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Spreadsheet to compare MBC Upload and Download files

I have created an Excel SpreadSheet that compares the uploaded Merit Badge Counselor file to the resulting list downloaded from ScoutBook. It is attached below. The first sheet is where the data and action happens. The second sheet, “Instructions” tells you how to import the files and setup the compare.

Hope that you find it useful. One warning, the xls file contains a Macro that is used to count the number of words in the Badges list. Since the order of badges from ScoutBook is not sorted, I count the words to compare the upload and download. While not perfect, it normally catches dropped badges.

Hope you find it useful.
Greg Buchanan
ScoutBook Upload Compare.xls (88 KB)

Thanks for sharing! I’m trying something similar based on character count. In doing so, I discovered a couple of interesting facts about the upload software:

  1. It accepts “Motor Boating” for “Motorboating”, making the substitution.
  2. It will accept a comma-separated list without spaces, but outputs a list with a leading space after the comma.
  3. It will accept redundant badges (Camping, Camping) but removes the redundancy.

Cool! (These anomalies inevitably enter into an admin list when they are provided with pdf’s, google docs, and notes scribbled on cocktail napkins as input.)

I discovered it accepts some variations on input, but sends back consistant results. I noticed that it accepted “Citizenship In The Nation” (note the capitals on In and The) but returned “Citizenship in the Nation”. Same is true for Cit World and Cit Community. I also discoverd that some of my badges had a trailing blank. It seemed to accept those as well.

As a old Data Comm Protocol programmer, my motto was follow a policy of “forgiving” minor items on input, but always export/send consistant answers. Now if we could just get them to SORT the list of badges they return, life would be easier. Then a straight string compare of the Badges list would tell us if it matches.


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Nice work on the spreadsheet. I noticed that the merit badge counts differed on most of my counselors. Looked and the word count macro and noticed it was splitting on " " vs. “,”. Made the change and now the counts agree.

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I found many ‘interesting’ badge names when first uploading to Scoutbook. Began to think that ScoutNet didn’t verify badge names when people were entering them. One I remember is “Communication” vs. “Communications.” The first, without the “s”, is correct. I think. I’m at the age of diminishing returns. Returns from memory that is.

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“Communication” is the correct name for the merit badge, but I remember that it was listed as “Communications” in the old Internet Advancement. I am not sure how it is listed in ScoutNet.

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@BobPaver, Glad you found it useful. However, I find that splitting on " " works for me, and splitting on “,” doesn’t? Not sure why. However, I make sure to trim any extra spaces from the Badge Names and snug that comma right up against the word. That seems to be how they come back from ScoutBook as well.

When I first started this “adventure”, I tried using a straight File Compare program to check for differences between upload and download files. I was quickly dissuaded from using that method when it showed every line with differences. So then I came up with this approach.


How strange. I am using a Mac which can make a difference with Microsoft products. I’ve got a Windows laptop and might try it there.

I too have tried to compare the files with at least 5 different products. The best I found is something called ‘daff’, written in Python. It’s designed to compare CSV files. Scoutbook changes so much of the uploaded data that every downloaded record shows as different. It does show field differences, however. If you’re patient you can go through line by line looking for the field that differs. It’s painful, in part because the lines are so long and I have keep scrolling left and right to see things.

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