Scoutbook says MB counselor I chose cannot do any of my scouts badges

Part of the procedure stated above does not appear to meet requirements of the Guide to Advancement, About Merit Badge Counselors.

The district chair is not required to interview a MBC applicant, that I know of.

Approving MBCs is a council function that may be delegated to the district level.

However qualification for certain badges requires additional non-BSA certification of training, some which need to be renewed periodically.

Councils and districts should not be “rubberstamping” the qualification of new badges for MBCs and just entering them without verification of the qualification.

What happened to Web-Based Counselor Lists?
“Online counselor lists present a number of challenges. They should only be placed on official council websites that conform to the National Council guidelines. Council sites must consider the safety and privacy of their members and participants by obtaining the necessary permissions to release information about or images of any individual. Give attention to protecting counselor privacy. Limit access to those who have merit badge– related responsibilities, such as advancement committee members and chairs, or unit leaders and selected assistants. Scouts should not have access. Their interaction with the Scoutmaster in discussing work on a badge, and obtaining a counselor’s name, is an important part of the merit badge plan.”

Only leaders on the Scoutbook roster can see the MBC list in Scoutbook. Parents cannot see the list, but if they know the name of an MBC they can make the connection.

The BSA has determined Scoutbook’s restrictions on the MBC list are sufficient.

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I currently serve as a Scoutmaster and registered Merit Badge Counselor so I have Full Control. Scoutbook’s Find a MB Counselor page does indicate, “This page is only viewable by unit leaders. Parents, Scouts and other users do not have access to this page.”

My concerns began with information provided in the posts suggesting access to the MBC list is wide open to others with full control, contradicting the web page statement. I cannot see the other’s search page with allowed search parameters, or results. From you post I take it others can only search by counselor name and not by merit badge group. If that’s the case then great.

The MB Counselor Search feature is restricted to leaders.

If a parent already knows the name of an MBC because the Scoutmaster provided it to the Scout or previous experience, the Parent can go to the Scout’s connection page, click +Add and search for the MBC by name, e-mail address or BSA Member ID. This is no different than the way a parent would search for anyone else to make a connection to their Scout.

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If your Council does it correctly, Counselors are authorized only for specific badges. Unless the counselor was authorized for the specific badge then the connection wouldn’t be made. In this case it looks like those counselors “cannot approve (counsel) any badges the scout is working on”.
Sounds like the system works exactly as it should.
The other poster is also correct. Only troop Scoutmaster or his designee should be connecting scouts to counselors. The parent also should not be the one contacting the counselor, that should be done only by the scout.


@PeterTownsend has the right summary!

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