Adding scouts to patrols resets membership and creates a new one

Hi Charley,

You should not have to add up tenure manually for any scout. If you add a scout to a patrol for the first time, his membership should not change, regardless of when they joined. That is exactly what Scoutbook is doing. It identifies a completely new membership.

This is not an issue of reassigning to a new patrol. Its an issue assigning them to a patrol for the first time. It resets the date that the scout has been a part of the unit. It may not reset it at the national level reporting, but on the surface it looks like they just started in the unit. This is the problem that I am trying to get corrected. As an admin, I should be able to edit a scout without impacting the dates.
And this is going to be an issue if the BSA wants units to move over to scoutbook as we are. If you have a unit that has no patrols assigned, it should be simple to add patrols, assign the scouts and retain the dates.
According to the response I got from the SUAC above, tracking patrols doesn’t matter, Scoutbook is just about advancements, but yes I do agree that changing patrols should be tracked. But it should be tracked separately, not a part of the overall membership section and then you have to manual determine tenure.
Maybe if there was two options for patrols as it pertains to membership:

  1. Add to Patrol
  2. Reassign Patrol

Option 1 would be the first time you assign them and it just updates the current membership.
Option 2 would be if you reassign them into a different patrol. That could be the ‘new’ membership.

Right now the only way to update the patrol they are first assigned to is to use Dougs workaround. Add them, edit the start date, zero out the old membership dates. No impact to tenure. I think a little investment in a fix would go along way with the volunteer admins who have to keep the information accurate.

To what end? Help us understand why this could be a showstopper foe your unit? Why, other than curiosity, is this count of days / date so important? It isn’t used/useful for anything that I have needed. It hasn’t been needed, as others have stated, by other units.

What are we missing?

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Why does this need to be accurate?

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Because we want it to be accurate. Plain and simple.


Ok, so if I’m understanding what you wrote, it seems like the current process is working (or close to working) for what your vision of function would be for a change of patrols.

The only issues occur:

  1. for scouts who have never been assigned to a patrol in Scoutbook, and
  2. for easier tracking of unit-specific tenure.

I can sorta see the first issue, although I would prioritize it way down the list as there is a work-around, albeit clunky, and it only applies once (i.e. for the first assignment to a patrol) for each scout.

The second issue is the one for which I’m still not seeing the use case. What difference does a quick-reference for the tenure in a particular unit matter? I could see value to quick-reference numbers for tenure in each program, i.e.

  • tenure in Cub Scouts
  • tenure in Scouts BSA
  • tenure in Venturing
  • tenure in Sea Scouts
  • tenure in Exploring

insofar as we track that for service stars.

It’s not that I don’t see it as interesting data, just that I’m not sure why it’s interesting enough for the developers to code into the software.

ETA: I liked the idea of tracking tenure in different BSA programs so much that I submitted a new feature request. My guess is that it would be low on the priority list, if adopted by BSA development at all, but at least it’s out there to get on the list.

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So, no use? It is important enough to update, but doesn’t serve a purpose? Again, help us understand why this is important?

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Thanks, I think you and I are seeing it the same now. Tenure is a very important to our unit. We have records going back in relatively good detail to 1916. I agree with you on the second issue. (Service stars are awarded)I wasn’t thinking down to that level today although I noticed that Scoutbook has my son’s cubscout dates off by 3 years. He started in 2015 and Scoutbook shows 1/1/2018. Is there something significant about that date?

But the main point is just that, scouts never assigned to a patrol in Scoutbook. This is what I am trying to clean up and have an accurate record of at this time.

Are you someone who can facilitate a code change? It serves a purpose in our unit. What more do you need to understand. Unless you can make a change here so tenure in the unit is correct, I do not see why you are asking or need a response.

@RichardScalzo - well that was friendly, courteous and kind.

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I think that might be the date that BSA purchased/took over Scoutbook, but no guarantees there. My unit adopted it prior to the BSA purchase, and my son’s dates run all the way back into 2013.

I think your right about that. Been doing a little searching on the internet. Starting to be sorry I even started in on trying to make the data accurate in Scoutbook.

Sorry you see it that way, but I came here for help and I didn’t need that added frustration of explaining the importance to our unit or what we use it for. My fuse was growing short with some of the other responses I received today from the professional scouters paid to help with Scoutbook was a brush off.
Every unit is different in some ways. We have Eagles that become JASM, who register every year, become ASM, then SM’s. We have two with us still today, in their 80’s and 90’s who attend every meeting.

So to correctly answer @Matt.Johnson , we are transitioning to Scoutbook and why the tenure is so important to our unit. We are putting a lot of faith in Scoutbook for our unit.

I hope that helps you understand better.

@RichardScalzo - understood. Fortunately there are few if any professionals here in the forums. This is a volunteer group and reflects the variety of data importance within their units.

Richard, the folks responding to your post are all volunteers.


Sorry, I wasn’t clear, We have some paid professionals in our area for Scoutbook, I did not mean here on the forums.

I love the responses here, I got things done. Your input helped me fix the few scouts I did before I saw the issue.

Thanks again.

You were not explaining yourself and I was trying to draw it out of you. If you would like help, you need to explain yourself more than “I want it. Period.” This is an open forum and I will continue to ask. Just like you do, that is how open forums work. People can learn of other important things and get better. But, you have made it clear that it serves nothing more than a novelty.

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Just a reminder for this discussion, an youth member can have overlapping enrollment (at the same time) in the above programs.

Related post in another discussion:

Yeah, that was partly what induced me to suggest explicit individual tenure tracking/reporting. The single “Tenure” number only counts each day once, so a scout who is simultaneously enrolled in a troop, a crew and a ship only shows one day of tenure (which is accurate in terms of overall BSA tenure days), but that means it’s not a simple calculation to extract the tenure in each program from the data currently reported. It’s not impossible to obtain, since the Date Joined XYZ can be displayed in the “< XYZ Program Name > History Report” under each scout’s Scoutbook page (assuming someone entered that data in their profile), or by the unit by using Roster Builder, but only for the program to which that unit belongs. There us not a comparable Date Joined Cub Scouting (at least not that I see) which can be edited for scouts who are no longer in a pack. Not sure about for scouts who are currently in a pack.

The Scoutbook architecture for membership pre-dates the BSA purchase of Scoutbook. It would be a large rip-up of Scoutbook to separate unit an sub-unit membership so they could be tracked separately. Given other development priorities, I do not envision the BSA entertaining such a change.

I can add to the backlog a request to have “time in unit” calculated by subtracting the current date from the earliest membership in the unit. Keep in mind this may not be accurate if the Scout left the unit for a period of time. I suspect such a request will be given low priority.

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The “tenure” calculation already sums all of the memberships in all BSA units (at least associated with that Scoutbook account) and doesn’t double-count days which were in more than one unit. With apologies for the grotesque pseudocode, would it be possible to do something like:



  • ELSE
  • END

It seems like (theoretically) if the memberships “know” the difference between their respective programs, then something similar could be done to determine tenure in each type of unit. In the latter case, however, the algorithm would need to avoid multiple-counting of dates on which a scout had memberships in two or more units of the same type (pack, troop, crew, ship, etc). It’s Dilbert-easy from this side of the keyboard, but I don’t know what’s under the hood, so it might be untangling spaghetti to actually implement either idea. :grin: