I received the following email Sun 8/1/2021 1:07 AM from Scoutbook email@example.com:
Your council has recently updated its list of approved merit badge counselors and shared that information with unit leaders on Scoutbook.com. Your approved badges are now:
Since you already have a Scoutbook account, there is no action that you need to take at this time. Thank you for everything you do for Scouting and for your support of Scoutbook.
On checking Administration > My Account > My Positions >Merit Badge Counselor position has a green check mark. No merit badges are listed consequently there are no subsequent green or blue check marks. Optional Notes contains the notation : AkelaSB_MBC_IL_Update.
Checking Scoutbook>Administration>My Units>MB Counselor Lists indicates none of the Lake Erie Council MB Counselors have merit badges associated with their names. I doubt Lake Erie Council disapproved/deleted all the merit badges for all the registered counselors. Please take action to correct the error(s).
This is because there are no Merit Badges listed for you in Scoutbook.
I checked your record in Akela, the BSA Person Database and there are no Merit Badges listed for you there either.
Your Council needs to either:
- Add the Merit Badges you council to Akela via their ScoutNet interface
- Upload a new Merit Badge Counselor file to Scoutbook that includes your Merit Badges.
The problem I am describing is not a single instance. It is more likely an error occurred in the file format or file upload. I suggest it would be more productive for the folks at Scoutbook to take a look at what they received, test the file, then contact Lake Erie Council directly with comments or corrections. I’m not looking for another job.
I checked my.scouting.org>Reports>COUNCIL MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR LISTING and saw the same condition. Cursory examination indicates there are a few counselors with merit badges listed. It makes the appearance that a file update for a few counselors corrupted the information for the rest of the 739. That has happened before.
Is the MBC database shared by the systems or is Scoutbook secondary to my.scouting.org?
Lake Erie has contacts with BSA IT. They need to submit a ticket to get help. The SUAC has no ability to see the file that was last uploaded.
The notice " Your council has recently updated its list of approved merit badge counselors… Your approved badges are now:" has occurred sporadically with no activity from the Council to support a change.
I posted a similar item, as a test case, which you were forwarding to someone for analysis. I’ve not heard back about what they found. In that case, NO update had occurred by the council and the badges reported back with the message didn’t match Akela.
Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
So the merit badge counselor database is maintained by BSA IT. Scoutbook makes the information available on this platform with added search and contact features. BSA IT has no effective quality control / quality assurance mechanism. Got it.
That is not what I said. The SUAC (volunteers) do not have visibility. The developers do. Your council needs to open a ticket with IT to have the problem investigated.
Merit Badge Counselor (MBC) processing
Version 2021-08-03-A DRAFT
For current description of Scoutbook MBC processing see Knowledge Base help page at
Scoutbook New Features - 2020-09-21
per September 21, 2020 Scoutbook Updates - Merit Badge Counselors
- Merit Badge Counselors
- Merit Badge Counselors are now imported from ScoutNET. Units no longer have the ability to add or remove Merit Badge Counselors. When a Merit Badge Counselor is added to ScoutNET by the Council, the position will be pushed to Scoutbook within 48 hours.
- For Councils that have not uploaded a Merit Badge Counselor list, the MBC can add or remove merit badges they counsel.
- For Councils that have uploaded a Merit Badge Counselor list, the list of merit badges an MBC counsels remains locked. The list can be updated either by the council adding or removing Merit Badges in ScoutNET or the council uploading a new Merit Badge Counselor list.
- The MBC upload file must still begin with <council_number>_mbc but may have any legal file name characters after mbc and before .csv. Note: the file format has changed. Review the FAQ and instructions on the Manage MBC List page for details.
General MBC Information
In addition to the path to Eagle Scout, some other BSA program use merit badge requirements, for example in the Sea Scouts BSA path to Quartermaster.
Take note of these 11 key changes in the 2021 Guide to Advancement, August 2, 2021, by Bryan Wendel
- Alternatives to merit badge ‘blue cards’ allowed
- More guidance given on what to do when merit badge requirements change
Guide to Advancement, 33088.pdf (scouting.org), 96 pages
A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling - 512-065.pdf (scouting.org), 512-065, 2018 Printing
- MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR INFORMATION, form 34405 (scouting.org)
Merit Badges Requirements | Boy Scouts of America (scouting.org) - The requirements posted here are the most current, accurate, and official. This will always be the best place to find the most up-to-date requirements.
My.Scouting gets the list of merit badge counselors as a feed from the council ScoutNET database.
Scoutbook gets a feed from My.Scouting, so what is in there is also in Scoutbook. In addition, a council has the option to upload a file to Scoutbook with merit badge assignments.
Unfortunately, the message an individual merit badge counselor gets from Scoutbook looks the same for any change in their record in Scoutbook. The change may or may not have been caused by a file upload, it could have been a change to the record in ScoutNET.
I would echo the recommendation that you follow up with your local council and if needed they can reach out to the My.Scouting or Scoutbook support staff.
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