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Editing Service Hours Activity

When I attempt to edit a past service project to add either Scouts or adults to it, I am getting two errors messages. The first says “Missing authentication.” The other looks like this:

I am a Key 3 Delegate and the Scoutbook Administrator for our Troop.

Also, one feature change that, as a larger Troop, we would like to see is to make it possible to add more than one person at a time to an activity. Having to add one person at a time from a roster that has over 100 Scouts and leaders on it is time needlessly time consuming.

Chuck Olson
Troop 463 Sandy Springs, GA

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@CharlesOlson - I have a couple of things:

  1. The system accepts whole hours only so best option is round up.
  2. When you are on the roster page, you can select multiple people including adults and click on record progress. That will provide the list from advancement to hikes.

I have a real problem with rounding up service hours. If a Scout only works on a service project for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, doesn’t it violate the “trustworthy” part of the Scout Law to give the Scout credit for one hour of service?
Its even worse if the Scout makes the entry and rounds it up just because IA2 will not allow the Scout to be honest.
On the other hand, are we not doing the Scout a disservice if we round down and give no credit for time spent.

I’m sorry but this seems like a case of IT developers indirectly changing National policy. If the National Committee has approved rounding up service hours, then it should be clearly articulated in a change to Section 4.2.3.3, Service Projects, of the Guide to Advancement and then all of the Scout Handbooks changed to say that a Scout will get credit for one hour of service even though they work just a fraction of the time. Otherwise the IT developers need to modify the program so that is accepts fractions of an hour.

I intend to raise this issue with our National Committee members and Council Executive.

Yours in Scouting,

Chuck Olson

Troop 463 Sandy Springs United Methodist Church

2 Likes

This is how servicehours.scouting.org has always worked - but there you are just entering in for the whole unit not individually - it has been brought to the developers attention

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Donovan:

Thank you and thank you for all the work you have been doing as a member of SUAC.

I have been handling service hour reporting for several units for years and had noted that it only allowed for whole numbers. Since it is was an aggregate of what the unit did, rather than what the the individuals involved actually did, I applied the 4/5th rule. To be honest, unless you were the person plugging in the service hours into the legacy system, very few Scouters and zero Scout even know it even existed and if they did, they didn’t care. Everyone knew the numbers were not accurate, primarily because many unit didn’t bother to report any service hours. In my primary unit, the user name and password were set up by the person who served as the Committee Chair over a decade ago and is no longer active in Scouting (he has been amused that, for service hour reporting purposes. he is still in charge).

Changing the system so that it takes the actual time that individuals spent performing service so that it automatically feeds into the unit, district, council and National service hour reporting system is, in my opinion, a significant improvement and one that I welcomed - until I found out that the new system would not accept tenths of an hour.

Forcing Scouts to round up all those tenths of an hour to a full hour both encourages dishonesty on the part of Scouts, while, at the same time, it makes the data increasingly inaccurate as it aggregates up the information chain. If the public were to learn that we built a system that either intentionally or unintentionally fudged the number of service hours we perform so that it makes it look like we are doing more than actually are, it would seriously damage our credibility.

This issue needs to be acknowledged and fixing it needs to be a priority.

Chuck

1 Like

@CharlesOlson we are reviewing notes on this as we see the same in hiking logs which was not in testing so we will see.

Thank you for letting me know about that and I will mention it also when I let our senor Council professionals know about the issue.

Having been involved in the fielding of a lot of IT systems changes during both my professional and Scouting career, I appreciate that rarely, if ever, do they function exactly like the developers intended after they are rolled out and that there will always be unintended consequences that the developers didn’t foresee. Even the best programmers do not have the ability to see the future that clearly. They do their best and then cross their fingers and hope, when it hits the field, that too many things in the programing don’t blow up all at the same time.

Chuck

You could always round down. More trustworthy, but it doesn’t feel good either. I wouldn’t mind if they said only 30 min increments, but tenths would be good.

There’s a related discussion about service hours entry in another thread:

the Decimal issue is being resolved, no ETA though

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Which this? The authentication issue, or the non-integer hours issue? :wink:

Original comment was clarified.

Matt:

That penalizes the Scout, which is not the right thing to do.

Chuck

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We have requested a fix for the decimal issue.

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Jennifer:

That’s good to hear. I hope the fix is soon because, until it is, my unit is instructing Scouts and parents not to use the service hour reporting feature in IA2 and to make paper reports to the Troop instead.

Chuck

1 Like

Thanks for the great news. As a professional programmer with many applications under my belt, I completely understand how small things like this can slip through the cracks! It’s nice when you find something that has a easy fix, as I suspect this one does!

YIS,

Stew

1 Like

I have a real problem with rounding up service hours. If a Scout only works on a service project for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, doesn’t it violate the “trustworthy” part of the Scout Law to give the Scout credit for one hour of service?
Its even worse if the Scout makes the entry and rounds it up just because IA2 will not allow the Scout to be honest.
On the other hand, are we not doing the Scout a disservice if we round down and give no credit for time spent.

1 Like