Merit Badges

What is a "Blue Card"?

Scouting uses "Blue Cards" to track merit badge requests and completions.

A scout must obtain a new blue card for each merit badge from the Advancement Desk.

List of T584 Merit Badge Counselors

Troop 584 Merit Badge Counselor Roster (as of Aug.2017) (login required)


MB Counselors Wanted!

Adults - Learn how to become a Troop 584 Merit Badge Counselor!

Merit Badge Class Providers

Troop 584 scouts report good merit badge experiences at at the following locations:
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Moody Gardens
  • Space Center Houston
  • Houston Arboretum
  • Bechtel Engineering Day








What to do before signing up for a merit badge

    • Read the requirements for a merit badge before you sign up. 
    • Make sure you understand what is involved to complete the merit badge. 
    • Obtaining the merit badge booklet and downloading the worksheet will help you better understand the merit badge requirements. 
    • Do not begin work on a merit badge until you have a signed "Blue Card" from the scoutmaster at the advancement desk. 
    • If you are working on an Eagle required badge, please read the notes on Earning Eagle Merit Badges first.
    • If you have any questions about the troop's merit badge process, please email our merit badge coordinator at meritbadges@bsatroop584.com.

Learning the merit badge / "Blue Card" process

Before a scout can earn a merit badge, he must first meet with a scoutmaster at the advancement desk to obtain a "Blue Card" authorizing him to begin work on the merit badge. 

The path to getting your blue card depends on where you are taking the merit badge.  Please pick the option that matches where you are earning your merit badge.


Path 1, 
Earning a merit badge with a Troop 584 counselor (individually or in a troop class)

  1. The scout selects a merit badge. 
  2. The scout should meet with the scoutmaster or delegate working at the advancement desk to discuss the Merit Badge and help the boy select a counselor from the list of merit badge counselors kept at the advancement desk.
  3. The scoutmaster or delegate will provide the boy with a signed "Blue Card" authorizing the boy to begin his merit badge
  4. The scout should meet with the Merit Badge counselor and see if the Counselor can work with the scout due to schedules etc. It may be necessary for the boy to pick a different counselor if the schedules do not match. The scoutmaster can help the boy find a different counselor if necessary.
  5. When the scout has completed the requirements for a merit badge, his Counselor will sign the blue card in two places. 
  6. The scout then needs to turn the completed signed Merit Badge blue card into the Advancement desk. 

Path 2, Earning a merit badge at summer or winter camp

  1. The scout selects a merit badge. 
  2. The scout should turn in his Merit Badge selections to the Troop 584 Scoutmaster in charge of signing up scouts for camp merit badge classes. The Scout does not need to get a blue card in advance for these camps, the troop will manage the blue card process directly with the camp for efficiency reasons.
  3. If a class has pre-requisites listed, then the scout can work on those prior to the MB Camp.
  4. IMPORTANT NOTE: Some Eagle Merit Badges cannot be fully completed at camp, please refer to the section on Eagle merit badges for more information.
  5. The scout goes to camp and works on the Merit Badge.
  6. The camp will send the troop the merit badges or requirements completed by each scout. 
  7. If the scout finished all the requirements, he will receive his badge at the next Court of Honor.
  8. If the Scout did not finish all the requirements for a Merit Badge at camp, he must follow the "Completing a Partially Earned Merit Badgeprocess defined below.

Path 3, Earning a merit badge at a council approved merit badge fair.

    1. The scout selects a merit badge. 
    2. The scout should go to the advancement desk and confirm that the merit badge fair is an approved Sam Houston Area Merit Badge Fair to ensure that the counselors are on the Sam Houston Area Council list of approved counselors.  
    3. The scout should meet with the Assistant Scoutmaster working at the advancement desk and discuss the Merit Badge and inform the scoutmaster of his interest to take the merit badge at the merit badge fair. 
    4. The scout signs up for the merit badge fair class by presenting the signed blue card from step 3 to the troop advancement desk since signup for merit badge fairs is usually submitted by the troop for all troop members attending the fair at one time.
    5. IMPORTANT NOTE: Most Eagle Merit Badges cannot be fully completed at MB Fairs as there are often requirements which cannot be completed in a classroom setting. These requirements will need to be finished after the event with a troop MB counselor.  The scoutmaster at the advancement desk can help you find a troop counselor to help you complete your merit badge.  Please refer to the section on Eagle merit badges for more information.
    6. When the scout completes all the requirements of the merit badge at the fair, the scout should turn in his Blue Card into the Advancement desk. 
    7. If the scout did not finish all the requirements for a merit badge at the fair, he must follow the "Completing a Partially Earned Merit Badge" process defined below. 

Path 4, Earning a merit badge at a special class taught by a non-troop MB counselor.

    1. The scout selects a merit badge. 
    2. The scout should meet with the Assistant Scoutmaster working at the advancement desk and discuss the Merit Badge and inform the scoutmaster of his interest to take the merit badge at a class offered at a non-scouting facility. Because some businesses offering merit badge courses are not authorized by Sam Houston Area Council to teach a class, please DO NOT pay for a course before confirming that the class is taught by a currently approved Sam Houston Area Council counselor and the scout obtains his blue card. If the business offering the class does not provide proof that the counselor is authorized, then the scout should ask for the counselor's name and the troop advancement desk will help the scout confirm that the counselor is on the council list for you. To assist scouts in this process, the troop advancement desk keeps a list of non-profit organizations offering merit badges classes  using authorized counselors. (See the text box on the left margin of this page). The scout does not need to confirm the counselor's authorization, when he selects from the list of locations the advancement desk is familiar with.
    3. The scout goes to class and works on the merit badge or works on the merit badge with his counselor.
    4. IMPORTANT NOTE: Most Eagle Merit Badges cannot be fully completed at a class. Often there are requirements which cannot be fully completed in a classroom setting and the scout will need to be finish these requirements after the event with a troop MB counselor.  The scoutmaster at the advancement desk can help you find a troop counselor to help you complete your merit badge.  Please refer to the section on Eagle merit badges for more information.
    5. When the scout completes all the requirements of the merit badge or the class or fair is completed, the scout should turn in his Blue Card into the Advancement desk. 
    6. If the scout did not finish all the requirements for a merit badge at the class, he must follow the "Completing a Partially Earned Merit Badge" process defined below.

Completing a Partially Earned Merit Badge

    1. If a scout does not fully complete a merit badge at camp, class, MB fair, the scout will need to finish the merit badge with a new counselor.  The scout should meet with the scoutmaster at the advancement desk to obtain the name of a new merit badge counselor before continuing any more work on the merit badge.  While at the advancement desk, the scout will also get a new signed blue merit badge card for use with the new counselor which will indicate the requirements the scout still needs to complete the merit badge.
    2. The scout then meets with his new merit badge counselor before resuming work to complete the remaining requirements.
    3. When the scout has completed all the requirements for a merit badge, his counselor will sign the blue card in two places. 
    4. The scout then needs to turn the completed signed Merit Badge blue card into the advancement desk.

Eagle Merit Badge Recommendations

For new scouts, the troop considers rank advancement to First Class to be the scout's priority over earning merit badges, especially Eagle badges, but some young scout's just want the challenge of earning an Eagle badge.  For these scouts, Troop 584 recommends the First AidFamily Life, and Swimming merit badges. 

A Special Note about Eagle Merit Badge Requirements 

Eagle merit badges often include requirements that cannot be completely earned in a single day at a merit badge fair, or even over several days at summer or winter camp. For instance, a boy working on personal management at winter camp won't be able to complete the 90 day spending log in a 5 day camp, nor will a boy working on Communications at a merit badge fair be able to serve as a master or ceremonies at a Troop 584 Court of Honor or campfire during the fair. In these cases, the scout will need to work with a Troop 584 counselor upon return to finish their badge.  The following list identifies those requirements which often can't be completed at a merit badge fair or summer camp.  

Merit Badge  Requirements that can be difficult to earn at camp or at a MB Fair Special Notes
Camping #5e, #8, #9 Advancement record check required (#9)
to confirm nights of camping completed.
Cit in the Community #3, #4, #5, #7, #8  
Cit in the Nation #2, #3, #8  
Cit in the World    
Communications #5, #8 (troop CoH)  
Cooking #5, #6, #7  
Cycling #7  
Environmental Science #3, #4  
Emergency Preparedness #2c,#8,#9 First Aid merit badge must be earned before the emergency preparedness badge can be awarded.
Family Life #3, #4, #5, #6 3 month log
First Aid #1, #7  
Hiking #5, #6, #7  
Lifesaving #1
Personal Fitness #1b, #6, #7, #8 3 month log, BSA medical form part C
Personal Management #1, #2, #8, #9 3 month log required
Sustainability #1, #2, #4, #5
Swimming Bsa Swim Test required