How to record activities other than hiking, camping, service

Dear Friends, I have two questions:

  1. In April 2023, a question was posted having to do with the 3 designated activity logs, camping, hiking, and service, and where other activities such as kayaking, snow tubing, pioneering can be recorded? The response was given that that sort of information is usually recorded in the award/advancement to which it applies. This makes it sound like someone like the Advancement Chair is expected to know what each Scout in a Troop is working on in terms of their merit badge work. That is quite impossible to know, especially if the information is being hand-transferred from Troopmaster to Internet Advancement and refers to data from 2019. Is there not some way to indicate that something like Snow tubing is an “Adventure” activity rather than a camping, hiking, service activity? Please advise if possible.

  2. Is it possible to have camping nights and hiking miles for a single Troop activity both be recorded under that activity? For instance if a Troop has a two-night campout and hikes 10 miles during that campout – 5 miles on the first day, and 5 miles on the second day-- is it possible to keep the hiking miles and camping nights listed one time under that campout? or do you need to have two different entries created for the campout-- one to capture camping nights and the other to capture hiking miles?

The logs are as they are - an expansion is in the backlog - we do not know if or when BSA will expand them.

Thank you for this reply. I understand, and now think it is up to each Troop/Advancement Chair to keep track of each Scout’s activities that are outside of the camping/hiking/service parameters. Is that fair to say?

The second question I’m wondering if you could also respond to: as to whether camping nights and hiking miles can be recorded under a single listing for an activity. Or does the activity need to be entered twice-- one to capture camping nights and a second time to capture hiking miles? I’m likely overlooking something because entering the same data two different times seems very time consuming and unnecessary. Please advise. Thank you so much.

I would disagree with that conclusion. The scouts can track that information in any number of ways themselves outside of Scoutbook, or they (or their parents if the scout is not connected to their own account in Scoutbook) can do so in Scoutbook by entering the information in the comments for the requirements to which it potentially applies. Then, the scout reaches out to the scoutmaster (or designee) for approval that the work satisfies the rank requirements, or to the merit badge counselor for merit badge requirements. This is not materially different from tracking in the absence of advancement software. The back of the handbook has a leadership log, camping log, hiking log and service log. No logs for anything else, nor even a comment section in which to record it.

entering the same data two different times seems very time consuming and unnecessary.

It’s actually not that time consuming to execute. For example, a backpacking trip is created at the unit level in the logs as a camping activity, a hiking activity, and (if applicable) a service activity. Then, all of the scouts and scouters who participated are added to each of those events. The properties of each event propagate into the logs for each participant, and can be approved either individually or in bulk.

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Thank you for these responses. Based on what you have shared I think there may be a shift to Scouts in my Troop taking on more responsibility for their progress in Scouting, especially keeping track of some specifics for merit badge work, for instance kayaking miles that can count toward fulfilling 4 (b) of the
Camping Merit Badge (some rqmts of that badge pasted below). This is a lot to keep track of, if Scouts are not keeping track of it themselves. (I’ve grown accustomed to Troopmaster keeping track of most everything, so I apologize.)
" (a) Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events. One long-term camping experience of up to six consecutive nights may be applied toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
(b) On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.
(1) Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet.
(2) Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
(3) Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
(4) Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
(5) Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
(6) Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more."

Never do for a scout what they can do for themselves. So this is totally within their capabilities; wspically if they want the merit badge.

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@TobeyTrumbull - it is after all THEIR advancement and progress

Thank you for writing. Seems quite right to keep this in mind.

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Thank you for replying, and yes this seems very right to keep in mind. Thanks

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