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Automated removal of Scouts causes issues

I wish Scoutbook support would please curtail the automated scripts that remove Scouts from units. They are playing havoc with my families.

I have parents asking why their child’s account was marked as expired even though it correctly shows up in my.scouting.org. It even has the right BSA ID number in Scoutbook. This has been happening for scouts that we put into Scoutbook as they join so they get emails and start earning advancements while we wait for our council to process the application paperwork.

In addition, we have Scouts who did not renew during our recharter, and who we pulled out of the recharter as we cannot subsidize the increased fees. In January or February, they decided they wanted to participate again and completed a new application and paid the requisite fees. Their accounts were also removed automatically while the council processed the application.

Similarly, we have Scouts who graduated to Scouts BSA, and the den leader believed they could enter advancements completed at the end of 2019 in 2020. Scoutbook is preventing us from making those advancement notations as it considers the youth no longer part of the unit. The council staff say they cannot help, and Scoutbook support points to the council.

Please don’t remove Scouts from units automatically. Please let the unit staff make those determinations. Doing otherwise is bringing frustration and poor service to an otherwise good program.

SSDs
96201
93047
95354

Cheers,
Jon Thurn
Pack 287 Cubmaster
Southern Shores FSC

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Jon,

Scoutbook is the official advancement database of the BSA. The BSA will always remove Scouts that are no longer on your official roster. The BSA policy is units lose access to any Scouts that are not part of their units.

For the Scouts that did not recharter, check your connections page to see if you are still connected to these Scouts. If you are, go to their membership page and start a new membership in your unit or remove the end date from their old membership. If you are not connected, you can use the Transfer tool (Transfer In Scout) on your roster page to bring them back to your unit. You will need the Scout’s last name, BSA Member ID and zip code.

The Scouts that bridged to Scouts BSA should have had their advancement entered before the transfer paperwork was submitted. You can get them back using the above process then have the troop move them back when you are finished.

@edavignon Thanks for the response, though I must disagree. These issues were not present with Scoutbook when BSA first acquired the software.

The issue is that the official roster takes too long to update, and automated scripts implemented in the past year remove scouts and families believe the organization is disorganized. On the flip side, unit leaders are volunteers and cannot be forced to put in advancements as soon as they are earned, especially around the holidays. It is unfortunate that this occurs right at rechartering time and the time when many units have AOL awards and cross-over ceremonies.

I believe a greater degree of freedom must be given to units to maintain their own Scoutbook users. These lists are not the same as the official unit roster, which I appreciate, and based upon the tides of new and departing users must be different.

Cheers,
Jon

@JonathanThurn - I must admin that I have had none of the issues you have experienced. I maintain the roster in scoutbook through out the course of the year by disapproving membership for those I know are not returning, adding any new scouts/scouter (or waiting on the auto add by akela). The only issue that has occurred was a duplicate scout caused by my entry of a nickname in SB, but council by-passed that and a new scout was created. There is NO restriction on a unit maintaining its roster in scoutbook. The roster should be reconciled at recharter. The issues you note seem to be process based and can be easily remedied.

Hi @Stephen_Hornak. Thanks for the reply. In reading your response, you are experiencing the issues. You normally have to wait for the council to enter the scout’s application, or ensure the precise name is entered in an account you create. Instead, I enter an account for them and their parents right away so they receive meeting notices and so den leaders can note advancements.

As for reconciling the roster at recharter, we’ve added scouts after submitting our paperwork in early November, and they haven’t shown up in the my.scouting.org roster until last week in February. However, after 60 days their account is removed if the council hasn’t processed the application yet. I’ve had to find them in my connections list and modify their membership details every day. If I miss a day to reverse the automated removal, the parents contact me about why their child’s membership lapsed.

In years past, Scoutbook linked scouts to the akela roster by allowing units to enter the BSA ID number and checking the entered name and birth date against the roster DB. As long as they were linked, Scoutbook allowed unit leaders to maintain their own user list. That practice has changed in the past year.

No, it’s not a process-based issue. The software should recognize the difference between the membership list and the user list. Links between them are good, but let the unit maintain the user list. Having supported many iterations, flavors, and incarnations of software over the years, I appreciate when software companies make this distinction.

@JonathanThurn - I am not sure if I was unclear, but we have had no issues save for one cub that was duplicated due to a difference in data namely the nickname. I have had no problems maintaining an accurate roster in scoutbook. Neither have I had scouts drop off the roster in scoutbook. I do enter new apps and once in akela the bsa Id is entered during sync.

I will further add that I am managing three units and no problems.

Yes, that seems like an issue At this time of year. Instead of removing the end date every single day, I would change the start date to today and make a note in the notes of what their actual start date was. That’ll buy you another 60 days.

Hi @Stephen_Hornak, I too had no problems for my first two years using Scoutbook. This past year, however, has brought changes that are making unit management more difficult, such as this automated removal. I do wish I wouldn’t have to work around the issue as @jacobfetzer proposes.

We had a Scout removed as part of recharter. You may have seen my other post. They were in Scoutbook after registering POST recharter paperwork in late November, and were fine, until recharter was processed 2 months and 1 week later. It has now been 2 business days since I sent my note, and our Register is yet to respond.

I wish there was a better way of handling this situation besides hoping the registar, who must be dealing with dozens of similar situations, and can’t get to mine.

If the BSA has a month and a few days grace-period post expiration of our charter to process it, I wish we had at least a week or 2 instead of zero. Maybe put a big red X next to the person, but don’t automatically delete immediately.

Ok now that I can view the larger picture the issue at hand is the hey…recharter by December 5 or else then, the unit has a door busting recruitment and the process is hosed. I will admit that stinks and to be totally honest it is not a win for either side. Admittedly you can enter new scouts/scouters and present those apps and recharter at the same time provided those folks were entered in the new app section of the recharter module.

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Plus when we are “all in for Scoutbook”, the Scout loses access to all communication, all reminders, “account balance”, permission slips, RSVP capability, and calendar. It really “unplugs” them from the unit. In the past, this “registrar” stuff only mattered at recharter for accounting reasons, maybe Boys’ Life subscriptions, and when you submitted your Eagle application. Now, it matters the next day.

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The SUAC is in touch with IT about this issue. I’m not sure what the end result will be. They need to balance keeping the official advancement database pure while also keeping it usable for units.

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Thank you @jacobfetzer. I appreciate the attention to this issue.

Cheers,
Jon

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I got a reply from one of my Scoutbook.support@scouting.org tickets that the issue was fixed, so I tried setting one scout’s join date back to the correct one, but he was again removed automatically by the next day.

As in the past, I have been able to reconnect the scout’s account by going to my connections and removing the end date. The membership section has “DateEnded by SP ExpireInvalidYouthUPsCreatedinSB after 60 Day Lapse” in the Optional Notes field. I will also say that the scout’s BSA ID is in their account and the scout appears in my roster (same ID), and they have the advancement sync icon. I’d say that there was some issue getting them to be recognized, but it’s exacerbated by the automatic removal issue.

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@JonathanThurn Specifically which ticket # was that? I see you had listed several above.

Hi @jacobfetzer, I believe it was for SSD-96201. I got the message from William Bennett.

Thanks again,
Jon

Jonathan,

I have asked the developers to look into your issue. The BSA is closed tomorrow for President’s Day so I do not expect to have any information until Tuesday.

I’m in the exact same situation with one of my scouts as Jonathan Thurn describes. Its been at least since Jan 30th (his account had been missing for month prior to that, but that’s the first day I was instructed on how to move the scout from my contacts back into my Pack/Den roster). Since then he consistently is removed (same Optional Notes field comment) within ~12hrs of being added back in.

Original ticket - SSD-94749, current ticket SSD-94993

The good news is that changes to his account do seem to be retained.
But if we were all-in for Scoutbook, this kid would be missing all the notices,e-mails,events… It is one of the arguments some are looking to move away from Scoutbook. No one trusts that everyone is in the list and that records will not be corrupt when they look back in future.

At least we’re not the only one, but this has got to be fixed.

JW

@JamesWine I’ve passed your info on to the developers.

thx

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