Prior Positions — Council error

In the entry form for prior positions, there is a pulldown for selecting the council in which the person held the position. The error? The pulldown doesn’t list all councils.

Specifically, the Cache Valley Area Council (588) is missing. I also found the Jim Bridger and Lake Bonneville councils to be missing. Cache Valley was combined with other councils to create the Trapper Trails Council (589) in 1993. Trapper Trails is listed in the pulldown, even though it was retired in 2020 to create the Crossroads of the West Council (590). Here’s a list of all retired councils. All of them should be listed in the pulldown.


@MarkWilkinson2 - this is not a bug as those records would not be held in the current database. I would sincerely doubt my scout records from the 1970’s in Thomas Edison council would exist.

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what form exactly are you referring to @MarkWilkinson2 ?

@Stephen_Hornak — Maybe not a “bug,” but it is an error. In software, omission of data usually falls into an ‘intent’ error, rather than being classified as a syntax, compiler, flow, or run-time error. Therefore, I felt it appropriate to post this under this group. I’m now here. If there is a more appropriate group, let me know!

Cache Valley Area Council was retired in 1993 — certainly long before any scout got into the program, but in the world of volunteer scouters (who are often retirees) 25ish years isn’t that long ago.

If your talking about Scoutbook itself - that is not the purpose of it


I navigated thus:
[Home] → My Dashboard → My Account → My Positions → +Add

After clicking the red +Add button (above), I’m presented with a form to list the particulars of my prior position. The first item on the form is “Council” and is a pulldown list of councils. It appears to include all current councils as well as some past councils. I’m not sure how far back the past councils go.

Thanks for looking at this for me. Please let me know what y’all decide on updating the database. If you’re not going to include past councils, I’d like to know. I just moved back into what is now the Crossroads of the West Council and I’m trying to decide the best way to communicate my prior scouting experience to my new committee.



You’re posting fast. I can’t keep up. What I just posted was to your first posted. This is in response to “If [you’re] talking about Scoutbook itself - that is not the purpose of it”

I’m confused by this comment. What is not the purpose of Scoutbook? To track prior scouting positions, or to report intent errors in its operation?


@MarkWilkinson2 - well look up Thomas Edison Council and you well note how far I go back in scouting

To keep a complete history of your leadership is what I was saying was not its intended purpose

The db that meets this more closely is the one that feeds my.scouting (ScoutNet). For Some Scouters it goes back at least 22 years. They, though, were only in one, non-merged council.

When the BSA gets to “one db to rule them all”, this could be less of an effort.

@DonovanMcNeil — The Scoutbook form that allows you to enter prior positions gave me the impression Scoutbook was intended to keep a history of prior scouting positions.

I’ll let my new troop committee that Scoutbook doesn’t allow volunteer scouters to enter their complete scouting record and that they should not rely on it for this purpose. I’ll send them my individual records from my past councils.

This seems like a lost opportunity for the BSA. Oh well.

Thanks for the help.


@MarkWilkinson2 - I would ask why does this matter in any way shape or form

@Matt.Johnson — I agree. Without going full geek, they really should put public information into public databases accessible through an API. (The ‘one db to rule them all.’) Then projects like Scoutbook would operate from the same dataset as everyone else. This data structuring is what they’re calling microservices. This is becoming the new way of doing things with cloud computing and kubernetes being the technology leaders.


@Stephen_Hornak — In a couple of words, data management. Specifically data centralization (one repository) and data assurance (correct information). Everyone going “paperless” is causing multiple, unreliable data sources and is making computers a bigger problem that paper ever was.


Scoutbook only contains current councils. Councils that merged with others are no longer in the database. This is working as the BSA intends.


@MarkWilkinson2 - the BSA councils are individual entities and as such mergers, acquisition and demise are at their discretion. The records could have been in scoutnet from 1999 or via paper but if not maintained or transferred there is no further trail save for milestones like eagle or other national award.

But in the end not a bug

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@MarkWilkinson2 for those reasons, I started a “Scouting resume” many years ago. Two of the Councils of which I was a member as a youth no longer exist. This includes the one where I earned my Eagle Scout. Further, due to the lack of a universal (across Councils) ID, things like my Eagle Scout are not linked to my current member ID (I think I have two or more records in the new Scouting alumni directory that can’t be merged). Maybe one day, there will be that universal database, but it is still segmented and fragmented across 253 Councils. Thus , unfortunately, Scoutbook is great for current Scouts and advancement, but don’t look to it for historical purposes otherwise.


@ZacharyMcCarty - thank you… now 24 characters

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@edavignon — “Scoutbook only contains current councils” is not correct. Trapper Trails is in there, and that is no longer a council; it was replaced via merger with other councils by Crossroads of the West Council. Thus, I hope you can understand I was confused that some defunct council are in there but others are not.

@Stephen_Hornak — As I explained above, I called it an “intent error” not a bug. If your software design is record keeping, then this would have been an “intent error,” i.e. the unintentional omission of data. However, as I have learned, Scoutbook is not intended to be a record keeping system, rather a data processing system, thus this data omission was not an intent error but intentional design. (So it would seem.)

@ZacaryMcCarty — Yep. I created a scouting resume several years ago as well. I had thought Scoutbook was to become a record keeping system for scout and scouter records and would replace my scouting resume, but I was wrong. Apparently Scoutbook is intended to process current data (i.e. give out awards, flag lapsed YPT, and collect money) but not intended for long-term record storage.

I give as my opinion this is a bad decision on the part of the BSA. It fragments, rather than unifies, their data systems. This results in increased errors across record duplication, which must be corrected by trained personnel, which increases labor costs while decreasing overall product value. As you might have discerned, I’m a professional in this field. However, I’m only offering this information as an opinion because ultimately, it is entirely up the the BSA how they want to manage their data. I’d be glad to advise the BSA if they asked, but I’m not going to armchair manage their system for them.

I’ve learned Scoutbook is not going to be a long term record keeping system, so I won’t use it as a long term record keeping system for myself or my children. Question resolved. ‘nuff said.


@MarkWilkinson2 - so in the end what is the value in showing or allowing the entry of items for councils, districts or units that no longer exist?