Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Rename "Purchase Order" if Scout Shops don't accept them

Hi all! Because Cub Scout rank patches are controlled substances in my neck of the woods, I called ahead to our Scout Store to make sure that all I needed to bring was the Purchase Order. Glad I called! No, they told me, the purchase order is my shopping list. They need me to print out the “Internet Advancement” PDF at the bottom of the purchase order screen. That printed form states that it gets forwarded to my local council as of the date printed - even though I just entered everything in ScoutBook so theoretically it’s attached to each scout’s file already and the council shouldn’t need it.

@Christine_L - the purpose of the purchase order is just a shopping list. The councils had always required the advancement report, which as you note is printed from the purchase order screen. I am not sure what the real issue is.

Yes, rank patches are restricted items, so Scout shops are looking for the unit “Advancement Report” to ensure that the items have been approved and recorded for registered Scouts.

The Advancement Report link is on the Purchase Order (PO) screen under the red “Save / Update” bar:


Advancements are electronically reported to your council as soon as they are marked as Approved in Scoutbook. However, the Advancement Report in Scoutbook is just the standard BSA unit Advancement Report, No. 34403. The.“Date this report forwarded to council service center” is the PO’s date of creation - it doesn’t actually get forwarded anywhere until you physically turn it in to your council.

The Purchase Order (PO) can be used as a shopping list. You can add notes to the PO and sort it in a few different ways to make it more useful to you.

In addition, some Scout Shops will accept a purchase order to pull an order for a unit so it is ready when a leader arrives. The Advancement Report is still required to complete the sale.

1 Like

Then could we change to name to “Shopping List”? “Purchase Order” sounds official and reasonable people will expect the Advancement Report to be superfluous since we just approved everything online on ScoutBook in order to generate the “Purchase Order”. The real issue is that volunteers are busy and might not leave enough time to return home and get back to the store before their event if they printed out the wrong thing. My first experience shopping as Advancement Chair required me to completely rearrange several hours on the day of a pack meeting because I had brought the wrong form initially.


@Christine_L - are you insinuating that I do not know what volunteer adults do. I will have you know that I have been Advancement chair for my pack since 2011, and have used scoutbook since 2013 and have never experienced the issues you have had. It is a learning process but in the end the name of the list still holds the same implications.

1 Like

Hi Stephen,
I’m sorry I didn’t phrase my message carefully enough. I didn’t intend any disrespect. I just was offering my thoughts as one of the many folks transitioning to ScoutBook this year and hoping the admins could make the system more foolproof. Good point that “Shopping List” might also seem more official than it really is. Could ScoutBook add a line at the top of the Purchase Order stating that the P.O. needs to be accompanied by the Internet Advancement report in order to finalize sale?

Thanks, Ed. Would it be easy for ScoutBook to add to the top of the Purchase Order your phrase “The Advancement Report still is required to complete the sale”?

@Christine_L - that is actually covered in the guide to Advancement under unit reporting responsibility.

Hi Stephen - There seems to be contradictory information out there. I see this warning against using Internet Advancement every time I log into ScoutBook, so I was surprised our local store would be requiring it:

1 Like

@Christine_L - what the store actually requires is the Unit Advancement Report. If you are using scoutbook then the report in a prior post is exactly what is needed. I use three different council shops including one that is a national shop and that is the report I present and have presented for many years now.

Your scoutshop employees likely have little experience using Scoutbook and therefore don’t really know how to access the advancement report.


I am a bit confused by this discussion on what report is what since if I run some of these reports, it moves items to the “purchased” category and would mess up our advancement coordinator.

I do know this: Purchase Order has a very specific meaning in the world. It is a credit line and contract to purchase something. If I create a Purchase Order in the rest of the world, print it out, and bring it, I should not only be able to receive the items list, no payment would be needed as it would be covered by the PO. So, the name is indeed a poor one in this case if that is not true.


I do know this: Purchase Order has a very specific meaning in the world. It is a credit line and contract to purchase something.


1 Like

I would guess that shopping list is a better term. Although our units always purchase against our Unit Deposit Account with the council.

Hopefully applicable to this topic, but also in Scoutbook in general. How difficult would it be to have a help pop-up when hovering the pointer over a menu item. The help pop-up could further explain the items purpose and uses in greater detail. Another alternative would be any other common web guide to note help available, i.e. an “i” in a circle etc.

I agree that the title “Purchase Order” needs to be changed as it does have a very different meaning in the real world.

Additionally, there needs to be a way to mark that items are purchased without marking them as awarded. This will enable leaders to know that there are awards available to be presented. I know that on a Pack level, it is a bit different than a Troop, but we are essentially running 13 little units.

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.