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Online Registration for Multiples with $0.00 Fee

We are adding approximately 27 youth and 15 adults as Multiple Registration to another troop. These are not Transfers, and all of the existing registrations in the primary units are in good order. The Online Registration would be a huge time and error saver, and the process seems to work flawlessly if there is any small fee (like adding the prorated Boy’s Life) so that a credit card is used for that small amount. If there is any payment, the app quickly appears for review and acceptance by the 2nd unit, and the process is great. However, since most of these Multiple registrations have $0.00 fee, the system seems to get hung up on this. About the best we could do is get to a “Pending Payment” step, even though no payment is due. It seems like in this council, we are all still fairly low on the learning curve for Online Registration. Is there some glitch in this process for a $0.00 fee? Is there something that someone in the council level needs to do to push a $0.00 fee past the “Pending Payment” step?

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This would be great. Makes sense, right? Not supported with no publicly communicated commitment on timing. :frowning: Your only “electronic” option is to fill them out with a PDF editor, save them, and send them to your registrar via email. I think our registrar also has a dropbox account.

P.S. Why are you doing such an huge multiple registration effort? Very intriguing!

So do I understand you correctly in that it is just the $0.00 fee issue that is not supported with no commitment on timing? I assume you are not saying that the Online Registration doesn’t accept Muliple Registrations , in general. The reason I ask is we did have several people in our council suggest that it is the Multiple Registration that is not supported by Online Registration, but I passed along the following info (which I hope is accurate):

From the August 2020 version of the Online Registration Unit Guidebook (p.2):

The Application Manager:

Collects completed applications from new youth and adults or those with current registrations who are registering as multiple in another unit for the first time;

  • Youth and adults who use this system should be new to Scouting or be currently registered in a unit and applying to multiple in a different unit than the one in which they are currently registered. This system is not designed to register position changes in the same unit, transfers, or youth or adult renewals.

Regarding the reasons for doing all the multiple: I was hoping to avoid explaining it for fear of this spiraling off on a tangent issue. We have three troops “temporarily” combining for a variety of reasons. We are still rechartering in the primary unit, but might make this permanent a year or two from now.

Thanks for your quick response,

Well, it is good to hear if it really is supported, but we have been asking for it for a long time, and they continue to say “not yet”. So, maybe it just hasn’t been communicated (maybe just I haven’t heard, and everyone else has?).

Matt, since that Guidebook was just recently updated in August, it might be a fairly new change.
As you are probably aware, the page with “Information About Online Registration for Councils and Unit Leaders” can be found at:


and the link for the Unit Guidebook is referenced on that site at the link:

We had really not tried using it before, but with over 40 apps to process, and my laziness as a driver to find the easiest process, I was hoping this would work. Given that it has worked fine for those with any payable fee, is there any suggested place to turn for clearing up the $0.00 fee glitch for the remaining apps?

Thanks again,

Matt, one of the big advantages with the online registration is that if we have the BSA Member ID, much of the info prefills correctly, and it gets processed correctly and almost immediately. You might be correct that for the $0.00 fee apps, our only “electronic” option is to fill them out with a PDF editor, save them, and send them to our registrar via email. If that is the case, it appears that, in the Filestore, only the Adult Application is an editable pdf, where the youth app needs to be printed, filled out by hand, and scanned. Is this correct?

There is a known issue with $0 fee applications. I have been told that they are working on it, but I do not know when it will be fixed.

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Please don’t get the wrong impression. I wish they would fix all of this. It is very very very frustrating for the scouting fees to go up, for them to charge an admin joining fee, and then have systems that would be considered unacceptable 10-15 years ago.

The BSA seems to have little concept of productivity. They could reduce staffing and/or increase customer service if they got some of these most basic systems in working order. They just don’t seem to have the vision, the will, or the leadership.

PS It is great to hear that they may have the additional positions now supported. If they had any concept of where things should be, they would fix transfers before 12/31/2020 in time for cross overs. To think people have to do signed paper forms for crossovers. I wonder how many Webelos just don’t get proceeded into a troop and “oh well”.

No worries. We are all in this together, BSA Staffers included. Like I said, I’m just highly motivated by my own laziness to always try to find the best (translated: easiest and least error-prone) path for anything like the applications.
I did want to verify the info about the Youth Applications not being available as an editable pdf.

You might be correct that for the $0.00 fee apps, our only “electronic” option is to fill them out with a PDF editor, save them, and send them to our registrar via email. If that is the case, it appears that, in the Filestore, only the Adult Application is an editable pdf, whereas the youth app needs to be printed, filled out by hand, and scanned. Is this correct?

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National only seems to have a non-fillable, but you could try this one

Even the Advancement Report (34403) in non-fillable. So I spent some time and created a version in Word that looks close enough. I use it with both my troops and fill in the upper section like number, district leader, etc. Edit it once a year after recharter to match expiration date.

@MichaelMcGehearty If you get the Unit Advancement Report (form 34403) from the following website, it is a fillable pdf:

https://www.scouting.org/resources/forms/

We have been very happy with the way Scoutbook automatically completes the Advancement Reports. As long as a little care is taken to keep the Needs Approval and Needs Purchasing reports up to date, the Advancement Reports have been great.

Back to the topic of Online Registrations for Multiples with a $0.00 fee. I emailed the Manager of Member Applications on the BSA IT Team. He was very responsive, and they have been aware of the issue with the $0.00 fee. The good news is that this issue was actually currently being worked and is in QA this week, and he was hopeful that there may still be a fix as early as this week.

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Awesome news. Thanks for the update.

Jennifer,
Back when I initially created my Word document version in 2016 the Unit Advancement Report available from the National Web Site was NOT fillable. I have been updating as necessary with each change in the 34403B.pdf document (Latest in 2019).
So NOW it is available as a fillable pdf, that is good news.
However usually with pdf’s there is a little bit more work required to save an edited copy, so for now I will still use my Word document. (In addition I am much more comfortable using Word.)
Thanks for the help

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It appears that as of 10/23/2020, the glitch has been fixed for the Online Registration of Multiples with a $0.00 fee. We had several $0.00 fee online applications that had been “hung up” in a pending status awaiting payment of the $0.00 fee. Those apps were freed up for approval on 10/23, and since then, we’ve successfully processed another 15 apps for Multiples with a $0.00 fee. The Manager of Member Applications on the BSA IT Team has since confirmed that the glitch was fixed.

The process has been very smooth, and the approval step is almost instantaneous. This has been, and will be, a huge time and error saver in the application process, especially for Multiples, where most of the info prefills. Works well for new applications, as well, but the info obviously doesn’t prefill. It still doesn’t work for Transfers, but it sounds like that functionality is not too far off.

Awesome. Thanks for the update. I will let everyone know who asks. This should be a big help foe merit badge counselors and the like!

Transfers can come soon enough. It is very disappointing it has taken this long.

I understand and sympathize with the frustrations of not being able to get some of these enhancements done as quickly as needed. As mentioned above, we are all in this together, but please try to be very patient during these extremely trying times with very severely reduced resources. I think we all can appreciate that from a triage perspective bug fixes … like to Internet Rechartering … take precedence over new feature enhancements. Furiously Typing

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Just when we thought this issue was closed.

It just so happens that I am registering as a multiple in our Pack (I’m with the troop). So, I was like “perfect chance to test this out”. So, I fill out all 5 steps and get to the payment spot. It says I owe $0 for 2020. Great! Then it says I need to pay for 2021 and can’t proceed without it. The Pack and Troop re-charter 12/31/20 and haven’t yet done so.

I would call this a bug.

Rick it really isn’t an enhancement. The frustration comes from the system not being fully implemented now for multiple years. When we wonder why Webelos fall through the cracks, one of the issues is getting a signed form to be manually entered into the system. These types of fixes are the cost savings, effort savings, and pain point reduction the organization needs, but doesn’t seem capable of keeping up with.

This must have been a change that occurred on or around November 1st. From 10/23/20 through 10/29/20, I processed via the online registration, 22 multiples, and a few new applications, with no such issues (i.e. I worked with the youth’s parents and leaders to get these applications submitted online, and then I approved them) . The multiples were a $0.00 fee, and even a new applicant only had to pay the prorated fees for the remaining few months of the year. However, when I attempted to process a new adult application this evening (11/02/2020), it required not only the prorated amount for the rest of the year, but also the fees for 2021. That alone can create some issues for someone who truly owed fees for 2021, let alone for a multiple registrant who shouldn’t owe fees. So I would agree that this appears to be another bug/glitch. Two steps forward, one step back.

I’m assuming that this is because we are getting so close to recharter, but this is going to create some real recharter confusion about who has paid for 2021 and who has not. Our hope and intent was to get everybody in the troop properly registered prior to recharter. Then our recharter chair would only have to worry about who registered with the troop as their primary unit and who was a multiple. That would make the fee calculation pretty easy vs having to track down who might have already paid for the year ahead. Hope they get this fixed soon.