When a scout wants to work on a merit badge, they must contact a merit badge counselor personally. A merit badge counselor is someone approved by council and the district to teach a specific badge. Different badges will have different merit badge counselors. When heading for eagle scout, council likes to see that different merit badge counselors are used so the scout is exposed to different adult mentors. Scouts, Tenderfoots, Second Class and First Class Scout's primary goal is to work on rank requirements while completing a badge here and there. After First Class rank is when the merit badge completion becomes necessary for rank advancement.
The scout should get approval and advice from troop leadership before working on the badges. After which, they will be given a blue card from one of the leaders. Don't worry if your scout already started working on a badge, we will work out getting the blue card, but the counselor may want the scout to repeat what they have done, so it's better for the future to get the blue card...then the counselor...then start the badge after speaking to the counselor to learn about the expectation. The scout must fill out the merit badge card and present it to the merit badge counselor when they meet. Scouts are never allowed to meet alone with a merit badge counselor for child protection reasons.