Merit Badge work is primarily for Scouts that have achieved the rank of First Class Scout. In addition, there are a number of awards that may be earned that do not directly count toward rank advancement requirements.
Scouts may find that while working on advancement and sometimes by participating in particular outings and/or service projects, they may have met the requirements for an award.
The first step in pursuing a merit badge is to meet with the Scoutmaster (SM) or one of the Assistant Scoutmasters (ASMs) to discuss the merit badge. He will advise on particular merit badges and associated rank advancement requirements tied to merit badge completion.
In most cases, the Scout will need to get a merit badge “blue card” which must be signed by the SM or ASM before beginning work. The SM/ASM can help locate a registered counselor for that particular badge. There are several merit badge counselors within the troop, but Scouts are encouraged to contact counselors from outside the troop to give them the opportunity to get comfortable contacting and talking to adults.
Many of these counselors are leaders and adults that are associated with neighboring units. Once all merit badge requirements have been completed and the counselor has signed off on all requirements, the completed blue card is turned in to the troop’s advancement chairperson for processing.