
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Cooking merit badge will be required for the Eagle Scout rank. Regardless of when a Scout completed the Life rank or began working on Eagle, unless he fulfills all the requirements—with the exception of his board of review—before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to attain Eagle.
Cooking Merit Badge Undergoing Revision
During 2013 the Cooking merit badge has been undergoing a major revision. The process for implementing changes to merit badges is covered in the Guide to Advancement, topic 126.96.36.199, "What to Do When Requirements Change." The changes to Cooking will first appear in a revised merit badge pamphlet, and the new requirements will then become effective the following Jan. 1, with the release of Boy Scout Requirements. For example, if the revised pamphlet is released during 2013, the new requirements will become effective on Jan. 1, 2014. The 2013 edition of the
Guide to Advancement describes the following options for the Scout.
If changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet after the January release of the Boy Scout Requirements book, then the Scout has until the following January 1 to decide what to do. He may continue—or begin work—using the old merit badge requirements and the old pamphlet; or he may switch to—or begin work—using the new requirements and the new pamphlet. Unless it is otherwise stated in the merit badge pamphlet, Boy Scout Requirements, or official communications from the National Council, if a Scout chooses to use the old merit badge requirements and pamphlet, he may continue using them until he has completed the badge.
The Guide to Advancement, under the same topic, goes on to say, "There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used." This will apply to Cooking as well.
Regardless of the Requirements Used, Cooking Will Count
Scouts completing the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank after Jan. 1, 2014, must earn the Cooking merit badge under either the existing requirements or under the new requirements as revised. Scouts are not required to earn the badge under the new requirements in order to qualify for Eagle.
Green Vs. Silver Border
Once the Supply Group has released a new Cooking merit badge patch with a silver border, which signifies it is Eagle-required, then any Scout who earned and received a green-bordered Cooking patch (regardless which requirements were involved) may purchase or be presented with one that has a silver border. A Cooking merit badge certificate or fully signed blue card must be presented to obtain the new patch. The green-bordered patch may then be retained as a keepsake. Scouts are not permitted to wear both merit badge patches at the same time and there will not be a "trade in" program for exchanging one for the other.
The last time the Cooking merit badge was required for the rank of Eagle Scout was 1972.