All About Merit Badges
Merit Badges are the second main area of the Boy Scout advancement program. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. A sub-group of merit badges are known as Eagle required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned although some are either/or badges. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. Boy Scouts may work on merit badges from the time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18.