Application for Merit Badge (Blue Card)​

Though a few merit badges may have certain restrictions; short of them, any registered Scout may work on any of them at any time, as long as he has the approval of his unit leader. This is indicated by his or her signature on the Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly called the “blue card.” Although it is the Scoutmaster’s responsibility, for example, to see that a counselor is identified from those approved and made available, the Scout may have one in mind with whom he would like to work. He may also want to take advantage of opportunities at merit badge fairs or midways, or at rock-climbing gyms or whitewater rafting trips that provide merit badge instruction. This is acceptable, but the unit leader should still consider the recommendation and approve it if it is appropriate. Whatever the source, all merit badge counselors must be registered and approved.

The Application for Merit Badge blue card has three parts. The approving counselor should retain one of them for at least a year—in case questions are raised later. If all the requirements were met, the counselor signs the other two parts and sends them off with the applicant. If not, he simply initials what has been finished. This is called a “partial” (see “Partial Completions,” Once a registered counselor certifies all requirements are met, the applicant submits one part to his unit leader and retains the other for his personal records. It is important to note the blue card is the nationally recognized merit badge record. It has been updated from time to time and carries the information needed for proper posting and for evidence and reference as needed later. For very large events—such as the national Scout jamboree—the National Council may approve an alternative format and sizing for the blue card. This is done through the national Advancement Team.