Absence email based off Calendar Attendance (like Den Leader's Experience)

I don’t use Den Leader’s Experience but I’ve seen this feature in the documentation.

After taking attendance for an event/meeting, if a scout is deemed absent, the parent is automatically emailed with information containing what was covered in the meeting and links to completing requirements.

Can this be added to Scoutbook?

Scoutbook has the ability to create an event/meeting. The leaders have the ability to link to specific requirements/electives being worked on at that meeting. Parents can be invited to that event/meeting. Leaders can record attendance in Scoutbook for that event/meeting.

It seems the only part that is missing, is the script to automatically send an email to the absent scout with the notes/links from the meeting.

Currently, I have to spend time writing up an email to the parent (that will likely be sent via Scoutbook anyway) with all the information on what we covered when I already did it in the calendar the first time.

That feature is currently available if you use the Feature Assistant extension. While not native to Scoutbook, it allows you to select invitees based on attendance status.

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Thanks for the reply. However, I don’t see what I’m suggesting in the documentation.

I’m not suggesting a way to select invitees based on status. What I’m suggesting is an automatic email to those that did not reply with the content of that meeting.

So tomorrow night we are covering Lion’s Honor with requirements 1A,1B, 1C for example. After the meeting, I complete attendance and Billy wasn’t there. I’m suggesting Scoutbook sends Billy’s mom an email with the topics covered (Lion’s Honor 1A,1B,1C). This is a feature of The Den Leader’s Experience.

If this is in fact a feature of the extension as you stated, can you please provide the documentation showing it?

My apologies - I was answering being able to send an email to those that did not attend, with the editable contents of the event description. It does not do it automatically, nor does it include links to requirements unless provided in the description.

Scoutbook event Planned Advancements are not functional (out of date) and have been so for several years. There is no planned effort to fix that part and it will likely be removed in the future.

In that case what purpose does the Calendar provide (besides a generic calendar for events)? I understand the idea of RSVP, permissions slips, invitees, etc. But if you can’t add advancement information to it (besides a note), what’s the idea behind the Calendar?

To provide the unit with a calendar. Many units want everything in SB. They don’t want to use an external calendar system.

And I completely understand that. I was just curious if it really had something more than just a basic calendar. The calendar is touted all over the Scoutbook documentation but now I’m being told another basic feature is deprecated.

I would tend to take issue with characterizing automatically sending someone an email about a meeting they missed as a “basic feature”, as I would with automatically crediting someone with having completed all of the requirements simply because they were present for some or all of a meeting. Both of them can create misleading results for scouts and their parents.

Consider a scout who attends part, but not all, of a meeting. If you mark them as present, then a system which automatically credits scouts with having completed all requirements scheduled for a meeting will mark them all as complete for that scout, even though they may not have completed them all (due to having missed part of a meeting). Conversely, if you mark that scout as absent (i.e. don’t mark them present), they would get automated emails indicating they needed to complete the entire list of requirements scheduled for that meeting, some of which they may have completed at the meeting for which they had partial attendance. Similar problems arise for meetings at which some but not all of the requirements were completed (or different scouts completed different subsets of the scheduled requirements).

Such an automated message also has issues related to how long after the meeting is the “notification” sent. If a scouter records attendance in Scoutbook immediately during/after a meeting, the time gap issue is largely moot. However, if there is a significant lag between the event and the time that the scouter records attendance (e.g. outdoor events or any events where no internet access is available), scouts who were actually present could easily end up getting an “requirements not completed” email due to the time lag.

This becomes ever more problematic for units/subunits who don’t necessarily use the calendar to track attendance (for whatever their reason). All of those scouts/parents would receive an email telling them they needed to complete requirements, assuming that the “planned advancement” feature is used (and automated emails were implemented as requested), whether or not they had already completed them.

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I believe if you look at the scout’s requirements, you’ll see an indicator that they missed it.

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@TravisStephens - that planned advancement was added some 9 years ago when it was a private service. It was nothing more than a planning tool with no links to advancement items themselves. I never used in it the time since it was added as I saw no value as I would just do a quick entry after meeting and the parents could see their scouts progress or lack thereof.

@CharleyHamilton I think you’ve confused automatic email for automatic completion.

I simply suggested that when I create an event. Let’s say Tuesday we are covering x,y,z in the Lion’s Honor requirement.

If at the end of the meeting, Billy didn’t show up (or yes even left before we completed) his parents could automatically get an email saying, here’s what we covered in this meeting. Here are resources for you to cover these topics at home.

At no time does that automatically check it off if they were there or not. As for some of the other issues in time lag, you can’t fix user error. The leader should take attendance at the completion of the meeting (as instructed in all Scoutbook training documentation).

Your last paragraph talks about the issues caused for units that don’t use the Scoutbook Calendar and a made up scenario of how it would cause issues sending out automated emails. If the unit doesn’t use the calendar, there would be no email to send, that’s a moot issue.

My suggestion is purely:

  1. create the event in calendar
  2. add what advancement you plan to cover in the meeting.
  3. upon completion of the meeting, log attendance
  4. system send an email to those that were absent what content was covered at the meeting. The email is purely informational with resources for the parent to keep their child on track.