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


Great write up. This should definitely be heeded by the developers as user feedback. I completely agree with you on your points.

Hoping that the developers are watching this thread.

If not you should definitely tag them.


There is an item in the backlog to display awards differently on a Scout’s page when they are completed but not approved. We do not know if or when the BSA will schedule this for implementation.


Yes! You hit the nail on the head with #3. I don’t think a scout should sign off any requireemnts as being completed, but s/he should be able to enter those requirements as a photo or attachment so the MBC can view it. The 100% complete when a scout has green checked all of the requirements is very confusing. It would be great to see that go away, and completed changed to ready to review.

The Scout is NOT able to sign off any requirements. The Scout is simply saying the work necessary is complete and the Scout is ready to work with a leader or MBC to have the requirement signed off. This is no different than the Scout checking the left hand column of the rank table in the Scout’s handbook.

For Merit Badges, we recommend a leader not mark the requirement approved until they see one of the following:

  • The requirement has been Counselor approved in Scoutbook
  • The Scout presents a Blue Card with the Merit Badge Counselor’s signature saying the MB is complete
  • The Scout presents a partial Blue Card for a partial Merit Badge with the Merit Badge Counselor’s initials saying the requirement is complete.

Scoutbook does not eliminate the need for the Scout and unit leaders to communicate. The same discussions held with paper handbooks and Blue Cards should be held when using Scoutbook to record advancements.

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Agree with the process you describe. However, This whole thread began with me noticing that Merit Badges also show up on Leaders Need Approval report before being approved by Merit Badge Counselor.

It would be good that only those items that have been Merit Badge Counselor Approved show up on the needs leader approval report. This would follow the usual process of Scout completes the activity, MBC marks it approved by him/her, Leader approves.



Not all MBCs use Scoutbook, therefore we cannot require Counselor approval of MB requirements before they appear on the Needs Approval list. This allows leaders to record MBs in Scoutbook after seeing a physical Blue Card.

Understood. That’s why a setting in the admin sectio. Would be helpful. Or even just a filter on needs approval report would help in management.


I have a follow-on question from this thread…

Assume the following:
. Scout requests to start a merit badge
. Scoutmaster digitally approves request in Scoutbook.
. Merit badge Counselor assigned in scoutbook.
. MB Counselor approves partial completion of requirement in scoutbook.

Why does this partial completion show up on the needs approval report? Shouldn’t just the final completion show up for the SM to record?

Like many above, with 75 scouts in our troop and many counselors and scoutmasters, it gets tricky to sign off on partial items in scoutbook. It seems to me that merit badge partials should be excluded (or filtered out) since that is the domain of the counselor.

Thanks in advance.

Speculating as someone who’s never seen the code, it seems like it’s tied up in how requirements are implemented in Scoutbook. The individual requirements (whether for rank, a cub scout adventure, a merit badge, or an award) all require “Leader Approval” to “commit”. Arguably, this is divergent from the BSA advancement model as it exists in “paper space” (at least where merit badges are concerned), but I think it evolved from the original coding of Scoutbook, and might be more trouble to unwind than it would be worth, at least before the system gets fully ported over the the “new” IA2.

I consider the analogous situation where (in the physical world) many unit leaders delegate testing and approval of advancement requirements for Scouts BSA ranks Scout through First Class to senior scouts in the unit. Those scouts can not be delegated the same “signature” authority (i.e. Leader Approval) in Scoutbook, although the SM may have legitimately delegated that duty to them. It’s a feature that is desirable, and could be implemented (in principle), but it’s not clear the extent to which it is feasible within the code.

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