Scoutbook For Free?

on September 5, 2018 in Advancement, Program

I subscribe to the Bryan On Scouting blog, found at https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org . I recently received an email about a post stating the online program Scoutbook would be free to use after January 1, 2019. I remember looking at the online program a few years ago but never went very far with it. I decided to take another look.

I like that it would be a good tool for keeping track of advancement but I question if the program as a whole would be a good fit for our troop of fourteen Scouts. So here is my question. How many of you who read this blog use Scoutbook? What do you think of the program? Has it worked well for your troop or pack? What do you like the best? Is it easy to use?

I would really appreciate your comments before making a decision to use it for our troop.

Thanks for Sharing!

    3 Responses to “Scoutbook For Free?”

    1. Mike Davis says:

      We’ve used it for a little more than a year. Still use TroopWebHost as well. If Scoutbook would offer accounting, we’d drop TroopWebHost. Pros: Made COHs easy in that merit badges, rank emblems, etc. are put in a PO at the click of a button, easy to track achievement with completion percentages, keeps parents a little more involved (maybe a con, they could ask their scout where they are) The biggest con is remembering to enter the rank requirement in both ScoutBook and to sign their book.

    2. Ward says:

      We have used it since BSA adopted it, eventually abandoning Troopmaster.
      It is nice to see where scouts are, but the reporting system is terrible. They really need to improve this part. I spend a lot of time keeping manual copies of this data in excel so I can do my ScoutMaster reports.
      I am hopeful that the BSA can leverage its investment to take admin burden off adults and let the system automatically do things like JtE.
      I find many parents won’t use it/keep it updated, and they won’t give their scout access to it—so the value in communicating to families isn’t fully realized.
      We often Scout where there isn’t WiFi or cell, so don’t depend on being able to access it—it is a web app and needs the internet to work.
      Despite these flaws, I recommend it.

    3. We have tried Scout book twice and were less than thrilled. We have been using Packmaster for our pack of 100+ scouts and Troopmaster for our Troop of 24 scouts. We find the Troopmaster and Packmaster programs/systems are far superior and allow us to do more shuffling and temporary assignments and custom fields etc.

      It gets bogged down and will not update. The reporting features are very minimalist. To do any one task you need to use the mouse and click through several menus. This may sound petty but with 100+ cubs if the task takes even an extra minute per scout you have just used up almost two additional hours of my time.

      Scoutbook has a pretty interface but but lacks real performance or versitility. Troopmaster and Packmaster are not as pretty to look at but have far more features and is much more reliable.

      That being said it will be hard to argue with free.

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