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 Eagle Scout Rank News/Updates

Effective January 1, 2014, the Cooking merit badge will be required to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. Regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working toward Eagle, unless he fulfills all the requirements before January 1, 2014, with the exception of his board of review, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.

During 2013, the Cooking merit badge will undergo a major revision. The changes to Cooking will first appear in a revised merit badge pamphlet to be released sometime in 2013.
The new requirements become effective January 1, 2014 with the release of the 2014 Boy Scouts Requirements No. 34765. The Guide to Advancement allows the following options for the period of time between the release of the revised pamphlet and the January 1, 2014 effective date --
  • If Scouts have already started on the merit badge, they may switch to the new requirements (using the new merit badge pamphlet) or continue with the existing one (and using the existing pamphlet) until the badge is completed.
  • Scouts who have not already started on the merit badge may opt to use the new requirements and the new pamphlet.
  • Scouts who begin work on the merit badge before January 1, 2014 may use the existing requirements and pamphlet until the badge is completed.
  • Under the same topic, the Guide to Advancement says “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 Scouts working on the Cooking merit badge as well.
Let’s say a Scout has already earned Cooking. Will he have to re-earn it with the revised requirements to obtain the Eagle rank? No. Scouts who complete the requirements for the Eagle Rank after January 1, 2014 must earn the Cooking merit badge under either the existing requirements or the requirements as revised during 2013. Scouts are not required to earn the badge under the new requirements in order to qualify for Eagle.

New Sustainability Merit Badge a Required-for Eagle Option
Upon its release set for summer of 2013, the Sustainability merit badge becomes an Eagle-required merit badge as an option to Environmental Science. This means once the Sustainability merit badge and pamphlet become available in 2013, Scouts may choose to earn the Sustainability merit badge in place of the currently required Environmental Science merit badge.
If a Scout earns both the Sustainability and the Environmental Science merit badges, do both count toward Eagle? Scouts who have already earned Environmental Science may also earn Sustainability, but only one of the two merit badges would count as “Eagle-required.” The second badge may be counted among his electives to reach the total of 21 required merit badges.
The Sustainability merit badge, in essence, takes conservation and environmental science to another level. The protection, preservation, and management of wildlife and natural resources involved in conservation provide a foundation for what we call environmental science. It integrates physical and biological sciences such as ecology, biology, soil science, atmospheric science, and others in order to generate solutions to environmental issues. Sustainability takes it a step further by emphasizing responsibility for balancing long-term environmental, social, health, and economic needs with progress and development. It further suggests that development, while meeting the needs of the present, cannot compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What subject areas will Scouts by studying?
  • Ecology
  • Air, water, and land pollution
  • Endangered species
  • Pollution prevention, resource recovery, and conservation
  • Ecosystem – living and nonliving
  • Environmental impact
What are the requirements for Sustainability?
The requirements for Sustainability have not yet been finalized, but initial discussions include the following topics:
  • What is sustainability?
  • Examining our current needs and our choices in meeting them, with attention to extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal
  • Impact on our natural resources
  • Problems we must address, including plastic, electronic, and medical waste; species extinction; and climate change
  • New habits to adopt, including green chemistry, recycling, zero waste, and sustainability conscious citizenship
  • Careers related to sustainability
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