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Merit badge Items reported Complete by Scout, show up in Leader Approval report

When the scout marks an item completed on a Merit Badge it shows up on the Needs Approval Report for the Leader, regardless of whether the requirements and the badge were counselor approved.

Shoudn’t the process be

  1. Scout Marks Requirement Complete
  2. MBC Marks Requirement “Counselor Approved”
  3. MBC Marks Merits Badge as “Counselor Approved” once all requirements have been satisfied.

The Merit Badge should show up for leader approval after the MBC has approved.

Am I missing something here. We would like to do mass approvals for a large Troop. This would require the leader to review each scout to make sure that their Merit Badges were Counselor Approved before approving it.

This is as intended as not every unit or MBC uses SB

Any thoughts on How to control accidental approval of merit badges that are not yet complete? The Needs Approval Report does not allow filtering by Requirements and Merit Badges.

Any ideas are welcome. We have a huge troop and need to be tracking merit badges more efficiently while maintaining the integrity of the process.

Many troops won’t leader approve individual requirements. They’ll just approve the whole MB when the scout brings them the completed blue card?

Since a lot of folks are remote these days we are trying to figure out how to do this electronically. For now we will ask the leader to not bulk approve. He will have to go through them individually. Woudl be cumbersome for him

We’ve been doing it electronically, too. I believe the scout reaches out to the SM when they are completely done with the MB, and the SM either approves it then or asks the advancement chair to approve it on his behalf.

Yep. That is what we are planning to do. My challenge is that we have 90 Scouts in our troop. So the leader often does bulk approvals of requirements entered by the Advancement chair. Now that we are doing Merit Badges in ScoutBook as well, when he does a bulk approval, requirements nit approved by the MBC also get approved :frowning:

Will have do them individually i guess.

This is one of the drawbacks of the “Approve All” button. While it makes my life easier many times, it only seems to take one major foul up for me to start contemplating a request to have it removed.

One option is to ask the scout to upload a scan of the blue card as a Comment on the individual requirement. At least that way, it allows the leader to verify whether or not it was signed-off, even if it doesn’t solve the “bulk approval” issue. If it’s not signed on an actual blue card, they could upload a copy of the relevant email as an image.

Another approach might be to request that the scouts not mark requirements as “complete”, but rather add a comment that indicates it was completed and reviewed with the counselor, and as of which date. They could track it for their own purposes either on a blue card, or on a print of the blank blue card from Scoutbook.

Are there a lot of MBCs – working with your scouts – who are not using Scoutbook? I’ve been relatively successful getting the MBCs to try out using Scoutbook, even the somewhat more techno-phobic ones. They generally don’t like it as much, nor use it as efficiently, as the physical blue cards. However, they do see advantages over trying to track everything through various emails. Some of the ones who don’t use Scoutbook are signing a physical blue card, then emailing photos of it to the scouts whenever requirements are reviewed/approved over Zoom. That seems like a lot of extra steps to me, but I’m also fairly comfortable with Scoutbook.

Thank you Charley… I see that you have felt the pain :slight_smile:

We are just starting to use ScoutBook for MBs. Haven’t seen much pushback on system use. Will see what the future holds. There may be some techno-phobes who may resist, in which case we will figure out some upload of a picture of the blue card type process.

We have Advancements and Merit Badges delegated between the Advancement Chair and a Merit Badge Coordinator so it should be easy enough to check merit badge counselor approval on each merit badge before approving. I just have to now tell the Scout Master that he may have to stop using his favorite Approve All

But…but…but…it’s a BIG RED BUTTON! How can I not push it? It’s just begging to be pushed. :rofl:

It was my favorite Button for years as CubMaster!!

If anyone is taking ScoutBook product enhancement ideas I have 1

  1. Allow filters on Need Approval report page. So you can filter by activity type Rank Advancement vs Merit Badge vs Awards.

Anyone know if there is a Page for feature requests. I know one guy who’d upvote this. Thanks in advance Charley.

We have a mixed bag regarding the MBCs who are active in our Troop. Of the six committee members/ASMs that are also MBCs, probably two of us are really comfortable working in Scoutbook, and the others can use Scoutbook, but generally prefer physical blue cards.

Yeah, we have a mixed bag, too, @SteveCagigas.

I’ve started connecting even the ones who aren’t comfortable in Scoutbook, so that at least the adult leaders reviewing things know who to contact in case there’s some lack of clarity about completions. It’s a less-than-perfect system, but I have no expectation of perfection. That would just be silly. :wink:

Created a new feature request.

Not sure if this forum allows voting but comment on it to let the powers that be know :slight_smile:

Same here. I told our Scouts to send me pictures of their blue cards after meeting with their MBCs. I can attach the pic as evidence for this signatures and mark the requirements off as completed.

Advancement Coordinator for a boy troop and a girl troop. Both units are meeting in person (with strict COVID guidelines). Small # of people at meetings. Small population (~17,000) town in a small population (~36,000) county with a large area(~1100 sq mi). Been the Advancement person since before IA 1, SB and IA 2. In the early days I recognized e-mails from the MBCs, especially for a “group effort”. A lot of the local MBCs use a spreadsheet (electronic &/or hardcopy) to keep track of the individual youth’s requirement completions. When the youth has completed the MB the MBC usually fills out a Blue Card or if a batch I will accept an e-mail or other written document that the MB’s are done. Then I enter the completions into SB within a few days of the Scout meeting.
Some of the MBC’s especially for the Girl troop use SB to track MB requirements and it appears to work for them.
The largest either troop has been since we started using SB is 34 youth and I have not had a problem with being able to keep up with entry of advancement for either troop.
Boy Troop
The boy troop does not use entry of individual rank requirements for any of the ranks. The scouts handbook is the official record up to BORs at which time the BORs fill out an Advancement Report and give to me for entry into SB.
Girl Troop
In the Girl troop the SM and ASMs sometimes record individual advancement requirements for some ranks into SB but the youths handbook is still the official record up to BORs at which time the BORs fill out an Advancement Report and give to me for entry into SB.
Both
I keep the Advancement Reports for Rank Advancements until time to purchase for CORs then attach to the SB report for turning in to Council and Scout Shop. (Council office is about 1.5 hrs / 90 miles)
I do NOT use the Approve All Red Button since I am keeping up on about a once every week or two and both units are smaller in size.
I have used the “Mark AS Awarded” big button after CORs
Good luck to all of my fellow scouters out there and stay healthy.