Adding merit badge counselor

This morning I had a leader approved to teach 3 merit badges. Scoutbook will not allow me to add his new role. It tells me to contact my council if I want to teach a Merit badge. I added merit badge counselors earlier this year for our unit. All of our merit badge counselors have had their position marked ended on July 17, 2019. This wasn’t done by our troop. Usually scoutbook makes a notation when they make a change. Has there been a change to procedure?


Your Council has uploaded the Merit Badge Counselor list to Scoutbook which means units in the Council are no longer able to create MBCs. As the message says, you need to contact your council to have this MBC added to the Scoutbook list. Be aware that while some councils upload their lists monthly, others only do so quarterly.

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Thank you for all your help. You often respond to my questions and I appreciate the time you are giving to my scoutbook education.

Mary Ann

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It’s been useful for planning merit badge days and weekly activities to pull a troop roster and see which leaders are MBCs and for which merit badges. Will the MBC list connect back to troop rosters in scoutbook in the future?

No, MBC is not a troop position so MBCs will not appear on the troop roster.

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I was just talking to my council registrar today, she indicated that when she uploads the council approved list, any folks “added” by troops will automatically be removed. Causes her a bunch of grief. So do the submission through council, and don’t do it yourself.

Part of the problem has been that not every council has made the uploads. For example, mine just did it last week (I think. Maybe two weeks ago.), and as @CharlesHoffman pointed out, it ended my existing position in the system, rather than updating it. Because councils couldn’t upload MBC lists (or hadn’t started once they could), a lot of existing Scoutbook users had input our positions to take advantage of the MBC-related features already in Scoutbook. Thus, a large stock of existing MBC positions in the database developed.

Assuming that what @CharlesHoffman’s registrar conveyed is correct (that all “pre-existing” MBCs added at the unit level are removed), then it seems to me like this is a coding issue. Rather than identifying whether or not a merit badge counselor position exists for each adult record in the database, then either:

  1. creating it if there should be one but it’s missing,
  2. updating it to reflect council’s listings for merit badges if it exists and should exist, or
  3. terminating one that exists in Scoutbook but doesn’t exist in the council records,

the code appears to be:

  1. making a list of all of the existing ones (which will be ended),
  2. updating and/or creating the MBC position for each adult record for the adults who are actually on the list,
  3. then ending the positions for all of the pre-existing MBCs that appear on the list generated in Step 1.

This would end all of the pre-existing (in the database) positions, but leave the “new” ones intact. It seems like moving Step 3 in front of Step 2 would resolve the issue, assuming that my guess at the process is correct.

Hi, @edavignon,

So, does MBC still appear as a position under My Positions (assuming that the MBC is on the council list) once a given council uploads its list, or does it no longer appear on the leader’s account?

I ask because our unit had entered all of the leaders in our unit who were registered MBCs, so our MBC positions all “ended” when our council uploaded the list last week.

MBC still appears in the individuals My Positions list. From here, visibility and busy/available can be set. The list of Merit Badges counseled appears but cannot be changed. The position start and end dates cannot be changed.

Thanks, @edavignon. I assumed that would be the correct behavior, but won’t know until my MBC position gets fixed, which is apparently waiting on council to get squared away.

They reason why Scoutbook cannot simply import MBC positions Is because many councils do not list the MBs in Akela or ScoutNet. If Councils would all indicate the MBs in ScoutNet then Scoutbook could use Member Update to maintain the MBCs.

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I wonder if and when the qualification of MBCs is being checked in those councils.

I suspect some (many?) councils may be separating the MBC information sheet from the application to send the information sheet off for approval, and separately using the application to do the background check and registering the MBC when background check report is received. - Like they do for most adult volunteers.

If there is no process or a problem with a copy of the approved information sheet getting back to the registrar, the MBs the MBC can counsel for are not going to get entered.

Sounds like this is an issue that needs to be submitted to the BSA national membership and advancement folks.

Maybe in the future we will have an online tool where council/district merit badge counselor coordinators can entry the MBs for each MBC. That will take part of the workload off the council registrar.

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