Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Who Approves MBs?

Who is supposed to mark the overall MB as approved? The MBC, SM, or Adv Chair? The video instructions for MBCs does not say anything, only that once all individual requirements have been marked approved the overall MB box is automatically marked completed. Is this for the SM to do in lieu of doing the after completion signature on a blue card? Or should the Adv Chair do it? Thanks.

@HelenHsiu - from the guide to advancement:

A merit badge counselor—once he or she is satisfied a Scout has met all the requirements—signs in two places: on the reverse of the Application for Merit Badge (to the left) and on the Applicant’s Record (in the middle). These two parts are returned to the Scout. The approving counselor should retain the part of the card called the Counselor’s Record for at least one year—in case questions are raised later. If the Scout did not complete all the requirements, the counselor initials those that were fulfilled in the spaces provided on the back of the Applicant’s Record part

The approve that you are noting is the unit acknowledgement that is it completed and that appropriate next steps are taken by the unit.

Sorry, I was asking in regards to using Scoutbook. We understand use of blue cards but it’s our first time using Scoutbook for tracking MB requirements. The overall status (third line, just under Print Blue Cards) gets automatically set to Completed (green) once all necessary requirements have been approved. Should the MBC then mark it as Approved (blue)? Or should the SM do this? Or Adv Chair or admin?

As @Stephen_Hornak noted, the hardcopy process is pretty straightforward and well-established. The Scoutbook process is very similar, with the MBC able to mark requirements or the entire badge as “Counselor Approved”, and unit leaders able to mark the requirements and/or badge as “Leader Approved”, once evidence has been submitted that the counselor approved. That evidence could take the form of “Counselor Approved” marking in Scoutbook. It could be a signed blue card. It could be another “work-around” based on social distancing, such as a photo of the signed blue card.

What this looks like in Scoutbook after both counselor and leader approvals is this:

Whoever is signing the “Initial Unit Leader Signature” should be whoever had the initial conversation with the scout regarding the badge. If it’s not the person who actually had the conversation, I would recommend that the name of the person who had the initial conversation be added to the overall notes for the badge. This is the name that would appear on the “Unit Leader Signature” line on the “front” of the application for merit badge portion of the blue card (i.e. the initial discussion signature).

Whoever checks the “Leader Approved” box on the overall badge in Scoutbook is, I believe, the person whose name would appear in the “Unit Leader Signature” line on the “back” of the blue card (i.e. application and applicant’s record portions) if you were to print it from Scoutbook.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.