So for unit leaders to impose limits on their Scouts, stating that they can't receive a merit badge from their parents when they are council-approved counselors, seems to go against what is stated in the official materials. They may "encourage them to reach out," and "teach the importance of broadening horizons" - but they can't compel them to do so. Regardless of the lessons we want to teach the boys (which are indeed good and important lessons), technically it's not in their power to insist such. And I am always wary of Scoutmasters or advancement chairs who power-play by placing limits like that on their Scouts. I don't feel it's their place to make such rules. The Advancement Guide is clear: "Approved counselors may work with and pass ANY member" (my emphasis). There is no caveat to that. In my humble opinion (others may disagree), leaders should abide by that counsel as much as is possible and reasonable, even while teaching and guiding their Scouts towards a broader point of view.
With all due respect Latin Scot, multiple BSA sources say units, specifically the SM, Skipper, Coach or Adviser, can indeed limit who the Scout or Venturer has as a MBC by designating a specific counselor for them to use.
"A Scout first expresses an interest in a particular merit badge by letting his unit leader know. To get him started, the leader gives him a signed Application for Merit Badge (blue card) along with the name and contact information for a district/council approved merit badge counselor. " ( bold for emphasis here and after)
Also check out http://councils.scou...de.aspx?print=1
"When a Scout has decided on a merit badge he would like to earn, he obtains from his Scoutmaster the name and phone number of the district/council-approved merit badge counselor."
"3. The Scout indicates his interest in a merit badge to his Scoutmaster, who gives him a. An interview to determine interest, enthusiasm, preparedness b. A signed Application for Merit Badge c. The name and phone number of the council/district approved counselor."
From here: http://councils.scou...e/pdf/34405.pdf
"Instructions to Counselors • The unit leader (Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, crew Advisor, or Skipper) recommends and provides the name and contact information of at least one merit badge counselor to each Scout desiring to work on a merit badge."
So if the SM doesn't want the parents to teach the MB, then the SM assigns a different MBC to use.
And I can understand why a unit would not want the parents to be their son's MBC. They can be too easy or too hard.
Sadly their was an issue in my council a number of years back with one "Eagle." With the exception on MBs earned at summer camp, all MBs were done with Grandpa, Mom, and Dad, who held CC, SM, and ASM positions in the troop. They just signed them off, giving them to him. The issue became known at the Eagle BOR. Long story short, he was denied his Eagle, and given a plan to rectify the situation. Family appealed all the way up to national. In the response from national granting him Eagle on appeal, the comment "You do not penalize the Scout for the errors of the adults involved." As a result, the entire district advancement committee resigned in protest. When I talked to the "Eagle" a few months later, he was like a deer in the headlights when I asked him about some things he should have done for multiple MBs. I was not trying test him, but being new to the area and a Indian Lore MBC, I was trying to get sources for local Indians. From that conversation, I could see why the Eagle was originally denied.
On the opposite extreme, you got the hardnosed parents who demand more from their Scouts than others. I admit that is me. When my son got a partial from summer camp for a MB he actually completed (found out another Scout was in the same boat), I worked with him to complete the missing requirement and let him talk to his SM to finish it off instead of me. SM commented how I was harder on him than the other Scouts I worked with on the same MB. And really that goes all the way back to the first MBs he earned. He went to a MBU and took 2 MBs. One he legitimately earned. The other they gave him. Not only did the MBC use out of date requirements (8-10 year old if memory serves), the MBC didn't even do ALL of the requirements. I discussed the situation with my son, and had him complete the missing MB requirements. He was not happy with me at the time. But he understands why I did it. He's upset that folks have "earned" one particular MB at summer camp without completing all of the requirements. His MBC at home wants him to truly earn it. It's been 2 years since he started it, and now that he actually finished the one missing requirement, he has a blase' attitude about it since so many "earned" it.