Troop 212 Blue Card Guide
Welcome to the wonderful world of Merit Badge Blue Cards.  For most Scouts, even the older ones, the blue card is a process full of mystery and confusion.  This is a quick guide to help you figure out how to use the blue cards to assist you on the road to earning Merit Badges.

The first thing you'll want to do is actually figure out what Merit Badge you want to work on. There's several places on the 'net that provide good information on what the different merit badge requirements actually are. A good first place to look is the Boys' Life Merit Badge Requirements page. After you've decided what badge to work on you need to get a blue card from our Troop Advancement Chair, Mrs Hardee, or the Scoutmaster.



Next step is to start filling out that Blue Card with some required information. Everything you need to cover is listed under the Application for Merit Badge section on the front of the blue card. Make sure you fill everything out neatly so people can actually read it. Don't forget that Troop 212 is in the Valley District and a member of the Denver Area Council.  After you've filled out your basic info you can flip the card over and write down what Merit Badge you're going to actually work on.


Now that you've filled out the Blue Card with your basic info you need to go visit the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster is the adult that gets to approve you working on a Merit Badge and also knows who all the Merit Badge Counselors are. The two of you will talk about what badge you want to work on and who a good counselor might be to assist you with your quest. Then he'll give you the contact information of the counselor if they aren't at the Troop meeting. Don't worry about that growling coming from the Scoutmaster. He's probably just hungry but don't get to close.  He's eaten a couple scouts over the years!


     Now you have your blue card ready for action.  The question is, how do you keep your record of all that Merit Badge work safe?  Enter the GOLDEN ENVELOPE program of Troop 212!  If you're worried about losing that blue card you can elect to turn it in to Mrs. Hardee. She'll keep the blue cards you have in progress in a golden envelope with the Troop Merit Badge records and you can ask for your card whenever you need to have your counselor sign off on a requirement. You can also get a copy if you'd like to see how you're doing!  This is completely voluntary program and you don't need to use it if you're comfortable keeping the blue card yourself.
On to the good part!  This is where you actually start working with your Merit Badge Counselor. It's a good idea to talk to the counselor before you begin any work.  Your best option is to talk to the counselor at a Troop meeting but you can also contact them by phone or email. That first contact is where you can talk about requirements for your Merit Badge and you'll have a chance to ask questions. Remember, no question should go unasked.Your counselor volunteered to
  help and is willing to answer any questions your have for them.  Take advantage of that opportunity!!  The counselor will also share with you how they will record your progress on the Blue Card. Remember, they need your blue card to be able to indicate progress on.  If you elected to take part in the Golden Envelope program you need to get your card and arrange for your counselor to fill it out as necessary.

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Once you're done with all the requirements for your Merit Badge the counselor will fill in the Counselor's Record portion of the card and then they'll sign and date the card signifying that you met all the requirements. The counselor will then tear off the Counselor's Record portion for their records and return the rest to you

Take the remaining part of the blue card back to the Scoutmaster. He'll take a look at the card and then sign it to say that he acknowledges your completion of the Merit Badge.  Oh, and he's probably going to congratulate you on a job well done.  After you get his signature you'll take the Blue Card back to our Troop Advancement Adult Leaders.  They'll take the whole thing and enter the information into our Troop records for safe keeping.  Don't worry, you'll see part of that blue card again when you get your Merit Badge.

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Finally, your moment of Merit Badge glory arrives at the next Court of Honor. You'll be called to the front where you'll receive your actual Merit Badge and the Applicants Record portion of the blue card. Take a moment to bask in the glow of your Merit Badge glory, you've earned it with all that hard work! After you've returned to your seat there's one more VERY important thing.  The Applicant's Record portion of the blue card that you got back is something that you need to hold on to and put in a safe spot. If there's ever a question about the Merit Badges you've earned as a Scout it's the Applicant's Record that serves as the definitive evidence of what you've achieved.  There's been more than one Scout that had to redo a Merit Badge because the MB records were not right in the Boy Scout computer system and the Scout didn't keep that blue card safe. One great idea is to start a Scouting binder and get some of those baseball card sleeves for it.  Then you can keep that in a safe spot with all the information inside.