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Search MBC list by troop number

Since we are unable to add MBC as a troop position any longer, it would be helpful to search by troop. We like to assign our troop leaders/ parents as MBC where possible. Our area has several zip codes so the search feature is ineffective.

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It seems like this potentially could be difficult to code, depending on the details of how Scoutbook is actually performing the search and how the user-readable data returned by the search is stored. What I mean is, it’s not 100% clear how Scoutbook is doing the actual searching, nor exactly what it’s returning as a search result on the back end.

For example, it seems unlikely that Scoutbook searching all of the individual profiles in Scoutbook to identify which are MBCs for the selected badge(s), and then which are located within a given radius of the specified ZIP code. It seems more likely that there is an “optimized” (whatever that would mean in this case) listing of all MBCs somewhere in the system. That listing might be subdivided based on merit badge, then sorted by ZIP code, or perhaps geocoded so that it could do a radius search, in order to accelerate return of the search results. I could easily be wrong about that, though, since search/sort seems to be something of a specialized research area. Assuming that I’m right about how the “list” is constructed, it would then depend on the list including all unit affiliations (which could mean multiple units, multiple types of units, etc) in order to be able to search based on those affiliations.

I don’t know how the database handles the contact info returned for the MBCs. If it does rely on the Scoutbook database for the contact information, I could see some advantage to having the searchable list consist of:

  1. a database index (AdultUserID?) to return for use in looking up the records in Scoutbook
  2. geocoded location data for that index
  3. a list of the merit badges associated

The list can immediately be sorted by the merit badge search term (or even pre-sorted since the number of MBs is more finite than the potential geocodes) to shorten the search time within the list. Then, the geocoded data is used to restrict the search results to the specified distance (presumably from the “center” of the reference ZIP code?). Then, the resulting AdultUserIDs are used to look-up contact information in the database. If I’m right (or roughly so) about how the lookup is done, and it does use the Scoutbook database, it probably wouldn’t be a particularly difficult task to return any unit affiliations, assuming that those map to the same AdultUserID. If it doesn’t return contact info based on the Scoutbook database, then the unit affiliations would likely have to be added to the list data, which seems like it would be a lot of extra info to handle/maintain. That said, that’s returning the info, not searching on that basis. If it were to be a search criterion, I think every unit affiliation would have to be in the search “list” somehow to make the algorithm return time reasonable.

I don’t know that it’s impossible (very little actually is) to do what you’re suggesting, it just seems like it could easily be a much bigger task than the BSA would consider valuable given limited development time/budget. The reason I say that is the emphasis that the Guide to Advancement puts on the value of “reaching out” and “broadening horizons” suggests that the ability to filter by unit a list of individuals who are actually approved at the council/district level wouldn’t be high on their priority list.

That said, since I maintain my own list of MBCs within our unit (based on our council’s regularly updated lists), I would be pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong and have this be “easy”.

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I assume that I am misunderstanding part of your question, and that your Troop related MBC’s are all actually registered and approved via your Council Advancement Committee.

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I think you can get something like what you are looking for in roster builder. Select the following:
All adults
Merit badge counselor options > show merit badges

If you have the list of adults in your unit that are certified/registered as MBCs, you can assign them to Scouts by name without having to do a search. That’s pretty trivial to do from the merit badge page, or from the Scout’s connections page.

Of course, as @RickBerg pointed out, you cannot assign adults as MBC unless they’re already registered and approved by your Council/District advancement committee, and you can’t assign a MBC to counsel a merit badge for which they are not approved.

@SteveCagigas, I think that’s the problem we’re having. We have scouters in our troop who are/were registered as MBC and they aren’t showing up on the list. For example, I gave a scout a list of cooking MBC’s but our one MC who’s been counseling a number of scouts wasn’t on that list. (Getting old and forgetful is rough.) So, although we leaders have no regrets about the counselor he chose to work with, I made things harder for him than it needed to be.
Because of the way the search works, it’s hard to find out how many of our troops scouters are affected by this.
It would be very useful to have a single click that brings up the list of adults who have a position in our troop and are registered as MBC’s. Then, we could tell our district guy exactly what needs to be changed.

And, for us, it’s not necessarily a matter of herding our boys to our counselors. It’s a matter of serving the scouts in the district well. There a lot of scouts in other troops who might be just down the street from one of our troop’s MBCs.

The scout I mentioned told me he called two or three other counselors before hearing back from one who was available. If that’s happening to him, it’s happening to other scouts, and our adults would want to be part of the solution.

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You can do this in the Report Builder… This will give you a list of all the adults registered with your unit, and if they’re set up as an MBC in Scoutbook, which MBs they’re configured for…

Here’s the result, and it shows me there’s a problem because William is a registered MBC for three or four different badges.

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I’ll give this a try tonight.

Our Council has stopped our ability to add a troop position of MBC. Any one who had the position has a July end date.

That’s your council’s prerogative. All MBCs have always been approved at the Council/District level. The ability to add MBC roles in Scoutbook varies from Council to Council

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It should still report the position, though, even if the council is maintaining the list. Ours (mostly) do, even though the council is managing the Scoutbook list now. Several that I know (including me!) are missing from Scoutbook. In my case, I verified in my.scouting and with our council MBC manager that I’m on their list, even though I don’t seem to have gotten into Scoutbook correctly. In my case, this is a longstanding issue that they don’t seem to have resolved yet.

If there’s someone you know is registered as a MBC with council, but doesn’t show up on the list in Scoutbook (either based on Zip Code search or the Roster Builder workaround @SteveCagigas suggested, you can either reach out to that person to let them know they need to talk to council, or reach out to council directly and let them know there’s an issue with the Scoutbook list. I’ve done both, with varying degrees of success.

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If a MBC has selected unit only as their availability they don’t show up on the MBC list. They need to mark as district or higher to show up in the search. At least in my experience.

Historically, the Scoutbook list returned both those who were registered to only counsel within a unit or within a district, as well as those that were registered to counsel “at large”. I’m not seeing several of the MBCs I know were registered to counsel “at the district-only level” in my search results, so maybe that’s changed.

Thanks @SteveCagigas, it took me a bit to figure out that you meant Roster Builder. But I got the list, which shows non of our adults are set up as MBCs in SB.
I guess I have my work cut out for me.

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As a registrar, I am finding many in our council who added themselves for badges they aren’t approved for.

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Sorry, I confuse those two ALL THE TIME. The names and functions are too similar to keep straight in my old brain.

It sounds like your council has not uploaded the MBC list yet. You may want to check with your registrar if they have any plans to do so before you go through the trouble.

You hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly why Scoutbook added the council upload feature. All unit added MBCs are ended when the council uploads the list.


Once a council uploads the MBC list to Scoutbook, units and MBCs are no longer able to modify the list of badges an MBC is authorized to council. This function falls under the control of the Council Admins. In my council it is the registrars that periodically upload the MBC list to Scoutbook.

See Scoutbook Merit Badge Counselor Council Upload FAQ for more information.

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