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Procedure to check off MB requirements

As per my understanding and the statement on Scoutbook a merit badge counselor (MBC) is the only one authorized to approve scout’s work on the badge. MBC checks off when is satisfied that XX_scout has completed a requirement.
So my understanding of the procedure is as follows: 1) Scout marks requirement 2) MBC approves 3) Leader approves, which means that Leader can only approve after MBC.
However, I have noticed that some leaders, who are not MBC, are able to approve a requirement before approval of MBC. Is this error in Scoutbook or maybe that particular adult leader has extra credentials? Is this correct?

Counselor Approved on Aug 30, 2020 by me
Marked Completed on Jun 9, 2020 by XX_Scout
Leader Approved on Jun 17, 2020 by XX_adult_leader

The reason this functionality exists is that not all MBCs use Scoutbook. So, if a scout has a partially-completed blue card, the leader could use the blue card as a basis to Leader Approve the MB requirement(s).

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OK. So, do you suggest I should talk to the adult leader to not check off if MBC use Scoutbook or blue card does not exist or requirement in blue card is not signed off (this case), correct?


The general process our troop has used is:

Physical Blue Cards:

  1. Scout asks SM/ASM to sign blue card to start tracking MB. SM/ASM recommends one or more MBCs, or scout suggests MBC.
  2. Scout coordinates with MBC to get requirements signed-off.
  3. Scout marks requirements Complete in Scoutbook as MBC signs off blue card. Scout either provides photos of signed requirements (e.g. in Scoutbook comments), or waits to submit completed card to SM/ASM/Advancement Chair.
  4. If documentation of signatures is provided, leader Approves individual requirements as counselor signs them off. Otherwise, MB is Approved after completed blue card is received.

Virtual (Scoutbook) Blue Cards:

  1. Step 1 is identical
  2. Scout contacts MBC to coordinate, and provides leader with confirmation and MBC email to connect in Scoutbook.
  3. Leader connects MBC to scout.
  4. Identical to physical process Step 2.
  5. MBC Counselor Approves items in Scoutbook as they are completed.
  6. Leader Approves only items that are already Counselor Approved.
  7. Final Counselor Approved digital blue card is provided to Advancement Chair for scheduling/purchasing, usually PDF via email.

Talking is always more effective than software changes for situations like this.

As @CharleyHamilton said, not all lMBCs use Scoutbook – in our Troop, maybe two or three of the 15 adult leaders use Scoutbook at all.

Are you saying you had never signed a blue card on this particular MB? If so, I agree that the leader needs to be instructed on when to approve things.

On the other hand, if you had signed the blue card but took a while to enter it in Scoutbook, the leader was in the right to give the scout credit for his/her completed work.

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