Overview of what I think I understand from a newbie


I have been doing a fair bit of work to come up to speed on my.Scouting, Scoutbook, and Internet Advancement (IA) as well as what I think I understand in terms of BSA Member ID numbers and Scoutbook User ID numbers.

I would like to start by stating below what I think I understand and either get this validated by members of the SUAC team or get corrections where I am not getting matters. However, before anything else, let me share my gratitude to those that are volunteering their time to be on SUAC.

I will use numbers for easier referencing.

  1. I understand that if you leave one council and go to another council, there is no way to keep your prior BSA Member ID. The new counsel will have to issue you a new BSA Member ID no matter what where you will then have two BSA Member ID’s.

  2. Each BSA Member ID number is unique because they are issued to the councils in blocks of numbers so no two people can have the same BSA Member ID number even as it is the councils that are issuing them from their unique block of numbers. All of this is likely due to a legacy hold over when user records, etc. were all handled by paper.

  3. A council can merge two BSA Member ID numbers issued within their own council but it is not possible to merge two BSA Member ID numbers if issued by two different councils.

  4. Although it is easy to get messed up, you can keep your old Scoutbook account from a prior council and use the same Scoutbook account with your new council.

  5. I believe I understand correctly that the old council can work to import the data from Scoutbook into the new council membership so that data from the prior council will show in Scoutbook when you are logged into Scoutbook with the new council BSA Member ID number as the primary within Scoutbook. However, I think I understand from various readings that this requires to have this happen during a time when you still have are actively registered with a unit in the original council.

  6. Another option is that you can register multiple BSA Member ID numbers to the same Scoutbook account. However, as of yet, you have to log in and out to switch between these different BSA Member ID numbers as you select alternate numbers to be the new 'Primary" BSA Member ID number. The obvious possibility in the future is that Scoutbook would merge all the activities and information on your different BSA Member ID numbers into a single view versus having to log out and back in as you switch out which is the ‘Primary’ BSA Member ID.

I will stop there. I have some questions and a few ways I am needing help. But, I want to first make sure I am understanding some of these macro items correctly.

I will also point out that I went onto the ‘Help’ section for Scoutbook to look at information there. I certainly thought it was helpful. But, I also reminded of many times where I am on a company site trying to grok the core essence of what they do and get to that much faster by reaching their Wikipedia article than all the materials on their website. There is a bit that is confusing here in terms of three different sub-domains (My, Scoutbook, Advancement), then BSA Member ID’s, Scoutbook User ID numbers, etc. and finally terms like MID’s, People Profile, SUAC, etc. It seems the space could be aided by ‘here are the big pieces and how they connect’ along with ‘here is all the quirky items because of the legacy steps of how these systems got to where they currently are today’ type of write-up. A write-up not done by a professional or with a super polished eye but someone with a fresh perspective to all the moving parts here. Frankly, I think just honesty with new folks that there are some things that are clunky in these systems and confusing as a product of prior legacy. Having said this, everyone knows the legal realities for BSA at this juncture. My suspicion is that the entire set of platforms will get more fluid over time.

As an example of what I am talking about here, just look at this write-up:

Granted, I am still coming up to speed on all of this but I have also spend a fair bit of time already and I have yet to really put my mind around what do you get as an advantage to use Internet Advancement over Scoutbook. Basically, when to use one over the other depending on what you are trying to accomplish because it is easier. I get learning from others that some of this is BSA buying software built by others and basically strapping next to each other. But, something that would really lay out the core essence of when to use one platform and one to use the other would be much better than this write-up as a list of features of each but really tells you little more than this to be helpful to someone still learning these platforms which is exactly who is going to be clicking on a link with the description it has.


  1. Yes - though we have seen instances to seem they can float but have never gotten a real answer

  2. Yes - story I have heard from good sources it also gets down to fundraising. Councils want(ed) to isolate big donors from other councils.

  3. No MIDs can no longer be merged - they can be managed, where Training (and only training) flows to the one marked primary. What ever MID (BSA#) is marked primary is the MID you are signing in as to all BSA Systems.

  4. As long as First name, Middle name, Last Name, DOB are exact on applications it should work that way - this is called Member Update

  5. Councils can not import to each other at all - other than the Scoutbook Member Update like in #4. Otherwise it is a paper print out.

  6. A Scoutbook user ONLY has one MID - it cannot have multiple. A MYST (my.scouting) user can have multiple MIDs under management (#3)

Great feedback. I especially appreciate the nuanced insight of ‘Scoutbook Member Update’ (#5) and multiple MID’s within my.scouting while Scoutbook only has a single active (the ‘Primary’).

I can only imagine how much frustration could be reduced if this was more widely understood on your point #4. I did see a suggested approach for military kids to have this happen smoothly.

As someone that has managed coding teams for web stacks in the past, the capability to not have ‘paper print out’ only later (point #5) is not technically impossible at all. But, everything requires time and money when managing code for a web stack and I know BSA headquarters has a lot of things pulling on it. My guess is this will be a lot like how it was for us on active duty. The smoothness of how IT supported our processes certainly lagged from the commercial sector but we did incrementally move along over time to a better and better reality.


Question… if a council cannot transfer from Scoutbook to another Scoutbook for a youth in a new council, what is happening where I see how these forum postings from people on your SUAC team talking about ‘merging’ Scoutbook accounts?

I am trying to think of this from a database perspective here. Is one Scoutbook account basically overwriting another or is there some clean merging of fields? At that, I would suspect some human intervention if this was occurring because the branching rule set would probably get pretty involved otherwise and likely more development cost than there is an appetite to cover.

Also, when you say ‘Print out only’, can I safely assume that you mean they are getting a PDF dump from their web interface via one of the reports?

@LarryMaguire to answer it simply - SUAC is under a BSA NDA - so this will close this discussion. Never said SB Users could not be merged, not everyone can see them all, and not all can merge them.