If you are looking for fun ways to earn The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum scout patch, we’ve created some optional patch challenges.
Activities and Programs for Scouts
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum provides fun learning experiences for Scouts. Individual Scouts and troops can visit in-person or virtually to earn a patch or merit badge. The Museum also has a Scout patch and suggested patch challenges for additional fun.
A variety of options are available for Scout troop visits to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum depending on the size of the group, age of the Scouts, and day of the visit.
See the Museum
Scout troops may self-guide through the Museum. Visits can be arranged any day of the week during Museum hours, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Guided tours may be arranged for troops with ten or more Scouts visiting on a weekday, pending availability.
Participate in a Family or Public Program
Scouts are encouraged to participate in an educational program as part of their visit. Interactive programs for youth and family audiences take place in the Taylor Swift Education Center every weekend and on days when students are out of school. Activities can include writing songs, making art, playing instruments, learning dance steps, and more. Public programs can include concerts with professional musicians and songwriters, interviews and discussions with music business professionals, film screenings, and more.
Schedule a School Program
Troops of ten or more Scouts visiting on a weekday may schedule a program available to school audiences. These programs are scheduled according to availability and additional costs may apply. Visit the school programs page to see program options and book your troop’s experience.
Take a Tour of Historic RCA Studio B and/or Hatch Show Print
Historic RCA Studio B is a recording studio on Music Row where Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Charley Pride, and many other artists recorded hit songs.
Historic RCA Studio B
Hatch Show Print
Hatch Show Print is a letterpress print shop that opened in 1879 and is now internationally known for its poster design aesthetic and legacy. Tours of Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print are offered daily and often sell out. A minimum of ten people is required for group discount admission.
Virtual experiences are available for Scouts who are unable to visit in person. From writing an original song with a professional songwriter to watching videos about Museum artifacts, a variety of virtual opportunities are available. To see options and pricing, visit our distance and online learning page.
Preparing Your Troop
Whether your troop visits museums regularly or not, we recommend a few conversations in advance of your trip. Talk as a troop about:
Discuss what museums are like and the function they serve. What museums are in your community? What museums have your Scouts visited? What did your Scouts learn on these visits?
You may want to cover appropriate dress (it can be cold in museums!), walking through the galleries, what to do if the museum is busy, and staying together with your group. Explain that flash photography, videotaping, food, and drink are not allowed in the galleries to protect the artifacts and exhibit materials.
If your troop is working toward achieving a patch or merit badge, discuss a plan in advance. Encourage Scouts to bring a pencil, notebook, or sketchpad to record the fun and interesting things they will see and hear during their visit. Scouts are welcome to take photos (no flash) and post to social media about their visit. Tag the Museum’s Instagram at @officialcmhof.
- Scan the QR code signs for the digital Visitors Guide for a map of the Museum and other details.
- Look for the special areas of the Museum for young audiences:
- The Taylor Swift Education Center on the third floor features hands-on workshops for youth and family audiences and offers activities like scavenger hunts and gallery guides. Check the calendar for scheduled art or music programs that may be happening during your visit.
- The third–floor main exhibit, Sing Me Back Home, features interactive learning stations, videos, and listening experiences throughout the gallery. Coloring and activity sheets are available at the table across from the Precious Jewels exhibit.
- On the second floor, the American Currents: State of the Music exhibit highlights the latest chapter in country music and features artifacts and stories from contemporary artists. The Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery offers opportunities to record a song, test country music knowledge, learn about music industry careers, and more.
- If you have questions during your visit, please ask a staff member, volunteer, security guard, or any person wearing a Museum logo; all of these people are happy to help.
We strive to make the Museum inclusive and can accommodate a variety of accessibility needs. We have sensory kits available as well as an on-site calm room in the Taylor Swift Education Center.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Scout Patch
The Museum has a Scout patch! These can be added to your order for $1.00 each or purchased at the Museum’s information desk on our first floor.
Troop leaders can determine how the patch is earned based on the needs of their troop. Troop leaders can create their own patch challenge or use the ideas provided below for either an on-site or a virtual visit.
Optional Museum Visit Patch Challenges
Family programs are designed for youth and offer interactive fun. Music and art workshops are offered most Saturdays, drop-in art making occurs most Sundays and more frequently during the summer and school break times. Special programs with Hatch Show Print and Historic RCA Studio B are offered throughout the year. Programs range from hands-on musical instrument activities and concerts to dance workshops, artmaking, and recording experiences. Some programs require reservations if space is limited. Most family programs are free. For a schedule of upcoming programs, please visit the Museum’s calendar.
The Museum also offers a variety of public programs that expand the story of country music told in our exhibits. Formats include interviews with artists, panel discussions, lectures, films, and concerts. For a schedule of upcoming programs, please visit the Museum’s calendar.
Stop by the Taylor Swift Education Center to select a scavenger hunt to complete in the Museum galleries. Options range from Taylor Swift, instruments, costumes, automobiles, and more. As your troop journeys through the Museum, work independently or as a team to complete the scavenger hunt. Bring your completed scavenger hunt(s) to the information desk to receive a prize.
Hatch Show Print is located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building, after standing for decades across from the Ryman Auditorium. Due to the shop’s close proximity to “the Mother Church of Country Music,” the 140-year-old print shop is internationally famous for its unique design aesthetic and strong connection to music promotion. Groups of ten or more can arrange for a private tour (pending availability). Tours are offered daily and can be added to your itinerary when you purchase Museum admission.
Historic RCA Studio B, located on Music Row, is the former recording home of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers, and many others. Scouts learn about Studio B’s historical significance and studio design. Groups of ten or more can arrange for a private tour (pending availability). Tours are offered daily and can be added to your itinerary when you purchase Museum admission.
After exploring the exhibit, American Currents: State of the Music, enter the area modeled after Taylor Swift’s tour bus. Here, Scouts can choose from a selection of country music songs to record as a team or individually. Have the recordings emailed to you so your troop can listen later. In addition to recording a song, they will be able to try mixing a recording or creating an album design.
Virtual Patch Challenges
Can’t visit the Museum? No problem! These recommended virtual patch challenges can be completed from anywhere!
- Tune in: Listen to a Grand Ole Opry show:
Ask Scouts to listen to a Grand Ole Opry live broadcast. Radio station 650 WSM-AM has broadcast this radio show every Saturday night since 1925. The broadcast can also be heard live through WSM’s website, http://www.wsmonline.com/, and SIRIUSXM Satellite Radio channel 56, The Highway. Ask Scouts to share what they saw or heard. Some questions they may want to consider include:
- Who did you hear perform?
- How is a Grand Ole Opry broadcast different from a regular radio broadcast?
- Where can you go to see the show in person?
- How would you describe the music that you heard?
- Read all about it!
Read a book about music. Choose from the options below or pick a book that suits the needs of your troop. Have a group discussion where Scouts share their favorite part of the story, what they learned, and what surprised them about the book.
- Coat of Many Colors, by Dolly Parton, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
- Lorraine, by Ketch Secor, illustrated by Higgins Bond
- My Voice is a Trumpet, by Jimmie Allen, illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson
- Passing the Music Down, by Sarah Sullivan, illustrated by Barry Root
- Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music, by Willie Nelson, Bobbie Nelson, and Chris Barton, illustrated by Kyung Eun Han
- Country music’s first Black star: “Discover DeFord Bailey”:
Learn about Country Music Hall of Fame member DeFord Bailey. DeFord was an influential harmonica player in both country music and blues, one of the Grand Ole Opry’s most popular early performers, and country’s first African American star. Check out videos, harmonica lessons, and coloring sheets here. Share your coloring sheet with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Virtual field trip: Explore Artifact Bytes videos:
Check out Artifact Bytes videos to learn more about music, history, and more! These short videos introduce artifacts, topics, and artists in the country music story in three minutes or less! Complete the Artifact Bytes activity and share with us at email@example.com.
- Country costumes by YOU:
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has a large collection of stage costumes reflecting the stage looks worn by country artists. Among the most visually striking costumes in the collection are the bold creations of Nathan Turk and Nudie Cohn, clothing designers whose work defined the look of country in the mid-twentieth century. Learn more about these designers and design your own suit here.
For additional information about Nudie Cohn, Nathan Turk, and other country costumers, check out our online exhibit here.
- Research a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame:
Since the Country Music Hall of Fame’s creation in 1967, well over 100 people have been inducted and received the Hall of Fame Medallion. Ask Scouts to select a Hall of Fame member from the Museum’s website to research. In addition to the Museum website, Scouts can research through books and other internet sources. Ask them to share songs and stories they discovered that they didn’t know prior to research.
- Virtual visit: Explore online exhibits:
Either as a troop or on their own, ask Scouts to explore an online exhibit on the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s website. Exhibits to explore include:
- Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City which looks at Bob Dylan’s 1960s Nashville recordings, Johnny Cash’s TV show, and the musicians behind many popular country albums in the 1960s.
- Suiting the Sound: The Rodeo Tailors Who Made Country Stars Shine Brighter explores the tailors who created iconic looks for country music stars across decades.
- Historic Music Row: Nashville’s Creative Crossroads explores landmarks of the Nashville music community.
Ask Scouts to share with the troop one story or piece of information they discovered using an online exhibit, explaining why they consider it unique or particularly interesting.
- Read all about it!
Either as a troop or individually, ask Scouts to read a book about music. For inspiration, review our Middle School Book List or YA Book List. Have a group discussion where Scouts share their favorite part of the story, what they learned, and what surprised them about the book.
- Express yourself: Write a song:
Explore resources and inspiration for songwriters at all levels, from true beginner to advanced lyricist, with Words & Music at Home. Check out our step-by-step instructional guide and hear insights from professional songwriters on their creative process. Share your lyrics or song at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However your troop participates, we want them to feel engaged and excited about museums and learning! If there are ways we can support your troop on their exploration of the Museum, either virtually or in person, please reach out to us at FamilyFun@CountryMusicHallofFame.org.