Are the Calendar reminders back up?

I noticed that the banner is still up here on the forums, but the red banner is gone in scoutbook now. Has the calendar scheduled reminders feature been reinstated?

No, scheduled reminders are turned off and will remain off for the foreseeable future. Some units were sending so many reminders, it looked like the system was spamming, which could be argued the units were. A solution is being thought out and worked on. Send Now is still turned on.

Hi Donovan - was there a notice about this anywhere? I set up our Den meetings months ago with automatic reminders, and then we noticed last week no one got one for our most recent meeting. We really relied on that feature so we could set it and forget it. Totally possible I missed the notice.

And sorry if I’m missing it, but where is the Send Now button for meetings we’ve already scheduled? Thanks for your help!

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There were (and maybe still is) a dismissable banner on Scoutbook pages. To Send Now you go to edit event > Reminders area

Got it, thanks Donovan. I went back to the event and found the Send Now. I’m not sure what prompted disabling this functionality, but it was really helpful to set up all our meetings in advance and then let the system handle the reminders. So a plea from a busy parent to bring it back! Appreciate your help and quick reply.

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The simple answer is many units were spamming users with tons of reminders for every event. A plan to move forward is being worked on

Thanks again Donovan. Makes sense, and thanks for looking into a potential solution, it’s appreciated.

Looking forward to a solution here. While my pack sent plenty of reminders, the schedules I had set up were thought out, and were there for a reason.

The comment about “looked like the system was spamming” is curious. Was that the opinion of BSA IT? If so, that’s unfortunate, as I had come to rely somewhat on those reminders going out on time for timely information to parents and members. So, my pack wasn’t spamming, but I guess if you look at total email volume in the aggregate perhaps there needs to be a realignment of expectations from those that run the email system.

I totally agree. We rely heavily on this. And we do send out a lot of reminders. But not a spammy amount. We do at least 3 for every event. A month out, a week out, and the day before. And since we’re a really active pack, some weeks that might be for several events. We also do reminders for committee meetings, den meetings etc… So it can be a lot of individual messages for families with kids in multiple dens who are also on the committee. But given the current system, that’s the only way to do it.
One potential method to reduce the individual reminders would be some way to aggregate notifications so that we don’t need individual reminders further out from the event. Something like send out an email on the first of every month containing all activities for the next 6 weeks.

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You can manually do this already, although I agree that a “digest format” would be a great addition whenever they update the calendar system. One option, if you just need a list of events and dates is to use the “Insert upcoming events” button at the bottom of the Send Mail interface. That has a variety of canned options for the date range of the “upcoming events”.

If you want links to the events, you have to do some manual fussing about, but it’s still possible. If you look at the reminder emails for events, they give you the link format used in the event reminder. If you template that link and change the referenced event ID to reflect the respective event (which you can pull from the event webpage, for example), you can generate a hyperlinked reminder email that many (but not all) mail readers will treat as live hyperlinks. I don’t know that it’s worth that effort to me personally, but one approach to minimizing the effort of looking up event IDs (until a feature like this is implemented, assuming it ever is) would be to create a spreadsheet (local or shared online) that has the event links and Event IDs associated with each event. As long as you update the event (instead of creating a new one) when an event moves, the Event ID remains the same.

Whoever is in charge of assembling the “scheduled” reminder emails (e.g. Webmaster or Scribe?) could put the email together, add the relevant links, and submit it to the relevant scouter for review prior to sending it out. It’s not materially more trouble than creating a typical monthly newsletter used to be in the pre-web-calendar days, and gives the youth a way to interact more with the program calendar (e.g. inserting links to event flyers or other unit content that might supplement the bare-bones email reminder).