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Scoutbook Merit Badge questions / Issues

  1. When counselors mark a merit badge as completed (transitioning from hard copy blue cards to electronic Scoutboot), the individual requirements are not being marked off as completed, only the overall completion.

  2. The system will not allow a Unit Leader to approve a Merit Badge with the same date as the counselor used to mark the work completed. However the unit leader can use a future date.
    Example, on 2020-10-19 the counselor marked the merit badge as completed. The system threw an alert box up when the Unit Leader attempted to approve with the same date with a message complaining that the approval date was before the completion date. But the date of 2020-10-20 was accepted even though this was at the time, a future date.

Scoutbook is on Central time, so if you are on Pacific time and you are posting at 11:00 pm on October 19, then that is 1:00 am October 20 Central time for Scoutbook.

What is the date of completion as written on the blue card? That is the date that you should see when you click on the box next to where it says “Completed”. The other dates are audit dates, and are only meaningful to show when users did things (marked a merit badge as Completed, Approved, or Awarded).

I was the unit leader, and was online with the counselor, showing him the process at 10:45 PDT, so that makes some sense. But normal internet usage is to save dates at UTC, with a zone offset, and present it with the correct date of the user, or in UTC. No one would expect a CDT date unless you live in the Central Time Zone.

Looking at the electronic Blue Card shows the date you mentioned. It also shows an error. The Counselor’s date is cropped Instead of “10/20/20” it shows “10/20/2”,
Off by 2018 years. :smile:
image|678x291

What is the date of completion of the physical blue card? That is the date that should be entered when you (or the Merit Badge Counselor) click on the checkbox next to Completed.

  • There is no physical blue card, all electronic in Scoutbook. The Completion date is 10/20/20 as I would expect from your explanation above. (Entered as completed on 10/19/20 at 10:45 p.m. PDT).
  • The :“audit” dates and the “completion date” shown in my first screen shot are both incorrect. They show 10/20/20, when they should show the actual date of completion as 10/19/20.
  • This is not an issue for this Scout, but in the past I have had Scouts complete their last Merit Badge the evening before their 18th birthday. With no blue card, this would cause the Scout as ineligible to have completed all requirements on time, which would be incorrect. Major issue!
  • If the submission was “corrected” to the CDT day of 10/20/20, then why would it not change the Leader Approval date as well? Is this validation being done locally in the javascript, as opposed to being done on the server side? Is that why it would take the 10/20/20 date for leader approval, even though it was still 10/19/20 where all involved (Scouts, Counselor, Leader) lived?
    It seems that the validation process is mixing “corrected” and “raw” data.
  • I suspect the date shown on the “Print Blue Card” generated PDF is simply a formatting error, but again, it is incorrect.
  • I notice in your last example that the badge is marked completed, while there is no “Initial Unit Leader Signature”. That would seem to be a major bug, as no Scout should be talking to a Counselor, much less have requirements or the whole badge completed, without having the approval of the unit leader.
  • I also notice that in your example, my other original issue is reflected. The badge is marked completed, but the individual requirements are not marked completed. Not a big deal perhaps, but still incorrect. This is similar to the, working, case where a major requirement is automatically marked completed only when all the subordinate requirements are marked completed. It should work in both directions when the badge as a whole is marked as completed .

Sorry for the nit picking, but I am a SAAS QA Engineer as well as a long time Scouter. Its in the blood. :slight_smile:

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There is no way for Scoutbook to know which requirements were actually completed when there are options. It would be wrong to mark all requirements complete.

Yes, and that was often done with the old Blue Cards as well. A signed card meant all requirements were completed, and often there was no space for every individual requirement on the card itself.

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Scoutbook does not require every individual requirement to be marked as Completed – users can just mark them as Completed and Approved overall. This would be similar to a Merit Badge Counselor not writing in every individual requirement on the middle part (Applicant’s Record) of the blue card. Individual requirements are not really necessary unless the Scout has a partial completion (Guide to Advancement section 7.0.0.2 About the Application for Merit Badge (“Blue Card”)).

If you want to mark all requirements as Completed and Approved in Scoutbook, you can do so. I would recommend that you use Quick Entry from the Troop or Patrol pages.

With your example merit badge that was Completed and Approved yesterday on October 19, 2020 (in real life), then I would expect the date of completion to be October 19, 2020, and the audit dates to be October 19, 2020 or later. If you are on Pacific time at 11 pm on October 19, then the audit dates will show October 20, because Scoutbook is on Central time. Users can change the date of completion, but they cannot change the audit dates.

I changed the “Completion” date back to 10/19/20. But as the “Audit” date cannot be changed, which date will be used by national when determining if a Scout completed all Eagle requirements before his 18th Birthday? This is important.

The BSA will look at the date of completion (10/19/2020). If you were using a physical blue card, then the date completed in Scoutbook would be the same as the date on the back of the blue card (“Completed on [date]”). Also, merit badges must be marked as Approved in Scoutbook.

The audit dates are for your own use (sometimes units have questions about when different people did things).

Your Electronics merit badge example should look something like this (I do not have a Merit Badge Counselor attached to this Scout):

Electronics merit badge example

Excellent, thank you.

I was recently entered in scoutbook as a MBC and I do show it as a position that I am trained for. However I have no ability to input requirements or completions for a scout. It appears as though the position has not been approved in scoutbook. I have talked with the unit (who does not have the ability to approve it) and I talked with the council who says I am approved. What is wrong with my account?

Trevor,

Are you connected to the Scout as a Merit Badge Counselor? You can see your connections by going to My Dashboard -> Administration -> My Account -> My Connections.

are you connected to a scout AS an MBC? You have to be individually invited.

I am also a leader and do have connections to multiple scouts.

A Leader Connection in Scoutbook is Different than an MBC Connection in Scoutbook

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My wife was also recently added as a MBC and she has options when she first logs in on her Dashboard called “My Merit Badge Counseling”. I do not have those options. It also has a green check that she is approved for her position as MBC in SB but not mine.

under your positions in Scoutbook do you see the MBC position? is there a checkbox at bottom of it when you open it to agree to join the roster perhaps?

Yes and I have check that and saved it multiple times hoping it would fix the issue but it hasn’t.