Scouting Forums

Contents of council maintained Merit Badge Counselor list in Scoutbook

Contents and format of CSV upload file

  1. I downloaded the MBC list from Scoutbook today (2019-06-03) and found a changed record that included a unit number. I thought the unit field was not being used.
  2. Another record had a changed email address (vs. the prior download). I was the same as the one in Scoutnet, so it appears that Scoutbook is updating Scoutnet data. What other Scoutnet information can be manipulated from within Scoutbook? How might this affect council operations?
  3. Other records have "" in the email field. The people have apparently valid email addresses in Scoutnet. What does this message mean?
  4. What format(s) are acceptable for telephone numbers?
  5. To the best of my determination, the Excel macro used in processing Scoutnet files for upload still puts 'District' in the district field even though the presence of 'District' causes those records to be rejected. Learned this one the hard way.
It would be most helpful if the documentation related to maintaining the council list could be updated and contain all the relevant information for that process. I totally understand the challenges of producing documentation!

Bob Paver
Capitol Area Council
Austin, Texas

If the MBC sets visibility to Unit the unit column will have a value. When you upload the MBC file, the unit column is ignored.

Scoutbook does not update personal data in ScoutNET. The MBC may have changed the e-mail address in both Scoutbook and ScoutNET.

Scoutbook has a bad e-mail address for this MBC. It typically occurs when 2 users in ScoutNET share a single e-mail address. Scoutbook requires unique e-mail addresses.

I believe it will accept (123)456-7890 or 123-456-7890

The macro needs to be updated. I don’t know when I’ll get around to fixing this. I recommend using the Excel Find/Replace function or a text editor to remove the word District.

On the "" this default Email is put in for new users who come to SB from Akela via MU, if they have a same Email that has been already taken by an already existing user in SB users table.
This is being done to avoid same Email being assigned to more than one user.


Thanks for the extremely quick response. I’m using a set of programs that I wrote to maintain our Merit Badge Counselor lists. Coincidentally I use the same Scoutnet extract files as the macro to create my lists. I guess I’ll have to modify my program that generates the upload file to look through the downloaded ScoutBook file for changes there. If a person has unit information I probably should/must leave the district field blank??

I can also look for duplicate email addresses and clean things up before I upload.


Thanks for the quick reply, Bill.

I also heard from Ed. I will modify my programs to watch for duplicate emails and work locally to get them resolved.


When you upload the file, if there already is a unit visibility limiter there, the algorithm in Scoutbook will not supersede it with your upload. So it doesn’t matter if you have anything in the unit or district fields for those units.

Currently the algorithm ignores the unit field altogether on the upload.

Personally I don’t use the district field because a MBC on the border between two districts would only be visible to their official district, and that causes confusion. So when I upload, I leave the unit and district fields blank and it defaults to visible council wide. If the member wants to restrict it, they can in their profile.

Thanks again. We’re not very far down the road and I don’t know how Merit Badge Counselors will react when they discover that the ’troop-only’ box on the MBC Info form is not being set by the council vs. themselves.


People outside of a troop seldom call a MBC outside their own troop, and if the person is really worried about it, they can set the flag in their profile in Scoutbook

More questions regarding the MBC upload/download process.

  1. I investigated my 'change your email' errors using the Scoutbook download and my database of all registered adults in the council. Some clearly result from shared email addresses. One 'change your email' error was for a person who is sharing the email with another, but that other person is only registered as a den leader not an MBC. Must email addresses be unique within Scoutnet vs. or just Scoutbook?

    I cannot find any duplicate email addresses for one of the MBCs with the error.

  2. Today's upload attempt yielded two new error messages.
    1. " BSA Member ID has no AkelaPersonID. BSA Member ID is required."
    2. " BSA Member ID has no AkelaPersonID."
    I'm presuming that a person with error message 2.a needs to obtain a BSAid and register as a Merit Badge Counselor.

    Akela is a mystery to me and I’m not sure how to fix that error. Is ‘Akela’ a membership DB for Cub Scouts?

E-mail addresses must be unique in Scoutbook. ScoutNET allows duplicate e-mail addresses.

Akela is the name of the BSA Person Database. Error 1 means the spreadsheet is missing the BSA Member ID field. Error 2 means the BSA Member ID field is filled in but the Member ID is not currently registered with the BSA.

This will be changed to a less cryptic error message in the near future.