Scoutbook - Parents not allowed to mark requirements complete

My son joined a new Troop as his original Troop disbanded. The issue we are facing is that the new Troop is telling the parents that we are not allowed to mark requirements complete and that we cannot add camping, hiking, or service hour information. The roles and permissions information page states that parents have unrevokable parent rights to their children in scoutbook and able to mark advancements complete. Would someone please confirm the rights and roles a parent has regarding scoutbook?

Thanks in advance!

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@Punkeen - parents do have full control rights in scoutbook and it can not be taken away. What you are getting is a unit that wants no parents doing anything in scoutbook. There are units that are all about maintaining pristine data, and there are units that welcome the scouts and families to input data. I would be mindful of other areas of control as well. There are often further restrictions in other parts of the unit. Personally it may not be a good fit.

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Who did the Scoutmaster say is authorized?

In Scouts BSA a Scoutmaster has the latitude to authorize who can sign off requirements. This might mean who one Scoutmaster authorizes might differs from the next leading to different approaches in different troops. But it’s perfectly within the SM’s purview to determine who can sign off.

Here is the Guide to Advancement:

4.2.1.2 The Scout Is Tested
The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges.

I can imagine several reasons why a Scoutmaster might not authorize parents who don’t hold positions. Beyond “control” I mean.

This can actually benefit your Scout. Association with adults is a method of Scouting, this approach would require the Scout to spread their wings beyond mom and dad and engage with other leaders.

Personal growth and leadership is another method. When I witness a Scout engaging another Scout for sign off, I see personal growth and leadership on both sides. The Scout signing off is required to relive that content in that moment which creates repetition for the material that would not otherwise exist. And the Scouts who reach first class have this “leadership” opportunity available to them without a position.

In our troop, the SM authorizes the ASM and first class and older scouts. I’ve found this more than sufficient. I’ve never seen a boy unable to get requirements signed off who wanted to and I’ve seen a lot of benefit in requiring them to branch out to other adults and to rely on their peers.

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We ask our parents to not add troop sponsored camping, hiking or service projects. If they add them in addition the ones already added by the Advancement chair the Scout gets double credit. If they do these activities on their own they are welcome to add them.

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@CD32 - I do see your point about the logs. One fortunate thing is that they come in as needing approval likewise with advancement items. @MikeW - yup that is all valid and worked through the youth handbook. I think the OP was concerned that they wanted zero parental input and sometimes that extends to scouts entering items in scoutbook on the advancement/log side but again they are all subject to approval.

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Yes, I see your point. It’s hard to know from the original post if “mark requirements complete” and “mark advancement complete” refers to the act of testing/passing a Scout on a requirement or the act of recording an already passed requirement in Scoutbook (data entry).

We would welcome anyone to help with data entry of requirements from handbooks to Scoutbook :slight_smile:

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@MikeW - oh yes indeed… my though was get the scouts engaged in that process and they can see their progress. Many hands make light work

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I’m not a fan of a parent checking off their own Scouts progress. I’ve seen too many “Eagle Moms” and I thinks this would promote checking off things that are not earned.

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Parents who are not leaders cannot approve anything for Scouts except those in Cub Scouts. Marking an item complete in Scoutbook just alerts the leaders that the Scout is ready to be tested. If the Scout fails the test, the completion date can be cleared while the Scout spends more time learning.

This is no different than a Scout or parent putting a check mark in the left hand column of the rank tables in the handbook.

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Yep. I’ve had to explain this in my unit. A parent (or scout for that matter) can mark “completed” anything they want. It means nothing until the unit leader (for rank) or merit badge counselor (for MBs) ticks “approved”.

Untitled

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I have been having these issues as well in my Troop for girls. I am SM and have authorized all registered adults to sign off and Scouts that are a a min one rank above the Scout needing to be tested (bc we are a young new troop I only habe 1 Scout above 1st class). In the handbook for girls on page 416 this is addressed…parent should not sign off unless they are an adult leader…

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Also, scouts are allowed to utilize SB themselves if parent goes in under Scout profile to allow them to create their own account…Scout can go in and check which req they are ready to be tested on! I haven’t been able to get my Scouts to do it yet however! I press mostly that their book is the master copy of their completed requirements and SB is backup…bc when SB goes down and handbook doesn’t have sign offs, Scout must repeat. Also I encourage my scouts to have photos or photo copies of their ranks and logs in case they lost their book!!!

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Parents can’t actually sign off unless they are an adult leader. They can mark it complete. It isn’t “signed off” unless it is marked “Leader Approved/Recorded”.

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Yes! This is what I meant in my post, and I do tell my adult leaders not to click “leader approved” as they may run into issues at Eagle BIR later on

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EBORs or Councils have no visibility as to who approved items

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parents full control scoutbook

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Interesting! I have been warned by several SM of this, maybe they also are not as well informed as they think! Crazy the deep dives we must make to learn all this!

@KateWalthall - and that has been the case even before scoutbook. All they know is the date something is completed.

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“Dads and Lads” was the Cub Scout model. In Boy Scouts (Scouting USA), we focus more on the maturation process and part of that is peeling back the parental involvement and having them interact more with other adults (Scoutmaster, ASMs, and Merit Badge Councilors).

PLEASE… leave it up to your Scoutmaster and his/her Assistants to decide when/if your scout has SHOWN PROFICIENCY (tested) enough in a skill/requirement to warrant it having signed off. It also helps the SM track how the scouts are progressing (or not).