Cooking Merit Badge Changes
Note that these are two separate changes and should be thought of as such.
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. 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.
Update: November 11, 2013
The major overhaul to the Cooking merit badge requirements will take effect January 1, 2015. Normally, when new requirements are released during the year, they go into effect the following Jan. 1. However, because the release of the revised requirements is anticipated in late 2013, the revisions will not be officially required until January 1, 2015. Until then, Scouts have a choice to begin work on the Cooking merit badge using the current requirements or the revised ones—and finish using the same requirements.
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.