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Scoutbook alternative for Lone Scouts

Jeffrey,

National does support Lone Scouts through their National Capital Area Council office. We did Lone Scouting for 4 years while living in Brazil. We were able to email advancement reports, etc. to the office and they would input them into the system for us. They can email you copies of your Scouts achievement reports, update your registration and anything else that you need. They may also be able to help you create a Scout Book account for just your Scout. Give them a call.

Tia L.

If you find yourself residing outside the typical boundaries of the USA (outside the boundaries of a local BSA council), you still have the option to continue scouting with the BSA via their overseas councils. Find BSA’s map here. Scouting with the BSA Outside the U.S. | Boy Scouts of America

The one issue with their map is the display of the Americas. Direct Service through the National Capital Area Council does not provide service within the USA.

This option is not responsive to the OP of 'What tracking software (like Scoutbook) is available to assist Lone Scouting?", but it does show that Lone Scouting is supported by all three overseas councils through data entry.

My son was a lone scout for over a year and a half before joining a troop. It was and is frustrating that you could not use scoutbook as a Lone Scout. My son was very active as a Lone Scout and attended 2 Turkey Camps, 2 Summer Camps and at least six merit badge universities, as well as having weekly meetings and reading the entire Scout Handbook (something that scouts in troops do not tend to do). As mentioned by others, the Scout Handbook does have everything you need to track rank advancement as well as merit badges, and activies like camping, service, etc. I also understand that it falls apart and can get lost or ruined at summer camp.

I have used troopmaster which is available for a yearly fee to anyone and it is a good online tool. I don’t like it as much as scoutbook, but it is a good option. I also kept track of rank advancement, merit badges, awards, and activities like hiking, camping, and service in a binder and through excel spreadsheets.

Once you turn in the form for rank advancement, awards and merit badges earned into your council then it should show up in his national records that your council can print out for you.

I hope that helps!

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The Lone Scout Plan webpage may be out of date.

The primary document for lone scouting is the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, (PDF), 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing. It states on page 4:

When Is Lone Scouting the Right Choice?

Because regular interaction between youth and leaders in the BSA’s traditional programs has many advantages, we must keep in mind that Lone Scouting is not intended for youth who are able to safely attend meetings of traditional Cub Scout packs or Scout troops. … Youth in the following or similar circumstances may find Lone Scouting is the best option.

  • Home-schooled where parents do not want them in a youth group
  • U.S. citizens living abroad
  • Exchange students away from the United States
  • Disability or communicable illness that prevents meeting attendance
  • Rural communities far from a unit
  • Conflicts with a job, night school, or boarding school
  • Families who frequently travel or live on a boat, etc.
  • Living arrangements with parents in different communities
  • Environments where getting to meetings may put the Scout in danger

@JeffreyDunnam - You appear to be confusing the Cub Scouting program which is primarily run by parents with the Scouts BSA program which is youth lead.

When I was a Boy Scout (in the 1960s) I keep the record of my advancement in my handbook. Boy Scouts were expected to maintain a record of advancement in the handbook, and that is was what I and all the Scouts in my troop did. I still have that handbook.

Is your lone scout a special scout with a disability that requires assistance from another youth or adult?

Are the school teachers and parents you know taking the time and responsibility to teach their children to have respect for books? That is where I think the adult responsibility lies.

@Matt.Johnson I would not assume that every family has access to a motor vehicle or can afford to use one, For example, when I was in elementary school I was in an urban environment and used public transit to get around the city. When I was in middle and high school, I was in a rural environment and walked to troop meetings. During the summer I was living in a rural area and either walked or rode a horse to get around.

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I will partially quote Mr Bruce Willis from all five of the Die Hard motion pictures: Yippee-ki-yay.

Thank you WelcomeRobison, Bill_W, and others for your appropriate responses.

It is unfortunate that BSA claims that they want Inclusion and Diversity but does not include the tool availability to the members of the organization most diverse to majority. equality vs equity

@JeffreyDunnam - dont get me started on diversity and inclusion… whole groups of youth excluded. As far as tracking software the BSA only had internet advancement on the Oracle scoutnet platform. The addition of scoutbook is a recent thing. Based on everything thing I have read the lone scout program is council driven. I do not know what would even satisfy your request.

@JeffreyDunnam I do not understand what you are trying to claim, Lone scouts are not the most “diverse” population in the scouting program. As a statistical group they have the “smallest” population count.

By intent of its founder, Robert Baden-Powell, the Scouting movement is “patrol” based youth program. Lone Scouting is an accommodation for youth that cannot be part of a patrol in a troop.

Developing separate software tools for Lone Scouts and their friend and counselor is not cost effective. Also, not all Scouts have access to the internet or computing devices.

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@ JeffreyDunnam, are you looking for tools to be used by:

  1. Lone Scout (Scouts BSA)?
  2. Lone Scout Friend and Counselor?
  3. Both the Lone Scout and the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor?

Most record keeping tools for the Lone Scout and their Lone Scout Friend and Counselor are off-line ones. I recommend using a oversized 3-ring binder designed for sheet protectors, the slightly larger dividers. I have read (but not confirmed) that merit badge blue cards can be stored in baseball card protector sheets designed for 3-ring binders.

You also need to think about how you going to backup the records, online, offline, both?

Also, since this is for Scouts BSA, remember to ask your Lone Scout(s) how they want to do record keeping.

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I can confirm they fit in standard baseball card sheets.

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@Bill_W, I’ll reply to both of your responses here instead of individually; just to streamline.

I am looking for tools to be used by both the LC and the LCFC. The answer to how the scout wants to keep the record is: “In Scoutbook, like other scouts get to.” And that is how I want to do it as the LCFC. There is no need, nor request, to develop separate software; develop the existing software. And the backup to the online is the printouts of the reports. There has been a rumor for a while that a new version is coming, and there are hopes abounding in what it will include.

TroopMaster was the option that I was initially thinking of. It and the others that @scouter11 listed are prohibitively expensive for a single scout or even a few or are feature-poor.

It does sound like it is the offline in binders and online in Sheets for the time-being. The Advancement Documents look like a good resource too. Thank you @BenjaminWard for pointing them out, and scouter11 for reiterating them. The age-old book and binder and discovering later the Council’s accuracy.

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Dual register with a unit that is open to collaboration and can support you virtually post-Covid will be the easier way for you and your Lone Scout to have access to ScoutBook. There used to be ScoutBook Lite (for 1-2 scouts with same family) available in 2016-2018. You can also see if your District/Council will “open” a Council Unit for Lone Scout’s only within ScoutBook.

Cannot be done because there is no key-3. If it could, it would increase the work load for the District Executive or Scouting Executive who would have to act as the COR. There is also no Committee Chair.

However in some cases, a group of lone scout parents in the same district can get together and form a unit.

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Matt Johnson is correct that this is an official record. You can always photo copy the scoutbook each time it gets signed and keep in a folder in your desk or on your computer. If i am not mistaking some councils still use the paper advancement forms that you can fill out and turn in to your council to input to national.

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I found something. It is a free way to track your lone scouts advancement: Free Boy Scout Tracking - myRoadToEagle.com - Pricing - myRoadToEagle.com

Scout BSA Advancement Resources

Version 2021-08-02-N DRAFT

Scouts BSA Rank Requirements

Individual Scout Advancement Plan

Addenda are required if it is determined that a Scout has specific behavioral, cognitive, or physical attributes that are of a permanent nature and, for reasons beyond the Scout’s control, may create an impediment to individual advancement. Requirements, as written, may be redefined to maintain the challenge but provide an alternative path toward achievement. This addendum may be amended in the future by mutual consent.