Merit Badges are a method of education on a wide variety of topics. Scouts will gain some hands on experience and detailed knowledge about each topic, or Merit Badge. Merit Badges are the second main area of the Boy Scout advancement program (second to "ranks"). 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 they time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18 and there are over 100 merit badges to explore!
for a list of merit badges and their requirements (scroll all the way down!).
You can also purchase the Boy Scout Merit Badge Requirements book from the Suwannee River Area Council Scout Shop.