Scouting Forums

Can Scouts add their own advancments in scoutbook?

I curious if a scout can add their own advancements in Scoutbook for the Advancement chair to approve.

If the scout has been invited to connect to his or her account by the parent, yes it is possible for them enter their advancement as Completed. I would verify with your unit how they want to handle this process. Units may prefer to have (for example) a Scribe or another youth leader enter information, and use a “dummy” account to do so, or delegate coordinating Scoutbook records with signed handbooks to an ASM assigned to each patrol as an adviser.

That said, Leader Approval of advancement is meant to be by unit leaders on the program side (SM) or their delegates (e.g. ASMs, senior scouts) who are testing the scout on his or her completion of the requirement. The Leader Approved step correlates with the signature-in-the-book step. The Advancement Chair position is not meant to be the person “testing” the scouts (i.e. signing their requirements as Leader Approved). It’s more of a record-keeping/purchasing role on the committee side of the house. This is consistent with the 4-step Scouts BSA advancement process:

  1. Learning
  2. Testing
  3. Review
  4. Recognition

There are a variety of different processes that could be implemented for record-keeping in Scoutbook. For example, the youth might mark a requirement as “Completed” in Scoutbook, and also enter who signed it off in the comments for the requirement. The SM/ASM runs the “Needs approval” reports, and verifies the completions, and Leader Approves them. Our unit delegates this function to the ASMs assigned to advise each patrol. The Advancement Char then looks at everything that’s Approved, and makes sure it appears on the Needs Purchasing report, then purchases it (or ensures it is purchased). The AC then coordinates with the SPL for awarding at either troop meeting, or at the CoH if it’s coming up soon.

Alternatively, the AC could verify what’s listed in Scoutbook as Completed by periodically (weekly at troop meetings?) auditing handbooks for signatures. Then, the AC could mark it Leader Approved, although I would recommend in that scenario adding a comment indicating who had actually signed-off the requirement so that, if a scout doesn’t appear to know the material, the person signing-off can be approached to verify that they correctly understand the material as well.

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Short answer is “yes”.

Longer answer is “yes” with limitations :grin:. If a Scout’s parent has invited them to join Scoutbook, they can log in and update their own advancements using Scoutbook or the Scouting app. “Marking complete” in this context is not the same as marking “leader approved”. “Marking complete” is comparable to the check mark in the physical handbook (not the initials), and reflects the Scout saying “I’m ready to be tested on this requirement”.

I would recommend that you delegate checking off requirements as “Leader Approved” to your Scoutmaster and ASMs, or if you don’t want to do that, schedule a routine time at Troop meetings where you can collect Scouts’ handbooks to update items in Scoutbook. In my opinion, it’s not fair to put all the approvals on your head if you aren’t the person confirming that the Scout meets the requirement.

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so in simple terms if a scout has his own phone and downloads the app can they put their advancement in to be approved and how exactly do they do that?

how do the parents or scout get the invitations to each other to connect?

There are instructions at the link below for how parents can connect scouts to their accounts. Only a parent can do so.

Once the scout is added to his or her account, then the scout can use the Scouting app to mark requirements Completed.

ETA: The scout can also do so from the interface. It’s not limited to the app interface.

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Truth. In my son’s troop an adult is the one who updates Scoutbook for the scouts. In my daughter’s, every scout is expected to record their advancements in Scoutbook on their own, as well as in their handbooks. So, whatever the practice of your troop is, do that.

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