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Auto-Populate Awards

Is it in the works to have fields in the “Awards” tab for individual scouts, i.e. “National Outdoor Achievement Award (Camping) Requirements” auto populate from previously recorded information? I understand that some information will have to be manually entered but, date of rank, nights camping and merit badge dates could be pulled over.
Thank would be a great help.

This is a simple database table link and can be done very easily.

Ranks and Merit Badges, yes. Miles hiked, etc. are a little trickier since the logs may include more than what the requirement says. For example “ Complete 100 miles of hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America.” What’s to say there aren’t additional hiking (not under the auspices of the BSA) miles recorded in the log?

Troopmaster tracks this and other awards automatically which is a great aid.

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I am aware and have checked out Troopmaster. Scoutbook is the software being pushed so hard by Councils, but it seems like it is lacking some extremely simple database links that would make everyone’s job easier, and help scouts learn about award they may not even know exist because progress isn’t showing unless manual entries are made when it should be automatic.

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The logic behind automatic tracking can be surprisingly complicated. More and better linking is on the request list, but the priority for it is unknown.

Concur. I’ve been using TM for a fair spell now. I did look at Scoutbooks about a year ago, and decided to stay with TM and moved to their web based platform. No regrets. Even with the expense it’s well worth it.

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Giving auto credit is not as easy as people think. I don’t know what Troopmaster does but, for example, the service requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class say to discuss or explain how service relates to the Scout Oath and Law. If Troopmaster is auto crediting these requirements based on service hours, it is incorrect. These requirements can only be marked complete after the Scout has a discussion with a person authorized to sign off.

Where the requirement lines up exactly, Scoutbook is being updated to auto credit. This is being done as the developers have time or are working on the awards for other reasons. There is not a large project scheduled to get them all as there are items that have higher priority that are being assigned to the developers first.

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As a developer (working in the very same technology stack), I would say that it might be easy to get the following:

  1. Date of Rank
  2. Merit Badge dates

The problem with nights camping is that the only records you can use would be to assume that the scout has the required number for First Class, Camping Merit Badge, and/or Order of the Arrow. The camping log is not a reliable source of information from a developer viewpoint.

I have to qualify the ones mentioned because I don’t know the data format of the system. For a single time where someone clicks a button to pull the information in it should be doable.

But… there is a the question of priority. There are many people who want many “simple” changes to the system. And you have the bugs and features that are in the pipeline.

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They have a “fix” for the issue of the info not being reliable. Just like other advancement, one can mark it complete, then leader approved.

Now how hard would it be to make entries in the camping, service, and hiking log have the same meta data as the normal advancement items? I don’t know.

It’s as simple as linking database tables for most of the award requirements. Merit badges needed, check. Rank requirements, check, service hours might be harder but that could be fixed by adding a check box under service hours to annotate if they were conservation hours.

@JoshuaDavenport please don’t assume that because something sounds easy, that it actually is easy…

@stevecagigas I’ve been a dba and network engineer for over 20 years. Nothing is “easy”, but in the grand scheme of things, and without knowing how the backend of SB is built, it’s an assumption for me to say it’s as simple as what I described. The best part is it is a one time change once deployed if it’s done correctly.

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I also think you may be underestimating how easy it is from a program perspective. For example, Not all camping requirements have the same specifications for what counts as a night of camping.

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Yep. Incorrectly configuring the program requirements to link logs to activities is worse, IMHO than not linking them at all.

Not that the logs could t have some flags to help leaders review them… such as “conservation-related” for service hours…

And more logs would be a help also.

Agreed. That is why I wouldn’t have it “touchless”, but treat it like other requirements - leader approved hours. Have it flow after approved vs auto approved.

Of course TM doesn’t auto-credit things like this. It tracks service projects, camping, merit badges, rank & leadership, etc. and when appropriate TM will credit advancement or awards when the have been done. for example it will track the attendance on a service project and apply credit to the individuals who attended for the hours they attended. When they meet the needed hours for the current rank, TM will mark it/date it as done. TM can also be told if the service is conservation related and credit appropriately. I’m working with three boys right now to complete their National Outdoor Award for Camping because TM shows me each boys status towards the awards. I found one needed to complete 1 merit badge (he should get the award at the next CofH, and 2 boys need to each start a qualifying merit badge to complete the Award.

But that’s not necessarily what the requirement for ranks is. Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class have requirements above and beyond “do some hours of service” that can’t be automatically checked off by software:

  • Tenderfoot: Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout slogan and Scout motto.
  • 2nd Class: Tell how your service to others relates to the Scout Oath.
  • 1st Class: Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout Law.
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The auto credit without regard for the stated requirement seems to be counter to this:

No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs

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True, TM flags the hours requirement as done, how it relates is a discussion between a leader and the scout.

Automatically marking requirements should only pertain to items marked completed already. For instance, did scout make rank xxx? Mark it automatically. Are merit badges completed if required for an award? Mark it automatically. Service hours are a bit more complex but can be handled if an option is given to record service hours that are conservation-minded