Scouts earn merit badges in three ways: in Troop meetings, at a Boy Scout Camp or another BSA official event, or by completing them independently. When Scouts wish to complete a Merit Badge independently, they should follow the process outlined in the ScoutBook guidelines (link):

  1. The Scout develops an interest in a merit badge and may begin working on the requirements.
  2. The Scout discusses his interest in the merit badge with his Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster. 
  3. The Scoutmaster and Advancement Coordinators provide the Scout with at least one counselor contact and assign this counselor in ScoutBook.
  4. The Scout contacts the counselor.
  5. The counselor considers any work toward requirements completed already.
  6. The Scout, his buddy, and the counselor meet (often several times).
  7. The Scout finishes the requirements.
  8. The counselor approves completion in ScoutBook and informs the Advancement Coordinators.
  9. The Advancement Coordinators report the merit badge to the council.
  10. The Scout receives his merit badge.