Autopopulating Certain Requirements

I’ve noticed that merit badges already auto-populate into rank advancement for Star, Life, and Eagle, and for certain awards, such as the Complete Angler award. Auto-population should be implemented for other awards as well.

This should be done for any award that requires a certain rank or merit badge. For example, every National Outdoor Badge Device requires First Class (or equivalent for Venturing or Sea Scouts) and a certain selection of merit badges.

This could be done with NOVA, but it would probably not be simple as several NOVA awards offer the same merit badge as a choice. However, when a merit badge is chosen by the Scout, Scoutbook should auto-populate the date instead of the Scout having to search for it.

Some other awards where this could be implemented are Emergency Preparedness BSA and the International Spirit Award.

Some other posts where this is discussed: :arrow_down:

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I heartily endorse this. If we want to put the ‘outing’ back in Scouting this is certainly one way to do it. Imagine the excitement of Scouts that suddenly discover their progress towards these awards!

And, due to the overlap with the Ranger Award this is hugely important for dual-registered Scouts.


Besides completely agreeing with the original post and @GregoryMcGill’s comment , there’s much lower-hanging fruit as well, IMHO.

For senior scout ranks, for example, if there’s a Leader-approved Leadership position already created, with dates that fall within the range for the given rank, why on earth can’t that be auto-populated?

I feel the same way about the tenure requirements (Req #1 for Star and Life) as well – can the system not simply do some date math from the date of the previous rank’s leader-approved BOR date and auto-populate?


Using Life requirements as an example:

Tenure is not auto populated because the requirement says “Be active in your troop for at least six months as a Star Scout.” The problem is the word active. Just because a Scout is a member of the troop does not mean he/she is active. This can only be determined by a human thinking about the Scout’s participation in the unit.

The same can be said for leadership. The requirement says “While a Star Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility” Leadership is recorded in Scoutbook when the Scout starts the position, not at the end of the tenure. Just holding a position is not sufficient to meet the requirement. A Scout must serve actively. Take for example the bugler. If he/she never bring a bugle, trumpet, etc to a campout or meeting, and never does anything a bugler is expected to do, has the requirement been fulfilled?

These requirements need a discussion between the Scout and leader to verify they were fulfilled, not simply a computer deciding because a date has passed.

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I’m not sure if this accurate, but during a Life to Eagle session, I was informed that being registered as a Scout in a troop counts as being “active” according to Nationals. I believe that Scouts should do more, but, as far as I know, a level of involvement is not necessary for that requirement beyond being a registered Scout in a Troop. I do, however, agree with you about positions of leadership because the Scout is directly serving others and must meet certain expectations that are determined by the Troop’s leader.

Simply being registered is not sufficient. See Section Active Participation (page 22) in the Guide to Advancement.

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And here is a link to the online version of the Guide to Advancement: Active Participation

@edavignon @JenniferOlinger Thank you. It seemed strange to me when I had heard this during my Life to Eagle course. I’m glad I know that that wasn’t true.

If you read the entire thing, it does say that basically any reason for missing other than “I didn’t feel like going” is a valid excuse though (my paraphrase). That could be where they were coming from.

But having the discussion to find out the reason is important. We have had Scouts that disappeared for months without any contact and no response when we try to contact them. I would not automatically credit these Scouts for being active.

I agree with that. It’s not a rubber stamp.

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