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Merit badge report from my.scouting is incomplete / incorrect and is missing important columns

James,
Here are some more details to answer your questions. It is important to distinguish ScoutNet (Aleka) from ScoutBook and My. Scouting. My understanding is that ScoutNet is the current BSA registration data base. Access is limited to specific functional positions of registered Scouting personal. ScoutBook is a different tool, that is used by scouts, unit leaders and others, to help deliver the Scouting Program. My.Scouting is a system that stared out as the front-end of the online training system, but has morphed into other areas.

I use the Print Registrant Selections report on ScoutNet and select position code 42, Merit Badge Counselors. You must have specific access to get to this report. It includes address and other pertinent data that I need.

After download, my program matches the downloaded ScoutNet data against my current MBC DB. It automatically updates things like YPT dates, etc. If anyone is missing from ScoutNet, they show up as not having a matching record. We have not had problems with people “disappearing” from ScoutNet. Could you have been looking at ScoutBook data? ScoutBook will omit a person if their YPT has expired, but that is a different issue.

James, The “white sheet” (MBC Info sheet) is routed to me. I can see their background check status using ScoutNet. If someone is dropped, they don’t download from ScoutNet and I see that in my DB because their record didn’t match. The MBC Info form, or “white sheet” as you call it, is routed to me. I enter the counselors into my DB from the white sheet, by matching them to their downloaded Print Registrant Selection data. If they aren’t registered as an MBC, they are not in the download, and I don’t enter them into my DB. Our MBC Info form has a place for them to enter their unit number, and I put that into my DB.

While they are officially registered at the District level, most are associated with a specific unit. This is collected off the MBC Info form. This makes it easier to distribute renewal letters and keeps the units aware of counselors that are active with their unit. I generate a list of the counselors associated with a unit, and email that to the unit leader and committee chair a couple of times a year.

The distribution of the Merit Badge Counselor list is consistant with previous, printed versions. It includes the name, phone number, associated unit and badges for counselors. No other personal information is included on that list.

I have checked that occasionally. It has always matched so far. I used an Excel spread sheet to check that the records matched.

As for the “ChangemyEmail@scoutbook.com” or “changeyouremail@scoutbook.com”, those are caused because ScoutBokk REQUIRES that the email address for each user be unique. If a person registers on Scoutnet twice (forgot their first login/password and created a duplicat account with the same Email), then you get this error. If a family decides to share an Email for all scouting, you get this error. It is a pain to clear. You will need to work with the ScoutBook support team to resolve these problems.

Greg

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The 2 different councils I have been in have this same approach for camp staff. They do some off season get togethers and work weekends. Not a ton, but not a “paper unit” as they used to say.

James,

I agree with Matt. The camp staff functions as a unit while they are preparing and providing the camp experience. They are not paper units as they function as a team during the camp. I believe that many (or most?) Councils organize their summer camps as a functioning unit.

Setting up camp staff as a unit also gives the Council a unit to register the few camping staff that are not already registered with another unit.

I think the prohibition against “paper” units is for membership verification.

Greg

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All I can tell you is that my council adamantly refuses to do anything remotely like that.

Adherence to corporate policy is often down to one’s boss. In this case the SE. I assume their interpretation follows what you have stated. That is a decent argument, but isn’t what others have arrived at.

and I believe the application for the council annual charter is still signed by the council key-3 leaders (Scout executive Council president Council commissioner).

I understand that any deviation from the sample council charter has to be approved by the BSA national office. See the national by-laws for details.

See your council annual charter and by-laws for local details about the council agreements with BSA national, assuming it is available to you from your local council.

I believe it would also help if we could remember to preface posts with “in my opinion” when we are debating.

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There is already a mechanism in place to register camp staff that are not associated with a unit. As I mentioned previously, codes 48 and 68 are explicitly for that purpose.

Unfortunately my council is unwilling to take this tact to circumvent the intentional blocking of information from volunteers who need it to do their job. As a result, I’ve had to “invent” my own solution to the problem which, itself, has issues.

Greg,

Thanks for the info and pointers. Unfortunately I don’t have the level of access you do. Also, it appears, from what my council registrar tells me, that the report you reference is no longer available. Perhaps it is because we are using the automated SB updates? Who knows.

That may be “the way we always did it”, but it’s still a violation of current policy as far as I can tell.

GtA 7.0.2.2 Web-Based Counselor Lists

Online counselor lists present a number of challenges.
They should only be placed on official council websites
that conform to the National Council guidelines. Council
sites must consider the safety and privacy of their members
and participants by obtaining the necessary permissions to
release information about or images of any individual.
Give attention to protecting counselor privacy. Limit access
to those who have merit badge-related responsibilities,
such as advancement committee members and chairs, or
unit leaders and selected assistants.

I think it’s pretty clear that BSA is very concerned with the “safety and privacy of their members and participants”. They clearly want us to “give attention to protecting counselor privacy”. I don’t think sending mass mailings twice a year of everyone’s PII, likely without “obtaining the necessary permission to release information about” the counselors, is consistent with that policy. The people you are sending to likely have even less concern and wont even use “ordinary care” (term of art) to protect that data (not that you are either, to be honest). But that’s just my opinion as a data privacy and computer security expert, so what would I know. IANAL; seek competent legal counsel.

The REGISTRATION GUIDEBOOK OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA (2019) is written for the Registrar.

I do not believe the guidebook is written to explain what the positions are. It is clear from other BSA documentation, training and forms that “units” are owned and operated by charter organizations. Council resident camp staff appear to be under the council not a charter organization which requires separate identification in the BSA registration database.

This does not prevent camps from using the “patrol method” as a way of organizing the camp staff. Thus it may look like the camp is run like a unit when it is not a “unit”.

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Well, that all changed last year when councils now can charter units.

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Unit Charters

My understanding is that councils have chartered units for a long time and that BSA national can also charter oversea units (per the national by-laws and charter document). A “510” (May 2010) annual application for unit charter form has the Scout Executive approving the application. “(APROBADO) Firma del ejecutivo Scout o del designado”. APROBADO means “passed” (or in this case I would tralate it as “approved by”. I do not know if this is the result of an English to Spanish translation.

I do not understand what you are referring to. Could you cite the source of what you are referring to.

I do not have copies of all the national bylaws. In the early 1900s at first there were no council an commissioners supported troops. After about 5 years national started establishing councils. (I believe to support commissioners and local units, and also to assist BSA national.)

Scoutreach

According to Sam Houston Area Council Scoutreach Division webpage Scoutreach was established in 2000. The following is from a 2019 Scoutreach conference announcement,

What is Scoutreach? Scoutreach units are those for which the council provides leadership and/or funding resources. This program helps ensure that all youth, regardless of circumstances or background, have an opportunity to join and experience Scouting.

All Markets Strategy 2013

In reply to

Charters in the past were only held by the Chartered Org. A second process is now available for the council to charter the unit directly without a Chartered Org. That is what I was referring to when responding to the council staff units needing a 3rd party org.

James,

I think you misunderstood my comment. We do not publish the MBC list on the web. We Email a copy of the district the list to the ScoutMaster and Committee Chair of each unit. We feel this is no different than the previous method of printing and distributing the list to each unit. We started using this method years ago to reduce the cost of printing and distributing paper copies. The list contains a notice to the units that it should be restricted to the unit leadership that approves the Merit Badge Counselor selection. The list contains no more information about Merit Badge Counselors than what is available online thru ScoutBook.

Greg

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The problem is that internet email is not secure. It can be read by all the internet sites transporting the message.

Using VPN connections which can be monitored by the VPN provider is becoming a major data security issue when accessing the data on council sites.

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Come on, Bill. Home phones and emails is very different than credit card numbers.

I do not have the time to debate with you at this time.

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I understood exactly what you are doing. I’m suggesting that it is not in line with national policy about keeping PII safe.
I realize it’s not different than “how we always did it” but that, as I said before, does NOT mean it is in compliance with policy NOW. We used to let anyone sleep together in tents, that’s no longer the case. Things change and this policy is no different.
BSA was previously very cavalier with peoples private personal information. They’ve become ever so slightly closer to roughly 1980’s level of PII protection. Eventually perhaps they will be drug into the 21st century. Until then, we should least comply with their abysmal level of data protection.
We have NO BUSINESS transmitting people’s personal information via unsecured email to a host of people who have no idea they are even supposed to keep it secure, much less any motivation to actually do so. Such practices invite future litigation against the organization.

Yes, thank you Bill. Someone else who recognizes the data privacy issues here.

Go explain that to any of the PII data security standards. CCPA, GDPR, etc. have a MUCH higher bar than what you are asserting. ANYTHING!!! that can be linked to you is considered PII and is to be protected.

Please, please do yourself and the BSA organization a favor and get some education about data privacy laws and PII. The types of things you are doing will eventually be the subject of multiple class action law suits against the BSA.

Send a list of counselors over email will not be a class action law suit. It won’t be. This is common practice across all non profits the nation over. As a volunteer, we are not subjected to the acronyms you list.

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