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

MB Counselor - Duplicate Entry

I just uploaded a new council MBC list (in Garden State Council #690), and I have a few near-duplicate records showing up when searching the list. It may be related to their availability state. One of the duplicates I found had no availability listed but showed as approved by the council in one record, and all of his MBs had green checks. The second record (immediately after) showed available and approved at the council level but with blue checkmarks on the same list of badges.
In another example, the counselor had one record for a single badge, approved by the council and available for any scout. This badge has a blue checkmark. The second record has all six of her badges with blue checkmarks, but availability and approval are at the council level. The same Scouts are connected to this record also.
I can’t tell if this behavior is a function of multiple account records, or if it is just the way the database query is returned for display on the page.
Both of these examples were listed as MBCs in troops before the council’s first upload. They don’t appear to have duplicate entries in the active users report.


I recommend downloading the MBC list from the Council Admin Manage MBC list page and checking it for duplicates. Let us know what you find.


There are no duplicates in our upload.

I also found that I personally have two MBC positions active in my council. One shows as starting on the date of the last upload on 03 April, and one with today’s date but zero approved badges.

Possibly same error reported in ScoutBook is duplicating Merit Badge counselors on Council Upload

FYI. Just uploaded a new council list for my council (my Diablo Silverado) and no dupe problem there


So was this a First upload of a Council list or an update of a previous upload?

This was our third upload.

Best to send a report to: scoutbook.support@scouting.org and ask them to look into it for your council. include the file you are uploading.

Report sent, SSD-100367

Thanks. This has been passed on to the development team.

We have about 1150 counselors and II was getting about 700 duplicates in my second upload. I was including the District name for all counselors as that is the way we list them. However, when I removed the District name (empty Districts and Units columns) for the uploads, the duplicates disappeared! Go figure. Anyway, thought it might help.

One of the things brought to my attention on this @KennethAdams is something I hope you take into considering…
Those not on the council list that are already working with Scouts and have their records in Scoutbook. You want to ensure you do not delete them without warning, especially if this avenue was their only way of record keeping or you will have another mess on your hands.

As we are trying to attempt to upload our Council MB list, who exactly at the Council level has the rights to upload a Council MB list? Due to our Virtual Merit Badge event I chair, Scouts wanted counselors added to their Scoutbook account. We figured that end out but now we struggle getting the Council end in. Could use your help there as is under the same topic here.

Also how do we ensure when we upload we do not affect so called not registered Counselors utilizing Scoutbook with their Scouts already are not affected in the upload or we will have another mess on our hands?

Each Council can have Council Admins in Scoutbook. Scout Executives have been sent instructions multiple times on how to assign the initial Council Admin. Once one Council Admin has been assigned, others can be easily added by any Council Admin.

A Council Admin is responsible for uploading the MBC list to Scoutbook. All existing MBC positions in Scoutbook for the Council are ended as the list is now under Council control. If your council has individuals serving as MBCs that are not registered, they need to get registered. Only registered MBCs are permitted to sign Blue Cards. There is no charge to register as an MBC.


@UrsulaSeefeld appreciate the concerns you raised. One step we took before our initial upload was to download and review the list of counselors that had been added by units or self-appointed. We then re-uploaded that list as a test to allow for the validity checks to happen, but did not complete the processing step that would finalize the upload. Out of 83 counselors, we identified numerous errors:

  • nine with no MBs listed, person not listed in Scoutnet as a counselor
  • twelve with “BSA Member ID does not exist”, again none listed in Scoutnet
  • three in Scoutbook but without a BSA ID listed at all - one of them was valid in Scoutnet

This error rate alone in Scoutbook was enough for us to justify locking down the list by uploading from council. In the end we removed 18% of the people in Scoutbook who had no business being listed as counselors for our council. None of those people deleted responded to the automated emails informing them of this.

Through this process, we also identified a number of misunderstandings about how connections to MBCs work in Scoutbook, and used it to retrain the units that had been heavy users. It took us about two to three days of going back and forth to work out the kinks, acknowledging that this is a volunteer-led effort and not a full time job.

In parallel, we pulled the complete list of MBCs from Scoutnet, checked it against the now-current list in Scoutbook, and identified additional errors that would occur when we merged the two lists.

  • 22 who were not currently registered in MBC positions with our districts
  • 44 mismatches between Scoutbook and Scoutnet merit badge lists

We spent a week validating the Scoutbook list against the Scoutnet list, contacted each impacted counselor, and resolved most of the differences through the district executives and their deans of merit badges. Along the way, we identified one counselor who was in the middle of running an online class and already connected to about 180 scouts. As far as we can tell, those connections were not impacted by three separate upload events. The same is true for another counselor with about 90 connections.

I think that once the development team gets done working through all of the issues that the councils are finding, this will be a robust system that enables good connections between Scouts and registered counselors, while also providing the right level of information to units to help the Scouts choose their counselors wisely.

1 Like

@edavignon… Thanks Ed for explaining on ownership of the Council Admin. That helps me help another. (I see we are asking the wrong person which I will tip off.)

@KennethAdams… THANK YOU for taking the time to write your post. That information will be extremely helpful in understanding the whole process. And it makes me add the other angle to this whole process: Troops having ‘in-house’ counselors that are not registered counselors. Every year while I work the Council list for merit badge day events, counselor asks me to get them on board and I check the Council master list only to find them not listed. It is a huge problem as counselor think they sign up for the role for forever. I am always re-educating them on they need to ‘recharter’ every year by send back the counselor letter signed to do another year.


Which "counselor letter’ are you referring to? Does it include the information in the “Merit Badge Counselor Information” form? Per the Registration Guidebook 2019 (written for council registrars):

Adult applications are required of all new counselors whether they are currently registered in another position or not. Merit badge counselors are registered and approved on the district level and all applications must be approved by the district merit badge counselor coordinator before the application is entered into the BSA membership system.

Reregistering merit badge counselors must complete a new Merit Badge Counselor Information form annually for approval, but a new application is not required.

(The “district merit badge counselor coordinator” is also known as the “district merit badge dean”.)

Another issue affecting registration of all adult volunteers and participants is a 2019 change in how and how often background checks need to be done. (A signed new “ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURES & BACKGROUND CHECK AUTHORIZATION” form (2019) is required for individual aged 18-plus years old for BSA membership registration.) Contact your council for when the council is scheduling periodic background checks for MBCs.

To answer simply…
Our Council does a mail merge of the needed information that is on the Merit Badge Counselor Information with what the Counselor already has on file. We consider the Merit Badge Counselor Information as the initial Counselor Application which is renewed with the mail merged ‘renewal counselor letter’ that has to be signed. This year’s process included the background check form being signed too.

Like you mentioned, different councils do the process differently.

It would be nice if the Merit Badge Counselor Information form included wording stating the form is good for a year and one must re-charter annual as a counselor! Might help on the re-educating annually!

It does have that statement.
Full form available at the link @Bill_W posted above.

There is a disconnect between the Registrar directions and the MBC Information form. The directions for the registrar seem to say the MBC shall renew with the MBC Info form. The form just states that the counselor must renew their registration annually with no specific direction. In the 3 councils I have dealt with that has basically meant the councils or districts have confirmed those people wish to re-register (similar to what we do on the unit level). In addition the form has no way to designate a re-registration (possibly it was there in a much earlier version) it is set up to add and remove MBs with no other option.


1 Like

@KennethAdams… after you comment, I revisit the form and check the date of it. Seems 2019 was a year of revision. So slight were the changes that I didn’t even noticed the differences.

@RonFedele The reason the form does not state specifics is because every council has their own procedure. It is more important to get the idea across that this is ‘an Annual’ form. Most Counselors fill in this form and and they are counselor for life. They do not realize that counselors need to ‘re-charter annually’ too.