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Merit Badge Counselor Automatic Upload to Scoutbook (SB)

In the near future, all Merit badge counselors (MBC) and approved badges will automatically be uploaded to Scoutbook from the BSA registration database in ScoutNET via the daily membership upload process (MU.)  All merit badge counselors who are currently registered will be added to Scoutbook if not already in Scoutbook. 

MBC positions will come in via the nightly system membership upload (MU.) 

MBC badge associations will flow into Scoutbook via ScoutNET. These associations can also be made by Councils using Scoutbook Council Admin upload process.  After the initial load, latest changes will prevail, wherever that change comes from.  Initially we will only be adding MBCs and approved badges.  This is a one way flow of information, from ScoutNET to Scoutbook.  MBC badge associations will not flow from Scoutbook to ScoutNET. 

Units will continue to be able to assign or remove MBC connections with Scouts.

Badge associations can happen via Scoutbook Council Administrator file upload or come in via the nightly system membership upload.

When MBC positions are ended in the registration system (ScoutNET) they will be in Scoutbook and the change will come in via MU. MU will end the position in Scoutbook and remove all MBC connections with Scouts and merit badges for that MBC.  If the MBC position expires on the expiration date in ScoutNET, there will be a 60 day grace period before it is ended in Scoutbook, this is to give councils time to reregister the MBC.  MBC positions that end prior to the expiration date in ScoutNET will be removed within 24 hours in Scoutbook to allow councils to immediately end a merit badge counselor position if required.

The initial load will only add MBCs, it will not change assignments that exist today. All current MBs, MBCs in Scoutbook.com will remain, even if they are not in ScoutNET.  

For councils that have uploaded the merit badge counselor list in the past, and do not have approved merit badges in ScoutNET, they can continue to upload a list to Scoutbook to make the associations between MBC and merit badges approved to counsel.

In the past, if a council never uploaded a merit badge counselor list, Scoutbook allowed units to assign a merit badge counselor position, and associate badges to any unit adult.  As a part of this release, we will end this capability.  However, we will not drop these MBCs or their association with Scouts, even if they are not registered as a MBC. However, we will come back and remove all unregistered MBCs 3-4 months after launch.  At that point the only MBC positions will come in via ScoutNET, and their approved merit badge listing will come in via ScoutNET or via a council upload.  Advancements they have previously approved will remain.    For these councils, we recommend that they make sure their ScoutNET records are current and they are prepared for this action in the future.

Councils are encouraged to validate that their MBCs are in ScoutNET and if not, get them properly registered ASAP.  If a council records approved MBs in ScoutNET, the MBC to merit badge management in Scoutbook will happen automatically but if they do not, they will be required to upload a MBC file into Scoutbook periodically to maintain the badge to merit badge counselor associations.

Q.  Why is this happening?

A.  To provide for Scoutbook compliance with BSA membership policies and to allow for easier management of merit badge counselors in Scoutbook by council administrators.

For more information on BSA membership policies for Merit Badge Counseling, see: See the BSA Guide to Advancement, section 7.0.1.1 Qualifications of Counselors  “People serving as merit badge counselors must maintain registration with the Boy Scouts of America as merit badge counselors and be approved by their local council advancement committee for each of their badges.”

Q. For registered MBCs in ScoutNET.  What happens if a merit badge counselor’s registration expires on their scheduled expiration date and the position is ended in ScoutNET?

A. After 60 days, the system (MU) will remove MBC positions and their associated badges in Scoutbook.  This will allow time for the council to reregister the merit badge counselor.   Connections to any Scouts based solely on the MBC position of the adult will be removed.  If the membership is ended prior to their scheduled membership expiration date in ScoutNET, their MBC position will be ended in Scoutbook within 24 hours.  This will allow the council to end MBC position prior to the scheduled expiration date if necessary.

Q. If the council chooses to upload the full MBC list will any missing MBs or MBCs from the list be removed from Scoutbook (as it works today)?

A.  The council may upload the full list and any badges not included in the file will be removed. MBC positions will not be ended, only the badges and connections to Scouts will be removed.   To end an MBC position, the position in ScoutNET must be expired; then the change will migrate to Scoutbook.

Merit badge associations to counselors added with the Scoutbook file upload make changes to Scoutbook but will not make changes to ScoutNET.  If a council wishes to make changes once for both systems, they should make the changes in ScoutNET.

Q.  If a counselor has a badge added or removed within their list of approved badges to counsel in ScoutNET, how will that affect Scoutbook?

A.  Badges expired in ScoutNET will be removed from the list of approved badges the counselor may counsel in Scoutbook as well.  Any MBC connections to Scouts in Scoutbook for removed badges will be removed.  If the MBC is connected for a badge, they are approved by their council in ScoutNET to counsel and are still counseling, the connection will not be broken.

Badges added in ScoutNET will be added in Scoutbook to the list of badges the counselor is approved to counsel.  These badges are indicated by a blue checkmark next to the badge in the merit badge counselor list in Scoutbook.

Q.  Are all MBCs updated with what is in ScoutNET every night?

A.  No, after the initial load, only a change in the MBC record in ScoutNET would prompt an update in Scoutbook.

If the MBC is dropped in ScoutNET, all associated MBs will be dropped in Scoutbook.

If a Merit Badge for an MBC is dropped or added to an MBC in ScoutNET, MU will bring that one in without affecting the other badges associated with the MBC in Scoutbook.

Q.  My unit assigns the merit badge counselor position to adults on our unit roster, will we be continuing to do that?

A.  Units will not be able to create merit badge counselor positions.  Merit badge counselors who were assigned that position by their unit, will be retained, if they are registered in the council as a merit badge counselor under the same member ID that they have in Scoutbook, they will be marked as Council Approved.   Units will not be able to assign new MBC positions to adults.   In three months we will revisit.  Units will still be able to connect merit badge counselors to Scouts. 

Q. I am a unit leader, how can I tell if my council ever uploaded a MBC list to Scoutbook?

A.  Log into Scoutbook, scroll down and select Directory, select BSA Councils, find your council, if the council uploaded a list, it will display when the last time they uploaded the list was under the council name.

Q.  Our council has never uploaded the list, what will happen to all the MBC connections people have made manually?  Don’t want partial MB work to disappear.

A.  In the past, if a council never uploaded a merit badge counselor list, Scoutbook allowed units to assign a merit badge counselor position, and associate badges to any unit adult.  As a part of this release, we will end this capability.  However, we will not drop these MBCs or their association with Scouts, even if they are not registered as a MBC. However, we will come back and remove all unregistered MBCs 3-4 months after launch.  At that point the only MBC positions will come in via ScoutNET, and their approved merit badge listing will come in via ScoutNET or via a council upload.  Advancements they have previously approved will remain.    For these councils, we recommend that they make sure their ScoutNET records are current and they are prepared for this action in the future.

Q.  After release, when our Merit Badge team does an upload of MBCs from Scoutbook — which will have Merit Badges assigned to MBCs, will this Merit Badge assignment data being imported to Scoutbook flow back into ScoutNET when the two systems sync?

A.  All MBC data import is from ScoutNET to Scoutbook.  No MBC membership information will flow from Scoutbook to ScoutNET.  If you would like to have the approved merit badge counselor listing in both systems, we suggest updating ScoutNET and letting the data flow from ScoutNET to Scoutbook.

Q. Scoutbook currently will not show a MBC with expired YPT:  this conforms to the GTA criteria to work with Scouts.  If Scoutbook precludes a counselor with expired YPT from being seen, will the ScoutNet sync put them back in for viewing as their registration has not yet expired.  How will YPT expiration play in this planned sync?

A.  A MBC with expired YPT is not shown in Scoutbook when someone searches for the MBC, however their record is in Scoutbook just hidden.  When they take YPT again, they will again show up in the results of the search within 24 hours.

Q.  How can I tell if my council ever uploaded a merit badge counselor list to Scoutbook?

A.  Any unit leader can go to their unit page in Scoutbook and at the bottom of the page is a link to your council information.  If your council ever uploaded a merit badge counselor list, there will be a notation of when the last upload was under the council’s name.

Q.  Will the MBC still be able to set who can see them in the Scoutbook list?

A.  Yes, the MBC can still determine who can see their listing in the MBC list by going to, My Dashboard, My Account, My Positions and clicking on their MBC position.  If the MBC doesn’t see their position there, they should contact their council and make sure they are registered in ScoutNET.

Q. Our council never uploaded a MBC list previously and we DO NOT manage the list of merit badges a counselor is approved to manage in ScoutNET.  How can we make changes now. 

A.  There are two ways you can now make changes to which badges a MBC is approved to manage.

  • You can add the badge to the counselor in ScoutNET. [If you need to delete a badge assignment in Scoutbook that does not appear in ScoutNET.  Add the badge in ScoutNET, wait awhile and remove it.  Within 48 hours the change will show in Scoutbook.
  • OR a Scoutbook Council Administrator you can download the Scoutbook MBC file in the Manage Approved Merit Badge Counselor List page, make changes and upload the file there.

Q.  Where can I find a list of the current merit badge names?

A.  All the badges are posted at: http://scouting.org/advancement

Q:  My Council has all MBs loaded in ScoutNET but we have not uploaded the MBC list previously.  How can we ensure Scoutbook matches ScoutNET?

A: Prior to release of the MU/MBC feature, you can extract your MBC list from ScoutNET and upload it to Scoutbook.  After release, you will need to use the Council Admin Manage Merit Badge Counselor page to download the current MBC list then modify associated badges in this file based on the data in ScoutNET.

Q.  Email notifications to Merit Badge Counselors – welcome, status change, etc. Will the councils still have control of the content of those messages?

A.  Yes, notifications will go out when they are added/changed. Yes, they are the same ones the council administrator can edit.

Q.  How does my council get access to the upload section? 

A.  The council Scoutbook administrator in your council has access.  If your council does not have a council administrator, the Scout Executive should reach out to member care to request one of their members be appointed.

Q.  How can I find which troop or unit members are Merit Badge Counselors?

A.  See the guide here.

Q.  How does my council get a listing of all merit badge counselors in Scoutbook?

A.  The Council Scoutbook Administrator can download a list of in the Manage Approved Merit Badge Counselor List in Scoutbook.

Q. Does the ScoutNET record need to have an email address or a phone number to be ported into Scoutbook?

A.  No

Q. What happens if there is a different member ID in Scoutbook than in ScoutNET?

A.  MU will check the match on a variety of fields.  If it finds the match, the Scoutbook member ID will be replaced with the ScoutNET member ID and the Scoutbook member ID will be retained in an archival field for reference if needed.

Updated on September 20, 2020

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