As a counselor, I generally leave it up to the scout(s) to tell me what they want from me.
If a Scout is already well versed in the subject matter, I am content to meet with them, go over and verify that they have the requisite knowledge and can demonstrate skills that require it. We discuss topics together, again as the requirements dictate. This does not prevent me as a counselor skilled in the subject matter from adding trivia or other experience to help bring the topic more to life - but generally is outside the requirements anyway.
This also is usually the way I help scouts complete summer camp partials - While I may ask about prior requirements, I accept what the other counselor has signed off on.
At the request of Scouts (as a small group of friends, or by the unit plc/patrol) I will also conduct instructional courses in the material of a merit badge - if possible I will try to get skilled older scouts to do as much of the instruction as I can. Over the course of several meetings with the group I will have confidence that I have taught them what they needed to know and be able to verify, for each individual, their explanation, demonstration or discussion of the respective requirements. I try to keep these groups to about 4, maybe 6 (some topics can work better with slightly larger groups). I don't get too many calls for these, maybe my reputation for making them earn it has leaked out .
It also has to do with what the badge is about. My standards for Space Exploration are much different than my standards for First Aid. Some of the more academic, career, hobby, or interest topic badges can be completed relatively quickly in group settings.
My son has done some merit badge days, and I feel that he was able to satisfy the requirements when he as done them, but for me, that's not the type of session I like to run.
Back to the original topic ...
It saddens me when Troops need to play these types of power games with the scouts. There are a lot of leaders out there who have a per-conceived notion of how old a boy has to be for this or that, or without any other considerations of what make the boys different from one another.
Some don't like it, but "one and done" is the rule for advancement. As for revocation, as has been shown from the documents, it's only if the scout could not have earned the award, say not having enough camping days for camping, or hiking miles for hiking. Even merit badges like communications that require visiting a city council meeting or the like can still be completed at fairs and summer camp(*) if the scout has prepared for these per-requisites before the camp/fair and done the requirement.
(*) Technically, some say to discuss with the counselor before going - so here you can either (1) Say this could not technically been done since you did not know/talk with the counselor before the event; or (2) Accept that the materials for the camp/fair indicated that the scout needed to do these per-requisites and thus that counts as having the counselor telling the scout to do it in advance. Some will split hairs over the requirement term 'discuss'; I'll stay out of that one for now.
Failure to retain the information (which does not appear to be the case here) is not grounds for removal of the badge. This does not mean that retesting is prohibited - it is permitted as a means for the SM to evaluate the effectiveness of the program (not your son) for future consideration, etc. However, any such review needs to be conducted in a way consistent with the Scout oath and law (as well as all the other Scouter legalese).
Finding a better matching troop sounds like a good solution for your / your son's needs. Good luck, and I hope you do well.
Edited by gumbymaster, 17 October 2016 - 12:22 PM.