Added email distribution list - who not parent or leader

I have some adults who want to be on our email distribution list from scoutbook. (their youth left graduated by they still want email to attend event or help out)

We use to add them as committee member. Scoutbook will only allow officially registered leaders. What can I do?

Why not have them join the committee?

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The most straight-forward way to work within the system is to create a comma-separated list of recipients in a file, paste that list into every new event in the “External Guest” box, then set a Send Now reminder. Unfortunately, that won’t send additional reminders, nor will it permit them to RSVP.

In principle, a registered adult leader could set up an email forwarding rig in Gmail (for example) in which certain emails are filtered on keywords (e.g. in Gmail “” and “subject:reminder” looks like it catches my event reminders only rather than all emails sent from Scoutbook), and use that to forward email to a mailing list that contains the Friends of Unit ####. That could also work, but again requires coordination with the unit leader in question. This catches the additional reminders (assuming the unit doesn’t use the Feature Assistant Extension to only send reminders to people who have not RSVPd “Yes”), but still doesn’t permit them to RSVP themselves.

While I advocate the idea of registering folks who regularly interact with the youth, I can see cost being a barrier for some folks, or even the unit if there are a large enough number of people, if we were to register everyone who ever participates in events associated with the unit. For example, we (the BSA at large) don’t require parents to register in order to attend events, unless that attendance exceeds 72 hours cumulative at a single event. Heck, we don’t even (again, at the national level) require them to take YPT. On the flip side, if these adults are acting in a “shadow leader” capacity (i.e.providing service to the unit that should be provided by a registered leader such as maintaining medical records or similar tasks), that would be an entirely different situation in my mind,

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I get nervous every time I hear “help out un-officially”…

What are they doing that requires them to be included in all email messages but does not require them to be registered/YPT certified committee members?


Very good point. Why not register and do the background check and YPT?

I don’t know if the OP was talking about “every” email, but I could see a group of “alumni adults” who want to attend things like Blue & Gold, COH or Eagle service projects or things like that who might not have any interest in serving as a leader, whether or not there was an associated cost. I don’t see a particular problem with something like that. Again, as I noted in my post above, someone serving as a “shadow leader” is not the same situation as what I’m talking about there.


In some units, the fees become an issue. Just playing devil’s advocate.

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I know it is not free and it goes up again next year. It costs money on top of everything else. It also costs time and effort keeping current.

It is as much of the program, though as paying for the handbook. The BSA is in a huge fight for its life bankruptcy. To me, the least we can do is have all volunteers registered (thus background checked and YPT).

I don’t disagree with you. It’s just an expense a lot of units will skip when possible.

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@DanielWeber - so it is better to run a scouting unit void of protection than to run one with protection… got it… how awesome is that


I’m not advocating this, I’m just saying when there is a charge for registering adults that is as high as it is, this is going to happen. This isn’t how my unit does things, but I know others around me that register only the minimum number, but there are several other “leaders” who help on an unregistered basis.

That’s still not acceptable, and the fact that other leaders take it in stride that units are doing this is a big problem.

If someone knowingly allow another unit to skirt the rules about YPT without raising the flag with their local Scout Executive, they could be allowing child abuse to continue unreported. At the least, they’re allowing a prohibited, potentially unsafe situation to exist without doing anything to remedy it.

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I would make the statement that bumping non-registered leaders from Scoutbook has been a HUGE YPT improvement. It has driven to the surface how some units have been running the program. Money issues aside, this has been a very good move.

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I wholeheartedly agree.

For the topic of troop “alumni” communication, for my unit the simplest solution is to maintain a separate Google group. Not only does this allow us to communicate with them regarding the few events a year that they want to know about, but it also reduced the amount of “noise” they would otherwise get if on all troop communications.

Regarding the principle of adult registration, regardless of your position on the topic cost definitely influences results. It’s hard enough to get adults to volunteer their time, and when they have to pay to do it then resistance to registering becomes exponential. I understand the need for fees, but there are probably better ways to cover a balance sheet than forcing costs on volunteers. BSA should make volunteering free and then no adult has an excuse not to be registered. Or maybe make the fee voluntary rather than mandatory since most adult leaders willingly donate to the program anyway.

That is how our units do it. If you volunteer, the unit pays the fee and passes it on to all Scouts in the unit. Thus if you volunteer, your fee is subsidized by those that don’t volunteer.

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That’s actually a pretty common strategy in our area, as well. It breaks down somewhat when the number of leaders to be “distributed” becomes large in proportion to the number of scouts, particularly for units where family income is a significant factor. Not to say it can’t be done, just that at a certain point, the cost of covering leaders increases the cost for participants to the point where they can’t/won’t pay to participate anymore.

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Seems like a simple solution is to register them as Merit Badge Counselors. I have not yet been involved with a Troop that has enough “internal” MBCs, there is no fee to the individual, and the individual has a background check and maintains YPT. YPT every two years is a pretty low effort, you could even do it as an “adult event”.
It just seems like a lot of effort to circumvent the system, when there is a simpler solution.

Except now you’re kicking the costs down the road to Council, instead. Background checks still need to be completed, and that still costs money. Additionally, as was pointed out the last time this tactic was brought up, MBCs are NOT unit positions, and some Councils do not consider it appropriate to use MBCs to satisfy YPT requirements.

The simple solution is to require adult leaders to register in the position they intend to serve.

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If a unit can convince an unregistered unofficial adult “leader” to register as a MBC, I don’t understand how this could be seen as anything other than a positive, since Councils as a whole seem to do a crap job of generating MBCs on their own.