Merit Badge Counselors - Email mismatch between scoutbook and my.scouting

That might be super helpful information to know and share. Maybe something to put on the error page in fact. Definitely should be on the SB page the directs you to IA to update your email.

And, again, we are asking our volunteers to fix our issues. This time with some sort of server / browser problem.

I’ll ask this specific user to try this and see if it fixes the problem.

Here’s the latest reply from one of my counselors who has been trying to change his email for over a week now.

Any other ideas how we can make our volunteers fix our bug in not properly copying their email from the system of record, my.scouting, where they are registered?

I followed your instructions to correct the browser caching problem.

I was able to access a page on the Scoutbook website which is intended
to allow me to change my email.

The page is confusing.

It reads that to change my email I needed to go to the advancement website.

It the next sentence it reads they need to email me security code.

How can they send me a security code if they have my old email ???

I’ll phone scout headquarters, and ask to speak with their IT specialist.

The problem is the BSA didn’t update the email addresses in my.scouting for years so there is no way to know if the one in my.scouting or Scoutbook is correct. This is why volunteers need to check the systems and determine which is correct then force an update so the systems match if they are different.


Except that …

a) we don’t give them a logical way to do that (clicking “save” when it’s already correct is not obvious nor logical)
b) the tools we ask them to use don’t work (see problems from various users I’ve posted)
c) we make the volunteer jump through multiple hoops to do something simple
d) the instructions we give them are confusing / don’t make sense / don’t address the problems we know exist like the browser cache bug caused by BSA’s system misconfiguration
e) it’s our fault and we are making the volunteers suffer the consequences

And there is a way to know. It’s REALLY simple. Just ask the user! SB should know it’s inconsistent and should ASK THE USER which one they want to use.

We should treat our volunteers better than this.

1 Like

Agreed. But we also have to help people navigate the systems as they are, even though we want them to be better.

So let’s help them. Let’s put some text on the SB page that gives them enough info to navigate the various issues.

Let’s mention that “even though it’s right, click ‘save’”.

Let’s mention that “if you get an error, control-refresh your browser”.

Let’s pull the data from my.scouting and give an alert to anyone who has mismatched emails.

And please don’t throw up the “that’s too much processing” excuse. According to nationals site (About the BSA | Boy Scouts of America), there are “approximately 800,000 volunteers in local councils”. That’s easily doable in a single SQLite database on a windows desktop machine in only moments. Heck, I’ll volunteer to do the processing for you every night for free!

I routinely process 3 tables, each with ~1.5M records (over 4.5M records total), from the FCC amateur radio database on my windows box in seconds via SQLite. I can, for example, do a “group by last name” on the 1.5M records in the person table in under 3 seconds with no indexes. A count of distinct last names in the same table also takes about 3 seconds (there are, by the way 264,709 distinct last names in that database).

Thanks for the details. These are good ideas that shouldn’t be impossible to do.

There are a number of broken items that should be removed or have more text helping people. The quick shortcut menu was a recent example. There is the example of the training that has a poorly worded answer that causes a question every few months that needs changing.

I like your idea of giving councils the data dump of mismatched users. The same could be said for duplicate accounts or accounts that use the same email. Don’t do it all at once, but say for the next quarter, we take on one improvement.

1 Like

The SUAC has provided suggestions on how the flow for “mismatched” e-mail addresses can be improved, however, none have been prioritized for development.

At this point, the best course of action if you really want some of these things implemented is to convince your council to open a ticket with BSA IT.

1 Like

My experience is that council tickets get even less attention than posts here.

Great! How can I help? I’m happy to do data processing or to create processes / scripts using open source tools so councils can do this themselves if you prefer that. I already have 90% - 100% of what you suggested done in SQLite. It would be a simple matter to import the CSV dump from each system, then run queries against the various prebuilt searches (views).

I already have views / queries for the following:
Missing from Scoutbook (in my.scouting as a MBC, but not appearing in SB)
Missing from my.scouting (in SB but missing from M.S)
Merit badge mismatch (SB and M.S lists don’t match)
Duplicate SB entry (could be easily improved to compare email, name, address, etc.)
Duplicate M.S entry (could be easily improved to compare email, name, address, etc.)
Email mismatch between SB and M.S

And, why wait? Why one per quarter? We have tens of thousands of volunteers with software expertise. If national would just let us, we could get this done in days, not quarters.

Focus. Start small, get that done, then pick up speed. We can’t do it without agreement from national.

Here’s the latest from one of my volunteers:

Sorry for the long delay. I tried using shift refresh on both Firefox and edge browsers, both still gave me the same error. Is there something else I should try?

Ok, how do we start? What do we do first?

How change happens:

  1. Dissatisfaction with current state.
  2. Vision of the future.
  3. Know and take logical first step.

I don’t think we know #3.

I strongly disagree. I listed steps above and you even agreed those were logical.

Let’s stop wringing our hands and DO SOMETHING. I have tools TODAY, NOW!! that will address the mismatched emails.

We know EXACTLY what needs to be done. Someone just needs to stand up and actually do it.

From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is brave. A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him. "

Ok, then, who do we call? How do we get the export? I don’t know.

Let me go down this list with what I know:

  • Missing from Scoutbook (in my.scouting as a MBC, but not appearing in SB)
    This should not be the case anymore (remember if YPT elapses you won’t find them in the search) Where this is the case a council ticket should be submitted listing names/member IDs of affected MBC

  • Missing from my.scouting (in SB but missing from M.S)
    Same as above

  • Merit badge mismatch (SB and M.S lists don’t match)
    Same as above

  • Duplicate SB entry (could be easily improved to compare email, name, address, etc.)
    Not as easy as you might think to fix and keep PII private
    Suggested fixes should be sent by council via a ticket

  • Duplicate M.S entry (could be easily improved to compare email, name, address, etc.)
    Not as easy as you might think to fix and keep PII private
    Suggested fixes should be sent by council via a ticket

  • Email mismatch between SB and M.S
    Have your council open a ticket with BSA IT with EXACTLY what the issue is. The more information the better so the programmers have information to work with. Give examples (names / member ID / email)
    Remember we are dealing with very large databases here. If you want all SB emails updated with registered emails, say that (remember old emails in SB may be the correct ones and no one every updated the registration system, back in the day…) The emails currently are updated on all systems almost immediately when you update personal information in your profile.

This is why we DESPERATELY need people on the SUAC who ACTUALLY DO THIS STUFF!!

I know how and so do hundreds of people in councils across the country who have to deal with the train wreck of data and processes that national makes us use.

And, so you are educated, here’s the process:

Scoutbook: | my dashboard > Administration | manage approved merit badge counselor list > download the current mbcdetails.csv file
Scoutnet (AKA my.scouting): | menu | (council) | roster > reports | council merit badge counselor listing | run > export to CSV

I’m confident, since you guys can see people in every council across the country, and since you can see every user in SB, that you have an even easier way to download this data for the entire country.


1 Like

This is a circular argument. Nothing happens when councils submit tickets for these things. We need a way to fix the process, not waste our time running in circles.

I’ve reported these issues multiple times. I STILL have these issues. There’s always an excuse, never a fix.

This has been my experience. YMMV.

Send me the ticket number once submitted as a direct message. I will make sure it is reviewed.