Portions of the Hall of Paleontology will be closed Thursday and Friday.
The Hall of Ancient Egypt is temporarily closed.
Schedule Change Notice: Free Thursday hours are now 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Scouts FAQ


Who teaches scout classes at HMNS?

Scout classes are taught by HMNS staff and volunteers, scouters and school teachers who bring their professional knowledge of the Badge, Adventure or Journey to enhance the scout’s experience. All teachers have gone through a background check and have taken Youth Protection Training with BSA and/or the museum’s Youth Education Department.

Scout BSA classes are taught by Merit Badge counselors who are registered with Sam Houston Area Council.

What classes are you offering and who can purchase a class?

HMNS offers scout classes for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scout programs following the requirements set for each Badge, Adventure or Journey HMNS offers. These classes can be purchased by for your scout, den or a troop. Any child not in scouting can sign up for scout classes as long as you meet the following age requirements for that level:

Boy Scouts of America classes are for boys and girls.

  • Scouts BSA: 6th grade – 17 years old:
  • Webelos: 4th– 5th grade;
  • Bears: 3rd grade;
  • Wolves: 2nd grade,
  • Tigers: 1st grade
  • Lions: Kindergarten

Girl Scouts of America are for girls only.

  • Daisy: K – 1st grade;
  • Brownies: 2nd– 3rd grade;
  • Juniors: 4th– 5th grade;
  • Cadettes: 6th– 8th grade
  • Seniors: 9th– 10th grade

How long are the classes?

Scouts BSA classes are 4 hour long classes from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm.

Webelos, Cub Scout classes and Girl Scout classes are 2 hours long. They are usually from 10 – 12 pm or 1 – 3 pm.

Girl Scout Journey classes run between 4 – 5 hours.

Do I need to bring a lunch?

For school year classes, only Scout BSA or Girl Scout journeys will need to bring a sack lunch or snacks.

Summer classes will require all scouts to bring a sack lunch with them or order from the museum’s restaurants.

Scouts will not be allowed to go upstairs to purchase a lunch from the museum’s restaurants for any scout class.

How do you purchase scout classes?

Classes can be purchased through the museum’s online box office

From the menu on the right-hand side, select the category of scout class you’re looking to purchase.

Does a parent need to stay with their scout?

With a purchase of a scout class, one parent or chaperone is admitted with their scout into the museum and can visit the permanent exhibit halls before or after their class. HMNS asks for parents of scouts in 2nd grade and younger to stay with their scout in the classroom for school year classes. Younger siblings and extra parents will need to purchase a general admission ticket for the museum. Depending on the number of scouts and parents, extra parents and siblings may be asked to tour the museum during class time.

For summer scout classes, parents are not allowed to stay in the room. Each class will have a teacher and teaching assistants to work with the scouts.

What is HMNS refund policy for scout classes and summer scout programs?

If HMNS needs to cancel a class because minimum enrollment requirements have not been met, parents will be contacted either to switch the scout to another class or to process a refund. We do not issue refunds if the scout cancels or misses a class.

Scouts can reschedule their class for another date if HMNS receives a 10 business days’ notice and the minimum enrollment for the class is not affected by the change. If a scout is sick and cannot make it to their scheduled class, please email scouts@hmns.org as soon as possible. The Scout Program Manager will contact you with available options.

Summer scout programs refund policy can be found in the HMNS Summer Programs catalog found here.

Does my scout need to wear their uniform, vest or sash to class?

HMNS scout program does not require scouts to wear their uniforms to class. Uniforms are required for Scouts BSA, during field trips to court houses, fire stations and other outside organizations during summer scout classes.

Will my scout receive a badge, belt loop or pin after taking a scout class?

HMNS provides a certificate with requirements met during the class. Scouts will need their troop or pack to purchase the badge, belt loop or pins earned in the class.

HMNS does provide a special dinosaur patch and rocker strip for the HMNS Daisy and Brownie Trails and Careers in Science classes.

Does HMNS provide accommodations for scouts with disabilities?

We are happy to accommodate scouts with disabilities and special needs. Please notify the Scout Program Manager of your child’s disabilities and special needs PRIOR to your scout’s class. We’ll work with our Accessibility Programs Manager to provide the resources and accommodations your scout needs to participate in the program.

If you have a scout who may need assistance to complete activities, a parent or caregiver should expect to stay in the room to assist. The individual that accompanies the scout must pass a background check and have done Youth Protection Training. Please contact the Scout Program Manager at 713-639-4631 to discuss any special needs to help your scout be successful at the museum.

If your scout is a Scout BSA and needs modified workbooks, please let the Scout Program Manager know a week to two weeks’ notice. Not all the merit badge workbooks have been modified.

Email scouts@hmns.org for more information.

Does my Scout BSA need permission from his Scoutmaster?

HMNS recommends that each Scout BSA get permission from their Scoutmaster before starting work on Eagle and Non-eagle merit badges. If a Scout takes a class without the Scoutmaster’s approval, they may not be given credit for the work. HMNS will not issue a refund in such circumstances.

What is the difference between prerequisites and outside work?

Prerequisites are requirements that cannot be completed in the class. These should be completed before the class, but can be done after the class. A list of prerequisite requirements by Merit Badge and their downloadable worksheets can be found on the Scouts BSA Prerequisite Workbooks page

Outside work is work that is assigned by the Merit Badge counselor for two-day and five day classes. This is work that cannot be done in the classroom or work that the scout needs to finish for a requirement.

At the end of class, any incomplete work (partials) will need to be completed by the Scout afterwards and verified by the Scout Program Manager and HMNS staff merit badge counselors. Please send a scan PDF of your missing requirements to scouts@hmns.org. After the work has been verified to show that the scout has met the requirements, a Merit Badge card will be sent. Please note that this procedure is in compliance with the requirements dictated by the Boy Scouts of America and Sam Houston Area Council. We are unable to issue Merit Badge cards without verifying that all requirements have been met.

Does my Scout BSA need to bring a blue card?

  • For Scouts BSA classes, HMNS issues pre-printed Merit Badge Cards detailing the requirements completed by the Scout during class and verified by the Merit Badge counselor.
  • For Eagle-required Merit Badges, a Merit Badge Card signed by the Scoutmaster is required for the Scout to take the class. If the Scout does not have a Merit Badge Card signed by their Scoutmaster for an Eagle-required Merit Badge, the Scout may not be permitted by their troop to receive credit for the class. HMNS will not issue a refund in this instance. Scouts are responsible for submitting the completed Merit Badge Card to their troop after completion of the class.
  • For Virtual Scouts BSA classes, scouts will need to send a pdf of their completed work to scouts@hmns.org. The workbook will be checked by a HMNS staff merit badge counselor for meeting the requirements as required by Boy Scouts of America and Sam Houston Area Council. A HMNS merit badge counselor will then send a scanned merit badge card by email.

What should my scout do if they miss a day of summer class?

For Scouts BSA, daily class attendance is required to complete the Merit Badges. A Scout cannot make up a class by attending another session without registering for the full week. If a Scout misses a class, they will need to meet with their Merit Badge counselor to find out what they missed and if there is a possibility to make up the work, depending on the activities missed. The Merit Badge counselors may assign homework for the Scout to complete. If a Scout does not make up the missed work, they will get a partial on their Blue Card.

For Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Webelos, teachers will try to catch the scout up on missed Adventures, Badges or Journeys. This may require the scout to do work at home.

What is the summer class option to self-sign in and out?

For Sign In and Out, Scouts who are in Scout BSA, Cadette Girl Scouts, or Senior Girl Scouts may be given permission by a guardian to sign themselves in and out of class. At the main museum, Scouts will be released at 3:00 and escorted up to the entrance, near the Butterfly Center on Hermann Park Drive. Parents will pick up their child from this location only and will not be able to park in this loading area. All scouts who have not been picked up by 3:45, will be escorted back to extended day and parent will have to come in and sign them out of class. A parent must be present on the first day of class in the classroom to give permission for their scout to check themselves in and out.

Extended Day self-checkout for Scouts BSA or Cadette Girl Scouts: due to poor phone reception on the lower level of the museum, parents will need to call the scout office at 713-639-4631, before their child can be released. Please have a designated location for picking up your scout that you have discussed with them beforehand.

HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629


Get Directions Offering varies by location
HMNS at Sugar Land

13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(281) 313-2277


Get Directions Offering varies by location
George Observatory

21901 FM 762 Rd.
Needville, Texas 77461
(281) 242-3055

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday By Reservation
Saturdays 3:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturdays (DST) 3:00PM - 11:00PM
DST = Daylight Savings Time.
Please call for holiday hours. Entry to Brazos Bend State Park ends at 9:30 p.m. daily
Get Directions Offering varies by location

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding. Tax ID # 74-1036131.