Error Message on Payment Screen during Application

Hello, I have a parent who is applying as Troop Committee Member online. She logs in using her my.scouting/scoutbook credentials after clicking on our invitation link. Then she follows the motions but when it’s time to pay, she is getting this error message:

Something went wrong.
Error Code:[/reference/0/lastName] error:
string B is too short (length: 1, required minimum: 2), Message: Invalid Request

What seems to be wrong? Her last name is spelled out in the application.


Is the last name unusual in any way (diacritical marks, hyphenated, etc)? I’m wondering if the code is “confused” and throwing the wrong error.

I don’t know if SUAC has visibility into my.scouting data at all, but posting the BSA ID (no names) for the parent might help them look into it.

The payment screenshot she sent me shows her full name on the part where it says, “Scout Life Magazine Subscription for …”

BSA ID per Scoutbook is 13653718
UserID 11554408

@MHTroop511KDC - I understand that this is not the best option but submitting a paper app including the Member ID of the adult on the application may be your best bet. While I would love to have scouts, parents and scouters apply on line ut will not happen in my area thanks to Jerry Sandusky

My only worry in submitting a paper app for a Scout parent volunteering to be a leader, is that we’ve had several headaches in the past of parents ending up with two BSA IDs or getting another Scoutbook account created for them with email address - New applicants take days if not weeks to show up on Scoutbook. So, we’ve made it a practice to just have all new youth and adult applications to use our invitation link.

@MHTroop511KDC - well that happens when they do not place their EXISTING MEMBER ID on the application. The issue of multiple ID creation is and always has been at the hands of those who initiate that process. Sorry to be so blunt but it is what it is. It is due diligence here… I check the unit roster in scoutbook for the parent connection, if there I check the parent profile for a Member pr BSA ID, if found that is what I put on the Adult leader application. I also verify via my.scouting in the unit roster there and if possible the legacy training validation for other ID and usernames. While not completely idiot proof it is a start.

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Bam, absolutely spot on.

I can honestly say that after months of I have multiple ID’s for me for so and so and for so and so’s grandmother and great aunt… why oh why cant you folks just do this process the correct way… this it beyond nuts… it is if none of you have any concept of logic or process flow.

In fairness, it is often the folks who get stuck cleaning up the mess who are posting. These are not necessarily the same folks who created the issue. I’ve seen cases where registrars have failed to take into account the existing BSA ID on the form, units which have no idea that the non-leader parent was a registered leader at one point, etc. All kinds of error paths can lead to the same symptoms.

I agree it would be ideal if everyone knew the process as well as the experts, but with rolling groups of volunteers, it’s easy to lose the “clue”.

ETA: Also the relevant location on the adult leader application says “unexpired” in reference to the BSA ID. That tends to imply the data only gets entered if the individual has a current registration, rather than a prior (expired) one. It would help if more folks checked the “former leader” box though.

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In fairness its a lack of mentoring those behind us, coming up through the program, it’s a lack of a solid, trained, and engaged commisoner corps, along with a smattering of common sense in someone taking a moment to look.

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It would help if it said something about finding one of you have one. Maybe list how you may have one (parent etc).


Not necessarily. That’s what I do for scout transfers or parents of scouts who apply as leaders. I get the form, then check that all fields are filled out, including the BSA member ID. If it’s a transfer, I check for the unit number and council ID they are transferring from. For new members, I also go on Scoutbook to check if they already have an account. Another precaution I also take is to write PACK or TROOP number on the upper right corner because it’s easier for whoever will be handling the paperwork to see which unit it’s for when he/she has a stack of applications to go through.

The mess happens when the completed paper application gets entered after being submitted to the council. Names are misspelled, birthdays are entered wrong, etc.

That is why I now prefer online. The applicant enters the information themselves. So you know the input will be accurate. They have to log in using the credentials they are already using or one that they create if they are new. And then they show up on Application Manager for me or the CC to approve. They also show up on Scoutbook right away. On the other hand, the paper application takes a long time to process. It depends on when our registrar gets to it.

Anyway, let’s say a paper application is submitted, will this prevent that error from showing up when council processes it? How do I make sure that they don’t just create a new BSA ID for her resulting in 2 Scoutbook accounts? How long do I wait for the leader application to process?

@MHTroop511KDC - if the BSA id is on the application and YPT cert also has the same id it should not be more than two weeks. I can say I wish on-line was available for adults but it is not nor will it ever be. Duplication of users also happens on-line so that is not the total solution.

Online is available for adults. As COR, I’m given an option whether or not we want to allow adult applications for our units. When I tested our invitation link, there was the option between youth and adult volunteer. Is it not working? Maybe that’s why the parent was getting the error message.

Some councils don’t allow it due to their choices on how to be complaint with state law. Steve may be in such a situation, but didn’t mention “for my state or council”.

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Thanks for the clarification.

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@MHTroop511KDC - yes I should have stated this but no council within PA will allow adult online applications.

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This is a simple fix.

So is eliminating paper apps.