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Boy Scout Troop 53
(San Diego, California)
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Homework Assignments

Welcome to the Cooking Merit Badge!

For the Winter quarter 2014, this page will include updated homework assignments.

For the Agua Caliente outing on 3/15-16:

Per the Cooking Merit Badge, Scouts must prepare and cook three separate backpacking meals:  Saturday Lunch, Saturday dinner, and Sunday breakfast.  Since the Venture Crew will be separated from the Troop on this outing, there are two (2) separate meal plans.  
  • The Venture Crew will combine their resources to prep and cook all three meals for both themselves and the four (4) Adults traveling with them.
  • The three Patrols in the Troop are each tasked with cooking one (1) meal for the entire Troop including the Adults.  Per my records,
    • R'snake preps & cooks Lunch.
    • Moose preps & cooks Dinner/ Dessert.
    • B'frog preps & cooks Breakfast.

A few thoughts and recommendations for the outing:
  • Please reference the appropriate attachment to assist with preparation.  Remember to bring a copy of the recipes!
  • As discussed during Monday's Cooking Merit Badge meeting, backpack meals are light weight with recipes made to scale.  Please note the total number of participants listed above the menus to plan accordingly.  Don't forget to prep with labelled Ziploc baggies to organize, save weight, and save space.  On Saturday morning, each group will combine their ingredients at the North Park assembly point to be more efficient.
  • There is ample water at the campsite to filter.  Don't forget a suitable container to assist with cooking and cleaning (eg Platypus water tank).
  • Since there were quite a few last-minute attendees who did not sign up for meals, perhaps those individuals should carry the food and clean-up.
  • Snack food (trail mix) is up to the individual Scouts and Adults on this outing since everyone likes different things.

The following homework assignments are due 3/10:
  • Based on your recent field trip experience, please complete Req. #8 (pg. 27) of your Merit Badge Worksheet listing three culinary careers.  Selecting one of those careers, detail the required training, education and experience necessary.  I am enclosing a LINK to help you review the programs offered at the International Culinary School.
  • We will discuss Requirement #7:  Menu plans and cooking for trail hiking & backpacking.  Please refer to pgs. 23-26 of the Merit Badge Worksheet.

The following homework assignment is due 2/24:
  • Think about the meals you have prepared and cooked (either at home or during the camping trip).  Be prepared to discuss what worked, what did not, and what could be done to make the meal(s) better in the future.

The following homework assignment is due 2/10:

Plan and cook a three (3) day menu for your family.  This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a total of nine (9) meals.
Use the MyPlate nutrition guidelines and food choices distributed at last week's meeting to assist you.
Each meal should include the following items:
  • a shopping list of ingredients (including quantity of food and cost)
  • preparation (have parents assist with handling utensils and being safe in the kitchen if necessary)
  • cooking (be able to appropriately estimate the time it takes to have everything ready at the same time) 
  • evaluate and "grade" the meal (someone other than you should evaluate it and offer constructive criticisms to improve)
  • ALL the above elements of the meal plan, shopping list, prep, cook, and evaluation must be present with submitted homework
Pages 9-17 of the Merit Badge worksheet are a useful resource to help with completing this requirement.  Definitely have your parents help you with this activity.  I appreciate time constraints and school may make it difficult to plan for three consecutive days, but please do try to group as many meals together to better appreciate the time and effort required to feed a family.

The following homework assignments are due Monday, 20 January:
  • From the attached Cooking MB Worksheet, please print out pages 5-8 (re: Nutrition)
  • Using the attached MyPlate food guideline graphic as a template
    • Graphically record the portions of what you eat per meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) on an "average" day.  In other words, how do you fill the plate during a meal.  For example: If there are no "vegetables" then record "none"; If the entire plate is pasta, then record "all grains"; If you skip a meal or eat half a plate, then say so;  If you eat an extra meal, then say so.  Record the entire day.

Have your parents help you if serving sizes and portions are unclear as you fill the plate per meal.  Be honest in your assessment of portions.  There are no right or wrong answers but I want you to appreciate how much you eat on a daily basis.  For those attending this weekend's outing to Ladder Canyon, I will be available to answer questions and help you complete the assignment.

The following homework assignments are due Monday, 13 January:
Patrol Leaders, remember to delegate and coordinate the cooking-related illnesses homework assignment amongst the Scouts in your Patrol.  No one person should end up doing it all.  Your Patrol "grade" for the assignment, and applicable points toward "Top Grubmaster" honors, will be based not only on answering the questions but how well you all work together as a Patrol.  As a reminder and for your reference, the requirements to complete the assignment are:
    1. ID how the pathogen is contracted.
    2. List signs and symptoms of illness.
    3. Is there any prevention and or treatment?
    4. One trivia tidbit to keep it interesting (for example, a recent news report of an outbreak).
The following assignments are for the following Patrols:
    • R'snake Patrol–  Staphylococcus aureus
    • Moose Patrol–  Campylobacter jejuni
    • B'frog Patrol–  Listeria monocytogenes
    • K'rabbits (Venture I)–  Cryptosporidium
    • No Names (Venture II)–  Norovirus
Icon File Name Comment  
Cooking MB worksheet.pdf Cooking Merit Badge worksheet  
Cooking methods graphic.jpg Cooking methods  
MyPlate 1.jpeg MyPlate graphic  
MyPlate 2.jpeg MyPlate nutrition tips  

Merit Badge Lectures

Cooking Merit Badge lectures are attached below in chronological order.

I've received a few e-mails regarding homework and make-up work for missed meetings:  

I encourage you to stay on track with deadlines because many requirements build on previous material.  I will have a make-up session during the last week of the series to assist with missed lectures.  "In the field" assignments, however, are more problematic.  Only by attending and cooking for others during an outing will Requirements #6 and #7 be satisfied.  I anticipate Scouts will be "making up" specific cooking requirements throughout the year as we identify who needs to complete what to earn the merit badge.  I am more than happy to facilitate this task (and eat the meal too!).

Although preferable, the three days of cooking at home (Requirement #5) do not need to be consecutive.  Please try to the best of your ability, however, to group as many days and meals together so you appreciate the time and effort it takes to plan, purchase, prepare, and cook meals for a family.

Icon File Name Comment  
Lecture 010614 Cooking MB.pdf Intro, Cooking Hazards & Contamination, Food Borne Illness (pt1)  
Lecture 011314-1 Cooking MB.pdf Food Borne Illness (pt2)  
Lecture 011314-2 Cooking MB.pdf Nutrition & Obesity (pt1)  
Lecture 012014 Cooking MB.pdf Nutrition & Obesity (pt2)  
Lecture 021014 Cooking MB.pdf Cooking Methods (pt1) & Kelso Dunes prep  
Lecture 022414 Cooking MB.pdf Kelso Dunes after action (Cooking Methods pt 2) & Basic Seasoning Tips  
Lecture 031014 Cooking MB.pdf Backpack cooking (pt 1) & Agua Caliente prep  
Lecture 031714 Cooking MB.pdf Agua Caliente after action (Backpack cooking pt 2)  

Menus, Quizzes & Final Exam

Supplemental information and attachments for the Merit Badge may be found here.

Scouts currently enrolled in the Cooking Merit Badge will be able to experience some of the available culinary careers at the Art Institute of California in Mission Valley on 3 March.  This field trip satisfies Requirement #8 for the Cooking Merit Badge.   Regretfully, due to space and size restrictions, the outing on 3 March is limited to Scouts currently taking the Cooking Merit Badge.  There will be NO regular meeting at NPCC during this time.  Merit Badge participants should meet instead at the Art Institute of California (directions on attached Permission Slip).  Please note the field trip also starts early at 5:30pm.

The International Culinary School also has a student-run restaurant "The Palette" open to the public.  Information, hours of operation, and menus may be found below.  Reservations are required (858-598-1405).  Bon appetite!

Icon File Name Comment  
Culinary School Field Trip Permission Slip.pdf Culinary School Permission Slip  
PATROL MENU PLANS Final– Kelso Dunes.pdf Kelso Dunes menus & recipes  
PATROL MENU PLANS– Agua Caliente.pdf Agua Caliente menus & recipes  
Top Grubmaster Challenges & Final Exam.pdf Top Grubmaster Challenges & Final Exam