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Removing Unregistered Merit Badge Counselors From Scoutbook (Thread for questions)

On Feb 1, 2021, we will remove any remaining unregistered Merit Badge Counselors (MBC) from Scoutbook, delete MBC connections with any Scouts they are counseling, and remove the ability of units to change which Merit Badges are approved for MBCs. At that point the only remaining MBC positions will have come in via ScoutNET, and their approved merit badge listing will come in via ScoutNET or a council upload. Merit Badges and requirements previously approved by removed MBCs will remain.

By BSA policy, people serving as merit badge counselors must maintain registration with the Boy Scouts of America as merit badge counselors and be approved by their local council advancement committee for each of their badges.

NOTE: This change should not affect any council who has previously uploaded their MBC list to Scoutbook. (Unit leaders: At the bottom of the unit page in Scoutbook your council should appear. If your council uploaded the list, that should appear below the council name.)

For councils who have not uploaded the MBC/MB list to Scoutbook: Anyone with a MBC position on a troop roster in Scoutbook, will have their MBC position ended on the Scoutbook troop roster. If they are registered, they will appear in the MBC search and the individual MBC can see their position in their My Positions page.

Individual members can check to see if they are showing in Scoutbook as registered by logging into Scoutbook, clicking on My Dashboard, Administration, My Account, My Positions. If your Merit Badge Counselor position there shows up as approved by your council and blue check marks next to your approved merit badges, you should be good. If the approved by your council is not there and the check marks are green, you should contact your council and register as a merit badge counselor.

Information for units on how to find merit badge counselors in Scoutbook is at this link. Units can find out if a particular merit badge counselor is registered with badges approved by their council by using the MB Counselor List search page (located on the Troop, Crew, Ship page in Scoutbook.) If the MBC shows approved by council they are registered, if it shows a blue checkmark next to the badge, that means the council has approved that badge for counseling by the MBC. A green checkmark means it is not approved by the council and will be removed on Feb 1st.

This will not affect merit badge counselors whose registration expired on 12/31/2020 and are waiting for council rechartering.

Follow this link for more information.

Some questions related to the removal of non-registered counselors from Scoutbook. I fully support doing so.

  • How exactly will the removed MBCs be notified? Will they get the standard “you are not a counselor anymore” message or a message specific to this removal.

  • Can the council create the message that will be used?

  • Is there a way for the council Scoutbook administrators to get a list of the counselors that will be removed? The unit leadership should be informed that counselors added by the troop will not be found in Scoutbook until they register with the council.

  • How will unit leaders know which of the Scouts in their unit were connected to the removed counsleor(s)?

  • We have approximately 12 MBCs in Scoutbook with more than one BSA Member IDs. Will the purge process account for this situation (which I think is not unusual)? It is possible that one of the IDs is active while the rest are not. Would a person in this situation get removal messages for the IDs not found in ScoutNET?

These are the questions that I have so far. There may be more.

Thanks.

Yes, removed MBCs will receive the standard email that they have been removed and to contact their council for assistance.

  • Can the council create the message that will be used?

Council Scoutbook Administrators can modify the emails that go out on the Manage Approved Merit Badge Counselor List page.

  • Is there a way for the council Scoutbook administrators to get a list of the counselors that will be removed? The unit leadership should be informed that counselors added by the troop will not be found in Scoutbook until they register with the council.

The council administrator can download the MBC list from the Manage Merit Badge Counselor List page and immediately upload it again. The system will tell you which ones do not have MBC registrations. You don’t have to process the list after you upload it, just have the system run through the validation step.

  • How will unit leaders know which of the Scouts in their unit were connected to the removed counsleor(s)?

The connections will be removed by the system, so the counselors will no longer appear with the merit badges they were counseling.

  • We have approximately 12 MBCs in Scoutbook with more than one BSA Member IDs. Will the purge process account for this situation (which I think is not unusual)? It is possible that one of the IDs is active while the rest are not. Would a person in this situation get removal messages for the IDs not found in ScoutNET?

Send a list of those counselor’s names and member IDs to me and I will correct them prior to the 1st. Make sure you give me their names, member ID they are actually registered under, and you wish to remain. If you need to merge the numbers on the council side prior, you should do that as well. Send the list to suacinformation@gmail.com

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Thanks, Bill. Fantastically fast response!

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How does the council create this list and upload it to scoutbook? I am confused – I was told that this list hasn’t and won’t be updated anymore. Troops are responsible for their own list and supplying it to their own scouts. My wife and I are both MBC and are not on the SB list.

Thanks
Paul Barnaby

Paul,

I checked your record in Aklea, the BSA person database. You are not a registered Merit Badge Counselor. To be a Merit Badge Counselor, you must complete a BSA Adult Application and the Merit Badge Counselor Information form. There is no charge to register as n MBC.

Hi Ed

That is incorrect. I am a MBC for 4 MB including Sports and Personal Mgmt and was approached last week to assist with the virtual MB college. To my point – who is populating the lists and why are people being left off? It becomes difficult in these remote times for scouts to advance when the resources are inaccurate.

Paul Barnaby

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Paul,

I sent you a private message that includes your registration history from Akela. Click on the orange circle with the white P in the upper right corner of the forum window.

Paul,
To answer your question on how MBCs get into Scoutbook. Your council registers you as a MBC by putting in your ScoutNet record that you are registered as a MBC, and which badges the council has approved you to counsel. The system then automatically populates Scoutbook with that information within 48 hours. BSA policy on MBC registration is here.

I’ve been managing the District MBC list for a few years and wonder how this impacts us District managers? I presume that we will either forward our received applications/YPT certs/MBC info paperwork to Council. In the past I believe Council basically authorized Districts to manage these lists. At least that was my experience in the Old Dominion District, Virginia where I was the ‘Merit Badge Dean’ for many years and presently in the former Croatan Trails District where I’ve filled the same role for 3 years. This is a lot of extra work IMHO to lay on the Council staff.

Lawrence,

If your council has not had you forward MBC applications to the registrar for processing, the Council was in violation of BSA policy. All MBCs must be registered in ScoutNET.

Going forward, Councils have 2 options for maintaining the MBC list in Scoutbook. In both cases, all MBCs must be properly registered in ScoutNET.

  1. The Council indicates in ScoutNET which MBs the MBC counsels. Within 48 hours (usually overnight) changes made in ScoutNET will be pushed to Scoutbook. This is the way my council manages its over 2500 MBCs.
  2. A Council Admin produces a csv file that indicates which MBs each MBC counsels. The Council Admin then uploads this csv to Scoutbook. This is a manual process that must be repeated when changes are made to the MBC list. Every MBC must be listed in the csv with all of their MBs each time the file is uploaded, otherwise, MBs not listed will be removed.
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All paperwork was and is provided to Council when received and simultaneously logged into a District managed list. The two lists were compared throughout the year to ensure compliance and synchronization.

Lawrence,
As long as the ScoutNET’s MBC by Badge or the MBC by All reports from your council match your list, you should be good.

Thanks Bill. I will contact our Council Registrar and sort this out. If there’s no need or benefit to me maintaining a separate list, with the ongoing headaches of trying to keep people YPT compliant, then I’ll drop it.

But I do think there’s value in having a local go-to person for questions and guiding them through the process.

The other question I have is when people want to add/drop MBs that they teach. I have been informal in that regard, accepting a text, phone call, chat at a campout and making the change, which I also alert Council to. I often but not always receive a new MBC Info form but may have to insist on that under this change.

Ed

Ed Phillips
T446

(AKA Lawrence)

The form isn’t required, however the responsibility on who is approved for which badge is the council’s. How they delegate the administration is up to them. The policy can be found here.

I am being told CT Yankee council doesn’t populate the list in Scoutnet

That’s fine. If they assign MBs to MBCs in ScoutNET the list comes into Scoutbook automatically. And from the numbers I have, it looks like they do.

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Thanks. I reviewed the policy again and it does state that Council or Districts can maintain the lists, i.e. this can be delegated to Districts by a Council. It also states that the MBC Info form is required, which is what I’ve been going by for 15+ years of doing this. Otherwise there would be no way to make the determination that an applicant is qualified to serve for a specific MB subject. I’ll work this out with my Council as previously stated. I think we’re in violent agreement!

I am a registered as a merit badge counselor (according to my.scouting profile but it has my district, which is how it works in my council, and no check marks. Says it’s good through January 31, 2021 though) but as far as I know our council (NCAC) has not uploaded the MB counselor list. I see for instance on my troop roster others who I know are on the district MB list are not listed as a MB counselor in Scoutbook. So will my Scoutbook MB connections disappear on February 1? Not a big deal for the council classes I teach but I do have a number of troop kids in classes. I am an admin and can still record but the MB counselor tools are very convenient to use.

Cynthia,

MBCs are supposed to have a 60 day grace period in Scoutbook. There is something that is not working correctly that is removing MBCs that have expired if any other change is made that causes a sync to Scoutbook. We are working with BSA IT to get this resolved so that the grace period properly works for MBCs.

As long as NCAC renews your MBC position by 4/1/21, you should not see any lapse in Scoutbook.