There have been some very loose discussions on proposing new MBs. I decided to consolidate any official links that I came across.
I found this article from Bryan on Scouting on the Merit Badge Task Force
Here’s a little guide from USSCouts about how to word your request/suggestion
The most salient points:
BSA receives more than 400 merit badge suggestions each year, and they typically don’t act upon any of them for at least a year or two. The staff goes through the merit badge suggestions and recommends merit badges they feel appropriate; once the concept is approved, it goes to the Editorial Service to coordinate and compose the actual merit badge requirements and pamphlet contents, usually in conjunction with an outside organization appropriate to the subject. The entire process can take about three to five years. Nearly all of the ideas for new badges are turned down for one reason or another, very few get tabled for consideration. Among the main reasons for this: It takes around $75,000 or more to introduce a new MB due to creating the badges themselves, printing of pamphlets, and updating and printing of the Requirement book. As of June 1, 2015, there were 136 merit badges, including two released in the first five months of 2015 (Signs, Signals, and Codes and Animation). Prior to 2010, the total had remained fairly consistent for nearly 30 years, ranging since 1983 from a low of 115 to a high of 124.
For the benefit of these forums, I suggest anyone interested should start a new topic for each badge idea. “Proposal for a ____ merit badge.” Now, forums like these are good places to propose an idea for a MB because you’ll get some feedback that you may incorporate into your real proposal to BSA. But if all you do is discuss it on this forum, you can rest assured that your suggestion will go nowhere. You will have to send it in and wait 5 years to find out if your suggestion was that 1-in-400 actionable proposals.