Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Council load of Merit badge counselors

I am on the advancement committee for the Shenandoah Area council and am managing the merit badge program for the council. The council has given me council admin so that I can manage the upload of the merit badge counselors into Scoutbook. When I first started looking into what to do it indicated that if a MBC wanted to work only with their unit you could specify this by adding the unit number into the designated column. This seems to have been taken out. I would request that this be put back in. My reasoning is that some merit badge counselors are using Scoutbook and others aren’t. Those that aren’t will not respond to the email notification about a role in scoutbook and go in to set their preferences. This results in everyone in counsel seeing their name when they only want to work with their unit. I am reluctant to load unit only MBCs when their preferences are going to be ignored. I feel that the council should be mindful of their requests and set things up initially that way. If they decide later to expand their service to a large audience they can go in and make that change.

The reason this is not supported in the upload file is many Councils use ScoutNET reports to generate the MBC upload file. ScoutNET has no way to differentiate those MBCs that want to council a subset of units from those that want to council any Scout in the Council.

Any MBC, even those who do not actively use Scoutbook can log in to Scoutbook with their my.scouting.org ID and password and change their listing preference. After logging in, the MBC clicks My Dashboard -> Administration -> My Account -> My Positions -> Merit Badge Counselor, sets their listing preference, sets the I Accept check box then clicks update. Subsequent uploads of the MBC list will not change the MBC’s listing preference.

There are no plans to change the MBC upload process.

I have had the council use the procedures that National have provided on exporting the data from Scoutnet. One of the files, “MB list by Badge”, has a column (D) that indicates whether they want to do a troop only counseling. If that column it should be easy to set a flag that could be used to tell Scoutbook to set the counselor to a unit only and the counselor could then specify the unit they desire to work with. I keep track of the unit that they want to counsel and could fill in the troop number easily before loading Scoutbook. If the council keeps a copy of the Merit Badge Counselor Information form and if it is properly filled out the counselor specifying the unit they which to work with.

In addition before doing the first load I downloaded the counselors that were already in Scoutbook that had been loaded by the units. That downloaded file indicated the counselors that had already indicated they wanted to do a unit only. After the upload as council admin that information was lost. If your program was working as you stated then those counselors should still be indicated as such after the load. I did a download after I completed the load and that information that was in there before was lost. I would think that since they were already in as a counselor that information should have been retained.

As far as the MBC using his my.scouting.org login that is great provided they want to use scoutbook. If they don’t want to use it they will never login and make the changes. At this point I will be approaching the council to see how they want to handle the situation as I feel that we need to respect the counselors wishes on how their name is distributed. As a result of some other issues I have a VBA program that can generate the load file till these other issues get resolved.

A little background on me. From 1975 to my retirement in 2015 I worked in the computer field in hardware support, programming, system support and system administrator. It is based on this experience that I have based my comments. The comments are made in the hope that they will provide some insight to ways to improve the program.

Thank you for your patience in listening to me.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.