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Change the “Maybe” symbol on Calendar Invites

It would be very helpful if you changed the invitation to an Outing “Maybe” designation from a question mark to some other symbol. As it is now, all invitees initially have a question mark by their name. If they click on YES, that changes to a Green check mark, if NO, a Red X appears by their name. But if they check Maybe, the same question mark stays by their name. Because there in no change from the initial question mark, I have no idea if that person has considered going but is unable to commit at that time or they haven’t even gone into Scoutbook Calendar.

Perhaps you might consider changing the invitee symbol for Maybe from the (unchanging) question mark to an Asterisk. That would let us know the parent has seen/considered the outing but is unable to commit to it at that time.

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Do you take different action on a maybe? To me maybe means no until they change it to a yes.

I think the distinction @DaveDamp is looking for is between “Maybe” and “What RSVP email?” This caused me a lot of headaches when people didn’t RSVP for events for which I had to purchase supplies, but then showed up anyway. It’s one thing if it’s the parents who are being deprived of the ability to participate, but when it;s the scouts, it becomes an issue.

If I know some folks are in the “Maybe” camp, I can purchase for a portion (or all) of them, based on past experience. If I know my “Maybe” people are actually “I don’t read my email” people, I can take remedial action on that front.

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Gotcha. Basically default to “no response”, then an option of yes, no, or maybe. I would hate it if the maybe’s didn’t go back and become firm, but it isn’t an unreasonable setup.

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I bug people until I get a firm yes or no – especially if it’s something that we need to put money down for–either making reservations or buying supplies, etc.

It’s frustrating because it puts the Scouts in the crosshairs for their parents’ management issues sometimes.

Yes. That is why I am hesitant about an official “maybe”. I like the current “?” since it means they haven’t responded and I want a firm yes or no (even though the words are maybe).

Matt and Steve,
The idea is to provide proof that a Calendar event has been seen by a adult/parent.

It is not my job, (nor should it be), to follow up with every adult in my unit, to see if they know about an event in Scoutbook Calendar. I have already taken the time to input the event information into Scoutbook Calendar and set up the messaging to all the parents in my unit. I am part of a very large unit, if I have to follow up with all the “maybe’s” then what use is the go/no go feature? I might as well just call everyone directly…and I don’t have time for that. I’m sure you are a busy people too, with crazy schedules.
If we could just get a positive indication, so that people can at least acknowledge the event (yes, no, maybe), then I would only have to follow up with those who have made no indications at all that they saw this on Scoutbook Calendar.

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One would have to count maybes as no for reservations and food or, follow up with each of those people as well.

A couple of things to unpack from your comments, in no particular order.

  1. Why do you need “proof” that an adult has seen a calendar event? Tell them to subscribe to the calendar feed and read their emails. Just like Scouts, sometimes the best way to teach an adult something is to let them fail… “Oh, you missed the Troop’s holiday party? It was on the Calendar. You check the Troop calendar, don’t you?..”
  2. Tell them to subscribe to the unit calendar to see what’s going on, so they can see the unit activities in the context of the rest of their family commitments. This has been the single biggest help for most of my unit’s parents – seeing Troop events in line with school sports, band, church, etc. in one place.
  3. If your unit is that large, I’m sure you have assistant leaders to help with communications – Packs have Assistant Cubmasters and Den Leaders; Troops have ASMs, Patrol Leaders, Webmasters and Scribes to make sure the communication gets out there. There’s no reason that you should be on the hook for all of the communication. If you are, you need to delegate some of that stuff to your assistants – they signed up to help you; let them help you.
  4. A “positive indication” of “maybe” is no more useful than no response. How does a “maybe” affect your planning, compared to no response? Maybes need to turn in to concrete yeses or noes eventually, so you still need to follow up with them from a planning standpoint, just like you do for non-responses.

I can’t speak for the others, but the biggest value I personally see for a “maybe” vs “no action” is an indication that the contact info is still good. If I’m consistently not getting any response from the same family, I can ask whether or not the contact email/text/reminders are being received.

I’m not arguing this should be high priority, or even that is easy to add, rather that at least some of us see a value in differentiating “maybe” from “no action”. I know this was requested in the pre-BSA ownership days, so it’s not something new.

Sure, but that’s the only use case I can think of, and there are probably better ways to reach out to that family and say “Hey, are you getting these messages?”

Do you have a suggestion on how best to do that?

Sure. Ask them.

“Hey, are you getting the calendar invitations?” works wonders if you’re not sure they’re getting calendar invitations.

Look, I just threw out a suggestion for a possible change to Scoutbook Calendar. It was not my intent to get in a long, drawn out “blog-fest”.
I appreciate all the opinions and suggestions that this has generated but now I intend to concentrate on the Holidays with my personal (and Scouting) family.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

I, too, think it would be useful to know the difference between a “no response” and a “maybe”. To me it means that a scout or adult is actually considering going, but is waiting for more information or other things on their schedule to work themselves out. It shows interest in the event. The “ask them” responses to this post, mean that I have to go personally ask 40 different people about each event. That makes the calendar useless since I just got all the info from asking each person individually. The calendar is supposed to streamline communications. At a glance I could tell who’s still interested in the event or if no one is interested in it. As it stands right now, Everyone looks like maybe they are interested even though that is not the case.

This is definitely something that the SUAC would support. Where it falls in the priorities is a different question that I do not know the answer to.

This has been on my wish list for a long time but I keep forgetting to add it here or somewhere where others will see it. There are legitimate needs for “maybe” responses but adding a comment field if that is chosen would also be good. One example is when a scout is also on a sports team and doesn’t know the outcome of particular games ahead of time, which may mean that they are (or are not) available until the day of an event. That would be far more meaningful for planning. Also, we spend considerable time checking in with maybes because we assume that the scout did not response and then find out that the maybe was intentional. For now, we solve it by asking them to add a comment to the event but they sometimes forget…better but not great.

There is a comment field at the bottom, just not tied to a specific response. It will show the identity if whose account made the comment.
Oops. Misread your response. Nevermind. You already knew that.

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