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.

Scouting Forums

Changing the Scout's Name

I have a question:
Some of the parents in the troop are changing the scout’s legal name that shows up in Scoutbook. Specifically, they are changing the last name so that it only shows the initial of the last name. They are not using the nickname function in the scout’s profile. Is this a problem?

In principle, when the sync function runs, it matches scouts to accounts based on multiple factors, one of which is name. Historically, differences in name have caused duplicate accounts to be created for both youth and adults, at least when new scouts were being added. I don’t know what the system will do if the last name doesn’t match on a scout who’s already in sync.

I’d probably watch for the advancement sync to drop off, or for a duplicate account to appear. The folks from SUAC likely know more about what would happen.

1 Like

When an adult is not connected to a scout, the scout name is hidden by Scoutbook, and displayed as first name and last initial. What you have described sounds like a connection issue.

This is not a connection problem. I know because one parent asked me if I could help change their scout’s name to show just the first name and the initial of the last name instead of the full last name. I also saw another scout that had their last name changed, but I could still access their account as an admin.

Yes, this is a problem. The Scout’s name in Scoutbook needs to match what is on the official roster in my.scouting.org. Why are the parents changing the Scout’s name?

1 Like

Changing names in Scoutbook is going to mess up the Scout’s Advancement history, it should not be done. And it is going to cause the units headaches at recharter.

My only guess is that parents and scouts are getting confused with Zoom and Scoutbook. When we use Zoom, we ask the scouts to change their screen name to First name and initial if last name. This is so that if we capture and share a photo, their last name is not revealed in the photo.

Well national has stated not to capture photos like that in the COVID guidelines as I recall


I don’t see anything there about capturing photos of Scouts. Just a ban on recording meetings, which is a different beast. There’s an acknowledgement in Part A of the AMR form that says this, which makes is explicitly OK to take photos of Scouts and Scouters without additional consent, as long as you have any up-to-date AMR. I notice that they removed the separate check box for it, though.

I w seen in the past that a parent logged in and saw all of the other scouts only had their last initial showing (because they weren’t connected to the other scouts) and thought they should do that too, not realizing those without connections to the scout won’t see the last name. Once I explained that, it wasn’t a problem.

That said, I agree we should not allow them to change the official registered name.

That devolves from the BSA-mandated Full Control for parents, yes?

It seems like the developers would need to differentiate that bit of parent “Full Control” from leader “Full Control”, since Leaders sometimes have a legitimate need to fix the names in Scoutbook (e.g. fixing errors). I’m not sure that the system is that smart, and I’d rather not lose the ability to fix it on the leader side due to a limited number of parents who can’t stop fiddling with the system.

@CharleyHamilton no - has nothing to do with full control - simple oversight that will be fixed

Was the intent to prevent everyone (including leaders with full control) from being able to edit the names?

you edit a name it can mess up the system and your unit - pretty simple

1 Like

@DonovanMcNeil, @JenniferOlinger: A screen capture and recording video are different. I agree with @SteveCagigas that the article does say that Do not record online activities/meetings that include youth participants. We are simply taking a photo. We are not recording the entire meeting. We are taking a photo to show how we are scouting at home. So that when we do look back on this period, we will remember how we continued scouting even during a pandemic.

We notify and ask the scouts and leaders first. If they don’t want to be included in the group photo, they just turn off their camera or turn their camera to something else. When they turn off their camera, their name is shown in the box. That is why we ask the scouts to rename themselves so that their last name is not shown.

On the Boy Scouts of America Instagram page, they did post a few photos that included part of the “zoom box” on their computer. We took the guide to safe scouting a step further and made sure the last name of the scout is not shown.

This is already off-topic from my original question, so I will leave it at that.

This topic was automatically closed 24 hours after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.