Messaging in Scoutbook

I know that Scoutbook has all sorts of safety precautions built into it to foster Safe Scouting. However, it basically makes for a system that’s hard to use. First of all it’s difficult to get parents to successfully go through the process of responding to an invite, editing their scouts profile, inviting them to join Scoutbook and the scout establishing an account from the invitation. Too many steps. Having to constantly call Council to resolve log-in issues with Scoutbook (mostly involving email addresses and multiple accounts) is maddening. We could maintain the accounts with our old Scouting DB and fix issues easily.
After a year of trying we still have 10% of the scouts not able to log into Scoutbook.
Secondly, we had been using another Scout database for years which had an excellent messaging system, and Scoutbook’s, though i’m sure safer, is poor compared to it. We had been using their system to create a “Boy Led Troop” because Troop youth leaders could also use the messaging system to communicate with the Troop and/or their Patrols easily, something Scoutbook doesn’t seem to allow (unless I’m missing something).
How does anyone reply to a message from Scoutbook? Do they have to use Scoutbook instead of replying from the email system they received the message on? I can’t find much in the help area fully describing the functioning of SB messaging. Since I’m not a scout, or currently have a child in scouting I can’t easily test it out.

In my experience, any scout who has been connected to their Scoutbook account by a parent (i.e. now has an email address in the system and thus has their own login) can message other scouts and leaders through the Scoutbook messaging interface. Scouts who have not been invited to connect by the parents can not send messages through Scoutbook.

I generally reply using my preferred mail client. If a scout sends me a message that’s (apparently) bcc’d to someone else, I reply to the scout and include their parent and/or a second adult scouter on the message. One could respond by going back into Scoutbook, but that doesn’t in my experience preserve the message threading, and acts like a brand-new message. I’m not personally fond of the automatic bcc, but it’s easy enough to turn off that I do so when I think it’s relevant . For example, when I message a scout, I turn off bcc so it’s obvious who got copied on the message and facilitates Reply-All. At the same time, if I’m sending out a bulk announcement, even to scouts, I generally leave bcc on and toggle on the list of who was bcc’d. I can’t recall if that’s a tool from the Feature Assistant Extension or a feature in native Scoutbook.

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