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Editing and Printing - Merit Badge Counselor Lists?

A couple of questions regarding the “Merit Badge Counselor Lists” in Scoutbook.

  1. How do I add/delete Merit Badge Counselors at the Troop level (leaders and parents)?

  2. Can parents access this list/report? Or do Leaders need to pull the report and send it out periodically?

  1. If your council has uploaded their MBC list, only the council can edit the list. If not, you must add the adults as leaders (or add the MBC leadership position to the adult who has an existing Scoutbook account), assign the appropriate merit badges, and approve the position. This requires unit admin permissions.

Remember that MBC is a council level position, even if they only choose to counsel at the unit or district levels. Therefore, I recommend that you coordinate with your council to make sure that anyone you’re adding is on their lists. Otherwise, you might find scouts being counseled by someone who is not currently registered as an MBC.

  1. Only leaders can pull the MBC list in Scoutbook.

I do not personally recommend circulating the list to scouts/parents. Part of the function of the unit leader signature on the blue cards is to give the unit leader a chance to verify that the person in question is both registered as a MBC for that badge, and that the registration is current (e.g. YPT is current, etc). It also allows the unit leader to make recommendations as to who might be a better fit for the scout as a counselor. Some scouts need a more hands-on counselor to get a good understanding of the material, and others work well with a counselor who expects the scouts to be essentially independent and only contact them when something is ready for signature.


I just used the MBC list function this week, and I appreciate that it reduces the probability that my scout will call a counselor who is deceased or otherwise lax with YPT and other training necessities.

I do wish that once I get my list, it would give me in plain text each counselors name and contact info. It was tedious to copy the counselors for the badge a scout was interested in, paste it into an E-mail, and then edit out all of the images and other tags associated with each name.

Or, am I missing something that gives us that functionality?

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I haven’t found it if it exists, @Qwazse. I’d love to have the same functionality.

Merit Badge Counselor position

I do not know where the idea that MBC is council position comes from. Though I have seen it stated as such many times in the forums.

“Merit Badge Counselor” is a non-unit “District Scouter” position, not a “Council Scouter” position. See Registration Guidebook, July 2019, pages 24, 67 and 68

Honestly, this is what I’ve been told by my council. The council maintains a listing of the MBCs. The council uploads the list to Scoutbook. None of those are suggesting that the position is a district position. I’m not debating what the documentation said, just explaining the reason I suspect so many of us view counselors as a Council position.

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It’s because the Guide to Advancement says: Counselor Approvals and Limitations
The council advancement committee is responsible for approval of all merit badge counselors before they provide services, although it is acceptable to delegate authority for this function to districts.


Both @Bill_W’s and @JenniferOlinger’s quotes are consistent with what I’ve been taught. District’s aren’t their own entities, they are arms of the council. So, a council approves MBC’s through the Council Advancement Committee, but they use their districts as a means to recruit, register, and train them.

I like how Scoutbook uses a council-maintained this list. Since my scouts are in the southern edge of our district, I can now find them MBC’s from the adjacent district.

I wonder how it works for units on the boundary of their council?

You should NOT send the list to parents. When a scout needs a counselor then the SM (or designated adult) should look for a counselor, discuss with the scout and give the information to the scout.


@SeanLuckman - we are trying to get past the issues that drive liability insurance premium rates, so please do not add to it.

I’m sorry. Are you saying that I should E-mail a scout without copying the parents? That is so first-decade-of-this-century! :yum:

P.S. - I get what your saying about the whole list. But there’s a point where if a scout needs a handful of counselors for one badge, and asks you someplace where you don’t have wifi, getting plain text to E-mail to scout and parent would be more helpful.

No, I am saying that you do NOT email the list period. And emailing the list violates G2A
Limit access to those who have merit badge– related responsibilities, such as advancement committee members and chairs, or unit leaders and selected assistants. Scouts should not have access. Their interaction with the Scoutmaster in discussing work on a badge, and obtaining a counselor’s name, is an important part of the merit badge plan.

The scout should be given (in a personal discussion) the name and contact details of one counselor. If that doesn’t work out, then they should be given a different one. A scout should not need a handful of counselors for a single badge. If there is some issue that needs to be dealt with (say ensuring a counselor won’t want scout to start over, or able to deal with something such as ADD), then the appropriate thing would be for a troop leader to call counselors and find a suitable counselor.

There are scouters that I would tend to not send my scouts to. But the vast majority of the ones in my area are great people to whom I welcome introduction to my scouts. And for the special cases I find nothing wrong with a call to another scouter to front fill a few details. Even great people who have no issues with particular nuances of working with interesting scouts seem to like a heads up occasionally.

And if I had a scout who needed just one item and the first counselor wanted to start over I would advise the same scout to come back to me. That is part of why I am here. Some may think I coddle them. Others may think I don’t protect them enough. At the end of the day I am the one that is the SM and they are MY scouts. And I will encourage my successor to think the same and inject her/his own self into the role.

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From your reference:

… it is the unit leader’s responsibility to see that at least one merit badge counselor is identified from those approved …

When I read “at least one,” I think “Let’s give the scout five in a reasonable radius.” Because five is at least one. Nowhere is it written that a unit leader shall recommend to a scout one and only one counselor for a given badge. Although there are some scouts for whom I am very judicious about which counselor I’d recommend, in general I find that the best person to determine who should counsel a scout is the scout him/herself. (Youth led. Go figure.)

I also don’t find anywhere written that the parent should not be copied. Say at a meeting, the scout writes down the counselor info as I read them off of my device by hand … Are you saying he/she is not permitted to show that list to a parent? Of course he/she is! I see no difference between that transaction and E-mailing him my picks and cc-ing the parent.

My read of the Guide to Advancement offers leaders that flexibility.

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If you are sending the information via email then parent CC is appropriate. There is also a difference between giving five counselors for a particular badge and sending an entire list.

This is becoming more relevant to me as my troops gets older. When the troop started it was a matter of one or two badges per year. My first instinct has been to see if I know any of the people on the list and suggest someone to the scout. If the scout has some issue, then he lets me know and I offer another (only occurred when a counselor was too busy so far).

But I don’t see anything wrong with giving a scout several to choose from. Just not sending the whole list (unless the list is only several).

In my Council, approval of MBCs has been delegated to the Districts consistent with @JenniferOlinger’s Guide to Advancement quote.

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It is a council/district position. The merit badge counselors show up on the districts recharter list.

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