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How do / can I select Merit Badge Councilors?

I am the Scoutbook Admin for our Unit. We are pretty remote, that and the COVID situation have further driven our need to locally recruit MBCs. I have adult leaders to be MBCs for some of our badge efforts, and would like to use SBook to let them manage the Scouts progression through the badges. I just can’t seem to find a way to designate these leaders as MBCs. Any ideas?

Well do you mean giving the adult the MBC position? Or applying said adult to a Scout?

If giving the MBC position - the Council does that - then Scoutbook is auto updated with the position

Expanding on @DonovanMcNeil’s response, merit badge counselors have to apply to, and be approved by, the council to counsel a particular set of badges. Existing adult leaders should be able to apply to add their MBC position to their existing registration (as opposed to creating a new BSA ID), but that will require them to include their current BSA ID on their MBC applications and make sure that name, address, DOB and email all match with their existing my.scouting and Scoutbook accounts.

If you’re trying to link an adult with an MBC position to a scout for a particular badge, the process is:

  1. Start the merit badge for the scout on their Advancements screen in Scoutbook, and click the Initial Unit Leader Signature box.
    2a. Using the Feature Assistant Extension, you can add counselors from the MB page using search by distance and topic for existing MBCs, just like on the MBC list available from the Troop Scoutbook page. Without the extension, you have to search by email. except
    2b…for people who are already connected to the scout, you go to the scout’s connections, click on that person’s name, add a MBC connection type, and select the relevant MB.

I think I caught all of the steps, but there are instructions here:

Thank you for your quick response. I guess I was hoping that in this day and age we would be able to dispense with what seems the entirely unnecessary step of requesting MBC approval from the Council, especially when we’ve identified the selectees, and they are registered adults in the program.
We’ll get the administrivia started.

I hear you, but I completely disagree with the idea that getting approval for adults to interact with youth is “entirely unnecessary”. The process is set up to make sure that the adult volunteers are properly vetted and trained, and have some expertise related to the merit badges they are counseling, not simply warm bodies there to fill a space.


Keep in mind that, like every other registered position in the BSA, MBCs need to apply for that position and be approved by the relevant authority. It’s more than just having received a background check, as @SteveCagigas noted. Not all units have people who are qualified to review the skills for an MBC, so it’s reasonable for a council/district to perform that vetting themselves. If I serve more than one unit in a unit level position, I have to fill out a separate application for each unit (although I only exist in the database once for each council, if everything is working correctly). It’s just the nature of the beast.

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Additionally many councils/districts attempt to provide quality control and system oversight. An example is a particular limit on number of MBs a MBC can council.


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