Add MBC Name (or lack thereof) to in process Merit Badge reports

It would be nice to be able to see the assigned Merit Badge counselors name on the Incomplete and In-Process MB reports (actually, any MB report). One issue our troop is having is Merit Badges being opened and work begun, but no MBC has been assigned. Sometimes a scout is working with a counselor, but no one has taken the time to enter the information in SB. It is difficult to weed through needs approval reports, etc. to find where an MBC needs to be identified, or updated.

@TamaraMontgomery - well, not every counselor uses scoutbook. So even if you did connect them then what… the counselor does nothing with it. You are never going to get a perfect world.

Good suggestion, I will pass it along.

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Yes, I realize that would be the case. Badges started/earned at Summer camps, merit badge colleges, online counselors, etc. would not have counselors assigned.
I wouldn’t want to exclude any records that are missing a counselors name.

I asked for an additional column that would list any assigned MBC

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@TamaraMontgomery - ah… gotcha… good idea

I’m Adv.Coord. and have been tasked with documenting the troops advancement processes and distributing them so we can all be on the same page. We are trying to train our leaders/counselors to use theavailable functions in SB consistently. They are using Scoutbook, just not effectively. Because everyone wears many hats, MBCs are often also leaders. They will default to checking things as ‘leader approved’ because that is how they learned - that does work - but it isn’t clear if they are approving as a MBC, or if they are approving because the scout completed requirements in a virtual class. We have a lot of consistency issues with scoutbook usage. Adding a field to a report certainly won’t solve any of those problems. But it will help us identify where we need to update SB, and that will make it easier for the MBCs to actually use the tool the way it is designed. Plus, once we get to be more consistent in our usage, I can see all sorts of cool reports that the MBCs and troop leadership could use to support scouts advancement.

When an MBC marks a MB requirement Counselor Approved, it is automatically set Leader Approved in Scoutbook. This is in line with the Guide to Advancement.

Overall Merit Badge completion is not marked Leader Approved when marked Counselor Approved because the last part of working on a MB is meeting with the Unit Leader to discuss the experience.

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Completion of instruction in a group setting does not mean a requirement has been completed.

They are suppose to have registered merit badge counselor(s) in a group setting. See

The only persons authorized to sign off on a merit badge are adult members of the BSA who are registered as merit badge counselors (registration code 42), current in Youth Protection training, and approved for that specific badge. Additional experts or support volunteers may serve as instructors under the direction of the merit badge counselor to facilitate greater personal attention to each Scout, if needed.

Make Certain Each Scout Personally Completes Each Requirement. Group instruction does not mean group testing. Each Scout must complete each requirement as written, without exception. … While Scouts are welcome and encouraged to explore topics beyond the merit badge requirements, the requirements as written are the only factors to be evaluated in determining whether to award the badge.

Record Keeping. A signed Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly known as a “blue card,” is provided to each Scout before the event by their Scoutmaster, per the process described in … the Guide to Advancement. The Application for Merit Badge is the only BSA-recognized record of a Scout’s work toward completing a merit badge.

Exceptions to the “blue card” must be approved by a BSA national committee.

National has granted the exception to blue card use to those MBCs and units using Scoutbook. See:

Q: Does a Scout need a hard copy of a Blue Card when working on merit badges?
No. Since the introduction of Scoutbook, the BSA has offered Scouts two ways of recording merit badge requirement completion: The Blue Card and Scoutbook. Both remain authorized methods to record merit badge work. Scoutbook is a part of the BSA Internet Advancement system, which means that entering an advancement record in Scoutbook is the same as entering it in Internet Advancement. Anyone with a BSA member ID automatically has access to a Scoutbook account through their my.scouting account.

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Yes, but that’s not the main issue. They aren’t using the MBC functionality at all. Partially because they aren’t assigned as MBC. That will involve training the SM/ASM and parents to assign the MBC once selected. Then, train the MBC to use the MBC interface. I really like the improvement to SB that does require the leader approved checkbox if the Counselor has approved the req. That alone will remove some of the confusion as to who is supposed to approve what.

MBC can connect to the Scout themselves if they have the Scout’s member ID. I find that is the easiest method, you don’t need to train a bunch of people on Scoutbook. See: How Merit Badge Counselors (MBCs) can Connect to Scouts for Merit Badges (SB) | Scoutbook Knowledge Base

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Yes. They typically do have registered MBCs in a group setting like camp or a MB college. In that situation, the MB teaching the class would not be connected to the scout in SB. We would take the resultant Blue Card or list of requirements completed and enter them as leader approved with a note and picture of the blue card. For partials, that is where a blank MBC field in the report would help flag the unit leaders that they need to work with the scout to identify an MBC who can help them finish up the requirements.

I’d still need to train the MBCs, who are usually also unit leaders. Honestly, I am not comfortable with the MBC connecting themselves to the scout. That should be done by a parent or another unit leader. Two deep leadership should apply to electronic connections as well.

Tamara,
When the merit badge counselor connects to the Scout, an email is sent to the parent and unit leader. Also it isn’t that easy to find a member ID if you are not a parent or a unit leader, which is required for the connection. Also all correspondence sent via Scoutbook between the MBC and Scout is copied to the parent.

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Bill, Thanks - That is good to know. I knew that the parents were included in any emails from the counselor. But I didn’t realize that an email was generated when a MBC connection was created. Does the email get generated if there is already a connection between the adult and the scout? I’m advancement coordinator and a MBC. If I assign myself as counselor to a scout in the troop, is an email sent to the parents? Or is it only when the initial connection is made?

Tamara,
Yes an email goes out in such a situation.

This has been added to the troop report. When you go to the troop page and select reports then Incomplete Merit Badge report. If any MBC is assigned in Scoutbook, they will show up in the report.

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Wow…Thank you for the quick response! I sent an email to the troop yesterday requesting that they make sure MBCs are assigned in SB. This will make it easier to identify where we might need to assign a counselor.

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