How do we record Troop attendance on Scoutbook?
If you create a calendar entry for your troop and invite the Scouts, you can take attendance starting 1 hour prior to the meeting start time.
I recommend using the volunteer written and supported Feature Assistant Extension for Scoutbook for Chrome and Firefox as it adds support for recurring events to the calendar. See Feature Assistant - What is it? for details.
Scoutbook misses the mark (again). Recording Scout attendance at meetings has been the standard practice throughout my 47 years as an adult leader. For that reason Scoutbook should allow troop leaders to set the meeting day and times, which Scoutbook would post each week so that attendance can be recorded. The current process of “starting over” each week by creating a new event and then recording attendance is ridiculous. This is the product of lazy programming.
Scoutbook does allow you to record attendance. When you create a new event, make sure you chose the “troop meeting” category and select the “invitees” and select all of the leaders and scouts that should be there at the meeting.
The troop that I am with has troop meetings every Friday. As one of the troop admins for our troop’s Scoutbook, I use the Feature Assistant For Scoutbook for Chrome. It is an add-on that you need to install to your Chrome browser so that you can use Scoutbook to its fullest potential.
One of the features that the Feature Assistant For Scoutbook has is to make reoccurring events. When I make the troop meeting an recurring event in the calendar, it copies the invitees list that I had selected to all of the repeated troop meetings. That way, when the troop scribe takes attendance, he is able to see all of the leaders and scouts.
Same response that I gave yesterday: Scoutbook’s attendance recording is pathetic. It should be possible to enter the meeting day of the week and time it begins one time and Scoutbook should automatically produce the attendance sheet for the leaders to check of the Scouts that attended. That is simple programming. Currently leaders have to enter a new event up to 52 times each year. To make it worse, it is a multi-step process that confuses the heck out of leaders.Other programs such as Troop Web Host do it so easily, so there is no excuse for what BSA has done in Scoutbook.
Harry M. Clyde
I respect your opinions and where you are coming from. I was just being a helpful Eagle Scout and giving my two cents on how our troop overcame this obstacle.
It’s not impossible. It just takes a little bit of reading, some google searches, watching a few videos and asking questions on the scouting forums to figure out Scoutbook and how it can best serve your troop. Scoutbook is not perfect, but our troop has been figuring it out as we move along.
I wish you the best moving forward. Have a great day.
Yup, I use that feature too (recurring meetings) from the Chrome extension. A real life saver. What’s harder is to get people to actually RSVP for attends they plan to attend, but that’s a different question
- Rein in the negativity of your posts. “A Scout is Friendly”.
- I don’t understand what you’re having a problem with… We set up our calendar for the year every January, using recurring meetings as appropriate, then the Troop scribe records attendance on his phone using the SB webapp or the Scouting app. Haven’t had any problems with it for ages.
After 47 years as an adult leader in the BSA both in the USA and Europe, I have seen a lot of dumb decisions. The BSA bought Scoutbook that was working just fine before the BSA techies messed with it and produced it as their own with no instructions. As a life-long manager I would not have permitted this to happen in my organization. The other problem is that the BSA headquarters is full of people that have never been adult leaders in a Scout Troop.
The idea of setting up a troop calendar at the beginning of each years sounds good, but BSA (and you) gave no instructions as to how to do that. When I contacted BSA, they said to create a “New Event” for each meeting. It was easier to pay $99 a year to Troop Web Host, which produced a much better product and an excellent manual to support it.
You didn’t ask how to create meetings, you asked how to record attendance, and the instructions were provided by @edavignon in the very first response.
Ignoring the rest of your complaint about BSA IT and the apparent lack of people at National that don’t meet your personal expectations of the experience they should have to work a help desk or develop software, DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO DO THINGS IN SCOUTBOOK?
Post some clear, specific questions, and I’m sure you’ll get people falling over themselves to help you.
No features have been dropped from the Scoutbook calendar since the BSA purchased it. The calendar at the time of the BSA purchase did not support recurring meetings. The process to record attendance was the same then as it is now.
I recommend using the volunteer written and supported Feature Assistant Extension for Scoutbook for Chrome and Firefox. It adds support for recurring meetings. Once installed, you will see an option on the calendar edit page for recurring meetings. See Feature Assistant - What is it? for details.
We are fortunate to have a volunteer that is willing and able to provide additional features via the extension while the BSA developers work on other portions of Scoutbook. Updating the calendar to provide more features is on the backlog but so far the BSA has determined there are other higher priority items that must be completed first. As much as we and the staff at the BSA that develops Scoutbook would like, there is not an unlimited budget with which to do everything now.
So, here are the steps to create a recurring meeting in Scoutbook’s calendar.
- You need to have the Feature Assistant Extension installed for this to work. Without using it, you cannot create recurring meetings and have to make each one individually…
- Navigate to the unit calendar (under “My Dashboard” pick the unit under the “My Units” list).
- Now you’re at the unit page. On the right-hand side is “Upcoming Events” in red, followed by the next four events you’re invited to. The red “Upcoming Events” is a link to the calendar display.
- This is your unit calendar. It’s important to know that this is read-only to people that do not have the “Unit Admin”, “Committee Secretary”, or “Outdoor Activity Chair” roles assigned to them. Aside: we have a “T104 Webmaster” account created that the SPL and Scribe can use to maintain the calendar (more details on that later). You can click on an event in the calendar view or in the “Upcoming Events” list below it to access an already-existing event. You can create a new event by clicking on an open date, or clicking on the “Add Event” button.
- Here’s the “create event” screen. If you have the Feature Assistant Extension installed, you’ll get the “Repeating Events” button. It won’t be there, nor will the Interval, Interval Length, or Occurrences fields if you don’t have the extension installed.
5a. Fill out the information for the event. You need to select which calendar to publish the event on (you can select multiple calendars if you like), and the meeting type, which will suggest invitees to the event (for example, Committee Meeting will pull all the committee members and no youth…).
5b. Give the event a name and a location. If you want, you can include a location URL, which will let users pop open a map view of the location.
5c. Start and End pop open a calendar to set the start and end date/times for your event.
5d. Here’s the bit for recurring meetings. Click the Recurring Meeting slider so that it’s red. More on recurring meetings at the end of this tutorial…
5e. Now you can enter the details of the recurrence – what the pattern is, number of occurrences, etc.
- Confirm your Invitees. You can turn on RSVP and permission slips here. Click on the “Invitees” button to tweak the recommendations that Scoutbook made for you.
- Set up any email reminders by clicking on the “Manage Reminders” button. These reminders go out via email, not via users’ calendar apps, so you can get around the problem of people not subscribing to the calendar (more on that later…)
- Fill out the event message and click on “Save”. If you made this a recurring meeting, you’ll get a confirmation message that says something similar to “Are you sure you want to create 17 events?”
Now, your event is created and visible on the calendar.
Follow up points about event creation…
- Troop Webmaster account:
This is set up as the Committee Secretary with “View Profile” and “View Advancement” permissions for all Scouts. This lets the SPL and Scribe update the calendar and send emails to the entire troop via Scoutbook.
- Recurring Meetings:
Recurring meetings are a little tricky to edit. Once you create the series of meetings, Scoutbook assumes that any changes you make should apply to all of the meetings in the series. To avoid this – for example, you’re changing the location of one troop meeting, but not all of them – here are the steps:
- Open the specific occurrence of the meeting you want to change.
- UNCLICK the “repeating event” switch so that it’s GRAY:
- Make your changes to the occurrence.
- Click on “Save”.
Now your individual occurrence is modified, but it’s still linked to the series of events.
- If you want to DELETE one occurrence of an event, it’s the same process – uncheck the “Repeating Event” switch, then delete the meeting.
Scoutbook does reminders natively via email to the invitees. That’s nice in that your users don’t have to do anything else to get them, other than have logged into Scoutbook once and confirmed their email address. On the other hand… this doesn’t let them see the events in their calendar without going to the Scoutbook website or using the Scouting app. Fortunately, users can subscribe to unit or patrol calendars.
- Subscribing to Calendars
This will let you see the Scoutbook calendar in your calendar on your phone or computer, side-by-side with your other calendar events.
- Click on the “Subscribe” link next to the calendar you want to link to. Scoutbook has a calendar for the unit, and a calendar for each Patrol/Den:
- You’ll get this popup. Clicking on the link will do stuff…
2a. Copy and paste the link into your calendar program. (I’ve verified it works with iOS and Google Calendar; I would expect it works on any calendar app that conforms to the iCal format). You’ll need your Scoutbook user ID and password to see the events in the calendar after you’ve added it to your app, but after that, you should be good to go – events added in Scoutbook will be visible in your calendar without any more actions on your side.
In a message dated 1/20/2020 11:26:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
If I remember correctly BSA has a project to improve the calendar support. I do not when this project will be completed. The BSA IT Roadmaps, http://itroadmap.scouting.org/scoutbook among them, appears to have been moved or removed.
One of the challenges is that there are different calendar systems. For example:
- my.scouting Tools
Attendance tracking is a feature of meeting management systems which may be other programs. Then there is recording attendance for advancement and awards (which may not be the same).
At the council level my council uses different programs for different things.
I wish the BSA IT Scoutbook developers the best in there quest for solutions.
Does anyone use the calendar in the my.scouting tools? I haven’t run into anyone that does…
Lots of people not using Scoutbook for calendaring. Honestly, there are many better options out there, including ones that seem to have robust COPPA protection for youth access. I, for one, would be quite satisfied if they bolted a good third-party calendar onto Scoutbook in place of the current one, just like they did last year with replacing the built-in forums with Discourse.
Steve, I have been toying with the tools in my.scouting for many a year, and have never seen anyone using the calendaring function there. Makes me wonder how much BSA spent having that functionality, with no one using it??
Does anyone use the calendar in the my.scouting tools?
When I was CC, I posted all events in the my.scouting calendar, but I’m not sure anyone else ever looked there.
Hence a feature request (old forums) to integrate the two calendars…
I understand your frustration, I was the admin for the previous troop, and we used Troop Webhost. It was way more feature rich, and allowed for unique configuration for the way the Troop operated. The overall usability was also significantly better, including reporting, rights and role configuration, calendar options, etc. Scoutbook certainly falls way short compared to that product.
That being said, Scoutbook does allow for repeating activities, and attendance can be tracked in real-time from the mobile access… It is clunky and requires more clicks than necessary though.
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