Rank Advancement:
A major milestone in the "trail to Eagle" is when one earns First Class Rank. First Class is required before a scout can go to events such as the National Jamboree and Philmont (a high-adventure camp). It is after getting First Class that the focus shifts to merit badges. All the rank requirements are in the boy scout handbook - we work on these at meetings.

Merit Badges:
The requirements of all the merit badges can be found at this site. More specific information on a badge is contained in a merit badge pamphlet (there is one for each badge). The troop has a library of these pamphlets in the storeroom at the church - check into that before starting work on a badge.

A scout should detail his work on a merit badge in a binder. When the binder is ready for presentation he should set up a meeting with a merit badge counsellor, who will go over (and hopefully approve!) the work. A list of the merit badge consellors in this area can be found Here.