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Is the App worth it? (edited subject to be more accurate)

I have been tracking the very long thread about the new activity logs. There has been discussion about improvements to the Scouting app. I had actually abandoned the app and suggested my families/scouts use their phone browser for Scoutbook instead, primarily because Scouts and parents were having trouble accessing their apps. It seemed like every time it updated they would have to delete the app and reinstall and figure out their permissions again. I am very hesitant to start advocating for using the app again until all access bugs are sorted out. It has been enough of a pain to get people connected to Scoutbook.com. I never imagined that I would be the “IT guy” for my troop as part of being Scoutmaster.

Can someone convince me that it is worth trying the app again because, somehow, it has better usability than the website?

I think I am leaning on waiting until everything transitions out of Scoutbook.com and then trying it again then, if I am still Scoutmaster. (Maybe it’s someone else’s problem by then?)

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Scoutbook! I just don’t want to advocate for something that is not ready to be advocated for.

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Our unit considered using scoutbook after our committee advancement chair asked. I’ve been a long time troopmaster user (including their mobile app) and our unit has been using Troopmater since it’s inception ten years ago. It took less than 15 minutes of poking around scoutbook to make the decision to stay with Troopmaster. There is a cost, but it’s been well worth it to avoid all the problems I’ve read about in this forum. Best of luck!

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I don’t know if it is worth people doing the app since the interface isn’t the same on the web. I have just pointed people to go to Scoutbook.com on their PC, tablet, or phone. The same interface and access everywhere. That was before the activities change, but to save confusion, I don’t think I will change direction.

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I’ll take the opposite view for full discussion. I think now (for a parent) it is worth it (at least from my view as a Cub Scout parent - taking off my Den Leader hat). For my Cub Scout, I have been able to mark rank requirements completed, Mark additional award requirements as completed, can log individual service hours, hiking, and camping, can see the upcoming calendar, and RSVP to events. For Cub Scouts, the Scouting app really covers the bases of what they need (arguments otherwise could be made for Scouts BSA program).

Stylistically, the Scouting app also look more akin to IA2, which is the future product.

Putting my Den Leader hat back on, no can do with use of the Scouting app and definitely, as a leader, still need to use the ScoutBook interface.

In all, the Scouting app has grown up by leaps and bounds this past year and I’ll make a case, for parents (NOT leaders) and most Scouts, this may be all they really need. Just offering a counter viewpoint. Download it and look at it through the parent’s eyes. I know that’s what I do.

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I am compiling a comparison. Before I reinvent the wheel, has a comparison of abilities of both programs been posted somewhere?

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Not that I’ve seen. Sounds like a great resource. I’ll be happy to help with any feedback.

I realized a flaw in my logic while compiling my feature comparison of the scouting app vs scoutbook for parents. Scoutbook will be changing due to the change in coding. Will the scouting app be changed as well? If I wanted to train parents on only one application, which app has the longer projected life?

Scouting app. It is stylistically like IA2 and has things like the camping, hiking, and service logs “baked in”.

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Here is my start. Any input is welcome. Its just basic right now.

FEATURES for parents Scoutbook Scouting App
Access to information
Child scouts profiles :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Personal Training :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Troop Scouts profiles
Merit Badge Counselor List :heavy_check_mark:
Reports :heavy_check_mark:
Rank Advancement
Mark complete :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Mark approved
Run report
View current :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
View Percentage to next :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Merit Badge
Add merit badge :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Invite Counselor
Mark requirement completed :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Mark requirement approved
Mark badge completed
Leader approve badge
Award badge
View incomplete Badges :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Troop Communication
Group Calendar :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
RSVP :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
View Roster :heavy_check_mark:
Email :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Permission Slips :heavy_check_mark:
Send
Receive
Other
Account Balance :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
View activitiy Log :heavy_check_mark:
Add personal activirty :heavy_check_mark:
Add group activity
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@Mary_AnnDalton The Merit Badge Counselor search function is only available to leaders - not parents or Scouts.

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Oooh! Oooh! I like your chart.

  • The scribe of the troop can take attendance in the app, but not on Scoutbook.
  • BBCodes (fancy editing) only works on Scoutbook, not the app
  • I don’t know how “work offline” works in the app, but that option is there
  • The eagle app works in both
  • Scoutbook works on phone or desktop, where the app doesn’t. You could add a third column for scoutbook.scouting.org (IA2, but I like the address as a better name)!

Questions

  • What do you mean about “Send” and “Receive” and by “Troop Scouts Profiles”?

I have been doing advancement in my Troop for 15 plus years. We have used Troopmaster for as long as I can remember. To be fair, I tried it about 3 years ago which is when Troopmaster went to a better online site and a better mobile app. I had too many issues to the point that I told my committee that if they wanted Scoutbook they need to find someone else to do advancement. In my opinion there are too many issues and it is lacking in to many areas. Unfortunately I have to use the IA part of it and some of the Scoutbook part to log my scouts requirements. I also will stick with Troopmaster. The mobile app is fantastic to be able to log ranks, etc when there is no internet. Scoutbook gives me to much stress. Best of luck with it.

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Ability to send an email in SB
Ability to receive email
See profiles of all scouts, not just your child

Scoutbook already has the ability to send emails.

Those in leadership roles can see the profile of the Scouts in their troop minus the email addresses. I don’t think this will change due to YPT. What can’t you see that you want to?

I don’t think they will ever add the ability to receive. Too hard to get right, too much infastructure.

A couple of thoughts about these items…

  • Ability to send an email via the app: Agreed
  • Ability to receive email: No value-added there. It’s reinventing the wheel, when you already have an email app on your device that’s receiving all emails. Why add another spot to look for email?
  • See profiles of all scouts, not just your child: Agreed for a leaders’ app, but not for a parent/scout app.
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Steve,

Thank you. I am making a comparison of scoutbook vs scouting app. Did you see any differences or abilities of either program to note on the chart?

The app cannot edit the unit calendar, only view it.
Specific Scouts with the correct position set can take attendance with the app.

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