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Scoutbook made changes and notified no one! Advancement Chair cannont edit Advancements

Scoutbook totally sucks!!! I found out that Scoutbook went in and ended the term on its own for my troop’s Advancement Chair. She only wants to be a parent that helps out! Does not want to be a registered leader!!! I can only give her view permissions for the other scouts in the troop. Why is the system not allowing parent volunteers to help in these areas and requiring all volunteers to registered leaders.


All unit leaders in Scoutbook must be registered in the BSA. They can be registered as a merit badge counselor or other free position, but they must be registered. Notification went out a couple of months ago and people who were on the leader roster in Scoutbook who were not registered were flagged for weeks prior to removal. For more information see the post here: Unregistered Adult Change in Scoutbook and Internet Advancement April 12

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This is typical BSA not telling the local units anything! This information was not put out at my District, which I was a member. This was a stupid policy change and the leaders/executives that made it should be ashamed of themselves!!!

At the local level, volunteers are trying to draw in very busy parents to handle the jobs that just need someone with sometime and computer experience to enter the advancements… instead, this decision makes it harder to draw these parents in!!! STUPID!!! Why does a parent have to be a registered leader just to enter Advancements. This parent (I am sure this is the same with many units) isn’t alone with the scouts and does this on their time at home. An Adult Leader Application to do this entry is STUPID!!!


The leaders were flagged in Scoutbook starting in Feb and were removed in April. Banners were placed in Scoutbook. So units that logged in would have seen the notification starting in Feb.

The BSA is locking down who can access children’s information for youth protection reasons and that is why registration is required. If you do not feel that is important, the proper avenue of complaint is through your council’s Scout Executive.


Scoutbook had a yellow triangle with an ‘!’ in it next to all unregistered leaders for about 2 months. Nobody noticed the Advancement Chair had this symbol next to their name during that time?

I didn’t know about the change either until one day in February when I saw a bunch of Unit Leaders marked with the yellow triangle. I didn’t know what it was at first but it was easy to find the information. If I remember right, all you had to do was click on the yellow triangle and it gave the warning about needing to be registered.

I agree that Units are not always informed of important changes and updates, but in this case, if anyone logged in to Scoutbook during the warning period, there was no way to miss the yellow triangles.


I take it that you are defending this system? Did anyone at Scoutbook or its Advisory Council consider the impact to the local units? Did anyone think about obscuring the sensitive information of scouts and leaders through the permission levels? My troop’s Advancement Chair doesn’t log in to Scoutbook all of the time and did not notice any notification when she logged in last.

I am a Senior Network Administrator for Cecil County Maryland and I control access through Microsoft Active Directory Roles and Permissions. This can be done and should be done on Scoutbook. It would take a programmer some time to get it tested and implemented, but it would be worth it. I never understood why there were no permission levels of this type. For instance: An Advancement Person only needs to access the scouts name and the advancements/merit badges/scout badges etc… They would not need to see the scouts’ family information, address, phone number, etc…

I guess that I am expecting too much.

Ray Acocella, MSIA

Eagle Advancement Coordinator

Troop 109, Magnolia DE

It seems like you are expecting non-registered volunteers to have the access that registered, background checked volunteers have. This is an unreasonable expectation. The BSA expects those that volunteer to at least take YPT, background checked, and tracked as being someone who has access to Scout and information of other volunteers.

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It seems that you can’t understand my previous reply! I stated that an un-registered leader would be able to access the Role permissions, in this case – Advancement Chair. The Advancement chair would not need access to PII – Personably Identifiable Information – like home address, phone numbers, etc… The Advancement Chair only needs to access the Scout’s Name and the Advancement/Merit Badge/Awards that the scout can earn/has earned.

My troop has always been able to recruit a parent {exposing that parent to Adult Leadership possibilities, without having to make the adult a registered leader] to volunteer to the Advancement Chair position and sometimes that adult has eventually become a registered leader and gone on to take more responsibility within the troop. It seems to me that Scoutbook was put out with little thought of permissions/access levels using as little programming as possible…instead of thinking what each position would need access to. The troop/pack leaders could then be trusted to ensure that the right person fills the roles needed for their unit.

Poor design and poorly thought out! I will be glad when something else takes Scoutbook’s place – I am trusting that some in BSA can think through the needs of a unit.

Ray Acocella, MSIA

Troop 109, Magnolia, DE

I’m not defending the system and I certainly agree that there are common sense changes that could be made to Scoutbook that would make it a much better tool.

My point was simply that anyone with leadership permissions who logged in to Scoutbook at all during the warning period would have seen the triangles.

I also realize that not all unit leaders visit this forum, but for those that do, there were several posts about this change in the BSA Announcements section in the months leading up to this.

I am Scoutmaster for my troop as well as a Den Leader/Pack Admin for my Pack. I never received any emails or notifications from my council or district about the need for all leaders to be registered or lose their Scoutbook permissions. I logged in to Scoutbook one day to do something, saw the triangles and thought “what does this mean?” and then found the information.

Luckily, in my troop all of our leaders were registered but that was not the case in the Pack. I notified the Cubmaster and Committee Chair that they had adult leaders who needed to get their applications in. The Pack did that and we avoided having our Committee Chair and Den Leaders lose their permissions.

I completely agree that important information is often not shared with those who need it but that’s not a problem I can fix.

One of the best ways to ensure you don’t miss any important changes in Scoutbook is to subscribe to the Scoutbook Change Log forum. In the top right corner of that forum, click the notifications (bell-shaped) icon. I use “Watch first post” which sends me an email every time there is a new topic in that forum, but not for any replies or other activity. The information about non-registered leaders being removed was posted in at least three or four change log posts because they pushed the date back a couple of times.


Most of our leaders and parents do not log in Scoutbook regularly (myself included) unless we need to enter records or run advancement reports. Our advancement chair (not a paid registered leader) had no need to log in between Feb and April, so I don’t think he noticed the flag/warning. I also did not notice the flag since the very few times I logged in, I was focused on what I was looking for and not on the other adult statuses.

I feel that BSA should have sent out a standalone email notification or something to those impacted as well as the key 3 of each unit so that folks and units impacted can be more prepared. You really cannot expect people to log in Scoutbook and just notice it. The timing also isn’t right because you’re making this change towards the end of a school year and in the middle of a calendar year. This should’ve been done towards the end of the calendar year closer to recharter time, so that it’s easier to manage.

I also agree with Ray Acocella’s point that setting different levels of permissions in Scoutbook would have resolved this PII issue easily (my background is software engineering), and we’d be able to get more parents involved to help w/o requiring them to pay and be a registered leader.

Now I’m stuck with having to run the advancement report for our unit advancement chair since he lost his access, on top of so many other things that I need to do for the pack. It also makes his job so much harder.

He really wasn’t the advancement chair since that is a member of the committee. To be a member of the committee, they need to be a registered leader. Presumably there is nothing stopping them from becoming official. Like the rest of us, they would need to take YPT and apply. It is that simple.

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I agree with you @RaymondAcocella the BSA is being a bit too strict about parents doing minor jobs. Our workaround to this was to just stop using scout book. We moved to troop web host: https://www.troopwebhost.com/. (They also make cub scout version: http://www.troopwebhostcs.com/) From here, once you get everyone set up and added (which can be easily done with the steps provided) you can allow any parent to have permission to edit advancement in their software. Then when Court of Honor time rolls around, you would just need to login to your troop web host account and pull a report with all the advancement. This can be easily loaded up into internet advancement which will then sync with scoutbook. We love it, and our I very highly recommend it and it is well worth the $100 yearly cost.

As leaders in Scouting we agree to follow the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting. When we allow un-registered people have access to youth information we are not following this and that outs the Sponsoring organization and the COR at risk as they are not using the program as the BSA directs. In addition when we decide to circumvent these rules we are not setting the right example of following the Scout Oath and Law that we are trying to instill in our youth.


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Unregistered adults cannot upload advancement reports to Internet Advancement either.


In the software (troop web host) anyone can add advancement into their system and one of the ASMs, committee members, etc can download the file and use their accounts to upload it into Internet Advancement.
My original comment seemed like I ignore all the YPT rules regarding personal info for scouts, but I do use the scout privacy features on the software. All the unregistered adult who does advancement can see is the scout’s first name and last initial. All information is on a need-to-know basis. It hides all of their other information from everyone who uses the software until I give privileges for someone to see it all (only registered leaders). So I am very careful to protect their privacy and only do this as a temporary workaround until our advancement person can get registered and do YPT (which I am trying to get her to do right now)

I don’t understand, then, your concern with their removal from Scoutbook. You have clearly found a process around what National is trying to enforce, so why is it an issue for your unit if they were removed from Scoutbook?

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Don’t forget that the Unit Advancement Chair needs to be delegated access in my.scouting.org, specifically by a unit Key 3. They can do this in Position Manager which is now a feature in Organization Manager. Look at for the “Functional Roles” and only one person can have that position.

Here is an example that has not been filed yet!

I want just giving the a solution that our troop used to the person who asked the question in the first place.

This is a council communications issue. My council is working hard to improve communications including social media methods.

In my district I notified the District Commissioner so she could notify the unit commissioner to notify the units. I also posted the notice on the district website which which was additional work because the council’s primary methods of communications is their website and facebook site. My council recommends Scoutbook so we do monitor the Scouting forums.

It should be noted that many districts may not have a website. Parents and leaders can also subscribe to Scouting magazine and Scoutingwire. We cannot control if they do not.

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