Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.
I have a parent who’s already connected to another scout in our unit, but when I try to add them to their second child by email Scoutbook tells me they don’t exist. When I search by name, they come up…except it’s a different adult in a whole other council but you can’t tell because the connection search results don’t actually list any information other than BSA ID. So now I’ve got one invalid connection (which I can’t remove and I’ve contact my council about, but who knows how long that will take) and I can’t add the correct one.
I can’t even add them through the global connections manager because it shows this when I try:
Is there a trick to this I’m missing or something?
The search system is not working properly (there’s a dismissable yellow banner warning about it on the Scoutbook login page). There are two workarounds. One option is that the parent can use the “Connect to Your Scout as Parent/Guardian” link at the top of their My Connections page. The other requires a unit admin or Key 3 to go to:
Scoutbook → My Dashboard → Administration → My Units → Unit ### → Roster → Connections Manager
Then, in Connections Manager, page through to the parent’s name and click on the cell where the scout’s column and the parent’s row intersection, set up a View Only connection between the parent and the scout, then save.
Back out to the Roster, click on the scout’s name, then on Scoutname’s Connections, then find the parent. Change the parent’s connection to Parent/Guardian. That should set things up correctly in Scoutbook. Note that this last step isn’t reversible by unit personnel, so make sure you’re connecting to the correct adult.
Back out to the Roster, click on the scout’s name, then on Scoutname’s Connections, then find the parent. Change the parent’s connection to Parent/Guardian.
Ah, ha! This is the magic step I was missing, worked like a charm. I don’t want to know how long it took you to figure out this workaround.
Between this, the loss of ability to create “ghost” accounts (adding a scout/adult with BSA number to sync up later) while we wait for registrations, and other general Scoutbook problems this year it feels like the platform has taken a big step backwards - hopefully it’s all leading to a better Scoutbook in the long term.
We used to be able to manually add a scout to Scoutbook and then go in and put in a BSA number for them as soon as they were in the system (or even later, but before their registration processed). This got around a problem we frequently have in the fall where a scout will start coming to meetings, earning awards, and needing to receive communications but it takes the parents a few weeks to get them “on the books”. That way you could manage them the same way as everyone else and when the Akela/advancement database synced up with Scoutbook it would “merge” the two entries and tag the existing Scoutbook one as matching.
Now it looks like you can’t enter a BSA number at all (I.e. the “Edit Profile” link takes you directly to the Internet Advancement system), and there’s no merging anyway since Scoutbook appears to be backed by Akela (instead of two separate databases). I imagine that’s actually helpful for a number of reasons, but it’s caused chaos to our unit this fall as nearly every den has started having to maintain a secondary spreadsheet with earning-but-not-quite-registered scouts. This has been exacerbated by the complete inability of the online systems to process a number of in-council transfers we had this year - so those scouts aren’t just waiting on online registration, we’re waiting on the time-consuming paper process (all the while they’re earning awards that need to be tracked, getting sent messages that need to be sent separately a second time, etc.).
I don’t mean to sound grumpy about it, and I’m generally a pretty big champion in our unit for Scoutbook (I still remember the pre-Scoutbook days) - but this fall has been rough.
You can still add a scout to scoutbook before they are registered. That’s correct that you cannot modify the member number yourself, but the system searches for a matching record when their registration goes through. If the full legal name, date of birth, and zip code match exactly, it should insert the member number automatically and eliminate the need to even merge anything.
It’s possible that someone told you not to create them manually anymore because it’s easy to get a typo in a name and therefore not match, but if the person who creates it on your end and your council registrar who processes the paper application are both careful, it shouldn’t be a problem.
To be clear, what I referred to would work for new scouts. I would not recommend that for transfers… or maybe only in extreme situations. You don’t want to have advancements for a scout on two different accounts.