Seems to me the trouble is "Merit Badge Program". Sounds like your son is attending Merit Badge "classes" - doing that will suck the fun out of any merit badge.
Merit Badges were designed to be done individually, with individual counselors (those these days, up to two people working together is de-riguer). They were not designed to be done in a group, classroom setting - not at summer camp, not at merit badge universities, not at merit badge programs, not at Troop meetings. It's way beyond time to go back to doing it the old-fashioned way - a Scout chooses a merit badge he's interested in, contacts the counselor, does the work, and reviews it with the counselor. Not this scout goes to a class with 20 other Scouts and sits through 3 hours of lecture. Individual attention can work at summer camp too - a Counselor may have 10 scouts for fishing merit badge and might hold "office hours" at a set time to meet, but the Scouts still would do the work individually.
Almost all scouts earn MBs these days through some form of class or lecture. I agree with your ideal. I just don't see that as how almost 99% of the MBs are earned.
The only time I've been contacted to work one on one is after the scout is all done and needs signatures. IMHO, that also defeats the program. It's supposed to be about mentorship.
Edited by fred johnson, 30 November 2016 - 01:16 AM.