Scoutbook vs Advancement Coordinator

on February 7, 2019 in Advancement, National, website

Hooray! Scoutbook is now free for all troops and packs to use. The Scoutmaster of Troop 68 brought laptops to our last troop meeting to introduce this program to the Boy Scouts. I think things went well. The boys seemed to be having fun checking it out during the meeting. Time will time if they actually use the program.

As the advancement coordinator of our troop though, I am not finding the love. Maybe I misunderstood how this program was to be used. I thought I would be able to go online with Scoutbook and update the Scouts advancement or see what they have accomplished and update my records. So far I have not been able to do any of that.

It seems that only the troop’s “key three” have access to the Scout’s information. I understand the need to keep things private but it is not helping me in my position. As far as the “key three” accessibility, I understand the scoutmaster and the committee chairman, but the charter organization representative? Really? Like many charter organizations across the country, ours is not very involved with the troop. I highly doubt that our charter rep even knows about Scoutbook, much less wants to access it.

After playing around with Scoutbook for awhile I have found I have no use for it. In fact, I grew very frustrated with it. Like I stated earlier, maybe I am trying to accomplish something with it that it was not designed to do, and if that is the case I see no reason for me to go back to it.

Am I missing something? Do you find it useful for your troop? Leave a comment and let me know what you think about Scoutbook.

5 Responses to “Scoutbook vs Advancement Coordinator”

  1. Everett says:

    I have found ScoutBook extremely useful for our Cub Scout Pack. Our parents and den leaders love it because it makes tracking advancement so much easier, with highly visible progress cues. It makes purchasing awards easier for our treasurer through the various reports.

    Setting permissions can be a little tricky, and that sounds like the source of your issues. There are varying levels of permissions, and as advancement chair, you should be granted a higher level of access. That is how we’ve set up our advancement chair. But with our parents and den leaders involved, he honestly has a much smaller workload than before.

    My nits with ScoutBook revolve around its limited communications tools, and the organization of its calendar tools.

    Hopefully, your council will set up some ScoutBook workshops and provide some solid examples of how to set it up for your troop.

  2. Steve says:

    I’m the committee chair and I’m not feeling the love either. It seems I need to send an invite to each scout’s family to get their approval that I look at these records. I don’t need another task where I have to track them down. I was going to ask my advancement coordinator to try out and see if she sees utility to it before I give myself more work and from your sharing, I guess that won’t get very far. Argh.

  3. Dustin K Tarditi says:

    You need to be the administrator for the unit

  4. ron fedele says:

    The key 3 are given initial access but then can set up other administrative control levels accordingly for other leaders. I function as the administrator for 4 units and my advancement chairs all have access to do all thier tasks and they all love the site. If you go to the using scoutbook forum and look at the post FROM SUAC it gives you all the information you need to get the platform set up right. Please feel free to reach out to me for further information.

    Ron Fedele

  5. Jay Duffner says:

    I’ll admit that I’m a Scoutbook fanboy. As a cub scout den leader I find it a really useful tool to keep track of advancement of all my scouts. My den varies from 9-12 scouts so previous to Scoutbook it was really hard for me to keep track of exactly who need to complete which requirements to make rank. And it was a real hassle for the advancement coordinator to contact each den leader every month to learn who earned which badges. With scoutbook, it creates the shopping list for you as long as leaders are diligent about approving completed requirements.

    As others have said, your frustrations result primarily from not having sufficient permissions. The advancement coordinator should be given admin privileges. You’ll find that you will be able to much more with better access. Ask one of your key three to grant you admin access.

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