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.
Since National has no support for Lone Scouts, and there are no apparent plans to add support to Scoutbook nor Internet Advancement, what can be used? What alternatives are being used to track rank requirements, completed merit badges, partial merit badge completions, nights camping, services hours, awards, et ceteria? There has to be something better than Google Sheets.
I do have that experience and I really wasn’t joking. All of what you talk about, I tracked, as a Scout, in my handbook. For all awards a Scout earns they should get a “mini certificate”. Many recommend using baseball card sheets in a 3 ring binder. I used a rubberband around a stack of them.
As a Lone Scout, it really is up to them. This is easily something they can and should manage. A spreadsheet or website is not necessary for one Scout. It worked for me as all I had to do is manage and track my own.
You don’t have the experience. I really am not joking. Handbook is the official record. Many scouts do not take care of it. It means nothing if the record does not make it to National.
As a Lone Scout, it really is not up to them. Just as it is not up to a Troop member. It is up to an adult. The scout can’t manage it. A place to keep track of the information is necessary for one Scout.
You have expressed in multiple ways that you do not understand. You have a grasp of what it is like for scouting in a city, what National and many Councils cater to. You don’t get it; you won’t get it, so leave it be. Let people would know the aggravations of being ignored answer the question.
You don’t seem to understand what I am talking about. The handbook, with the sign offs, is the official record. This is something one could take to their eagle board of review. Yes, it is up to the Scout. You seem to not to want to give them the responsibility of managing it. The reason why I suggested pictures is that it provides a backup since good scouts take their their handbook into the field.
Please, don’t minimize my advice. It is sound, is backed up by the program and rules. When I was a scout, and continuing to today, nothing more “official” or “bureaucratic” is needed. It becomes useful when one has 10-50 Scouts to use a computer system, but with 1? Nothing more is needed; it is that simple.
To get official about it, I did leave off the filing of advancement reports. Those will need to be done by the adult to purchase the patches. Other than that, the handbook is all one needs. It is not complicated and is likely one of the reasons why National doesn’t provide more.
My granddaughter is going to have to Lone Scout it due to her disabilities and lack of girl troops within a 25 mile radius of us, and there are more in similar situations. I just hope our Council will step up and help us — so far, that has not happened.
As far as alone Scouts goes, there isn’t much for the council to do. There is a lot for the adult guided and friend to help with. But it really is a “Lone Scout” independent program - not a council based one.
What has she needed the council to do that they haven’t done? Has the guide/friend advocates for her?
“A Lone Scout carries on many activities at home, exercising initiative and acting independently. But he or she may also participate in district and council activities along with the youth from Scouting units.”
This is the most frustrating part of the situation to me. The purpose of the Lone Scouting program is to offer scouting to youth who can’t participate in a unit. To that end, councils should be putting more effort into supporting the program than it seems like people are encountering in practice.
A youth applies for membership as an individual Lone Scout only if he or she cannot conveniently join a Cub Scout pack or Scouts BSA troop.
Note that it says “cannot conveniently join” as distinguished from “finds it impossible to join” a unit. It seems like many councils treat the ability to drive 45 minutes or more to reach a unit as adequate “convenience”, again at least as it has come up in various discussions here. I couldn’t even find lone scouting mentioned on my council’s website.
They have to approve her status which we have been asking them to do since the possibility of her continuing in the program came up right after Christmas. They have done nothing to activate that (we have been told that because we live in the Council area and I am Scoutmaster of a boy troop which cannot become her primary troop, this is the only alternative). I sent her crossover paperwork in nearly a month ago, and they have done nothing. I have spoken with our District Execs (we have two) and they move at a turtle’s pace . There is another girl in the same situation about 40 miles from us and the “officials” are not returning their calls either. The execs’ responses seem to be “ start a girl troop”, but because we are in a rural area, and the girls have other interests, that is difficult to say the least…
I see. If they have agreed to let her be a Lone Scout, they seem to not have done the minimum. They do not have to agree, but they do owe you an answer one way or the other.
You mention being the Scoutmaster of a boy troop and how it can’t be her primary troop. It can’t be her troop, period. There has been some clarity on individual girls in Scouts BSA, recently, and that they cannot camp with a Boy Troop. “ Q. Can a leader bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to an opposite gender troop activity?
A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs.”
I fully understand your concerns. We had 2 resp. 3 kids in the Lone Scouts program. Each month we sent an Excel spreadsheet in for it to be recorded in Scoutbook. When in year 3 we first saw Scoutbook (as we then had more kids and were a pack) I was surprised at the inconsistencies between what we had sent in and what was recorded in Scoutbook. Lots of double work for me.