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Troop Not Zip Code Based Merit Badge Counselor List

I propose that the merit badge counselor list be changed from zip code based to troop based or that a troop-based search be added as a capability. This might allow access within the troop for adults and scouts without the policy and privacy issues attendant with providing MBC contact information to the broader community. Additionally, it will help leadership within the troop stay informed of their current MBC roster without having to parse through lots of unnecessary and unwanted date regarding MBCs not within their troop but within their geographic area.

Also, it is not clear the the information currently available within Scoutbook is, in fact, limited for accessability as chosen by each merit badge counselor. For example, I have elected to work only with scouts within my troop, but when I search the list by zip code and as much as a 50-mile radius, my name is still visible. I don’t know if that is because I will always be visible to me when logged on as myself or if my information is now more widely available than I had requested.

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The Guide to Advancement does not permit an MBC list to be given to Scouts.

The zip code entry on MB Counselor Search is just the starting point. If you have your listing preference set to your troop, any time you search, since you are a leader in the troop, you will appear. If someone for a different troop searches, you will not appear.

Personally, I would prefer the BSA to eliminate the option to council for a single troop. I wish every MBC would be willing to work with any Scout that needed their help in completing a merit badge.


You can see what your visibility settings are from your My Positions listing:

Mine shows that I’m visible to anyone in my district, as I specified. If the visibility isn’t correct, I believe that you can adjust that in the position itself:

One tactic to maintain a “unit level list” is to get each person who signs up as a MBC to tell you one badge they signed up for. When you search for that badge in the correct zip code, it will return the person’s name with all of the badges for which they are approved listed. I use this to keep our “internal” list up-to-date roughly monthly. It takes me about a half hour or so, depending on how many distractions I have while I’m doing it.

ETA: I know it’s bad form to edit posts in a closed thread, but I discovered something in the help documentation that might make this task easier.

You can also run a roster report, choose all adults and MBC options. This will give you all troop registered adults and parents with MBs


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That’s what we do, though with only 6 or 7 leaders in our Troop that are also MBCs, it’s not too complicated to remember who does what…

Volunteer advancement committees in each council are responsible for developing and maintaining a list of approved merit badge counselors. Those lists are input and updated in Scoutbook by either council staff or a designated volunteer member of the advancement committee. The end product is what you see in Scoutbook.

Your primary source of approved merit badge counselors should be your council. In the Lake Erie Council links to the password protected files are distributed to Scoutmasters with the password. The links are also posted on the web site. Other users must request the password from the designated council advancement committee member where access is granted based on the requester’s registered position.

In the case of Lake Erie Council the lists are searchable by name, merit badge taught, unit, address, and whether they serve council-wide, district or troop only. The system maintains data security and is designed for great utility. Not suggesting you ignore the list as may be provided by Scoutbook, but it may be best to rely on the primary source. See Form topic Scoutbook Bugs.

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