Scouting Forums

Trouble entering a new scout

I recently had a scout join my troop from a troop that does not use ScoutBook. When I enter his BSA ID number to complete the advancement sync, the system tells me he already has been entered in ScoutBook. I am guessing this is from cub scouts because I know for sure his old troop doesn’t use ScoutBook. Any idea how to fix this issue as I don’t have contact with his Cub Scout leaders.

Melissa - all registered scouts have been brought into scoutbook so the record would indeed exist even though the prior units may or may not have used scoutbook. I gather you have an application in had that has the existing BSA ID on it or a copy of the member ID card with the number. When the transfer is processed the scout will be automatically brought into the unit. If the prior unit has used scoutbook they could have moved the existing record to your unit by adding any unit admin as a connection to the scout. I see that either Jen or Jacob is typing…so they may provide greater detail and assistance.

All Scouts are in the Scoutbook database, whether the unit uses Scoutbook or not.

If you can wait, the Scout will automatically show up on your Troop Roster after your council processes the Scout’s transfer application (usually the day after the Scout shows up on the Member Manager roster at Alternatively, a parent of the Scout can send an e-mail to Scoutbook support requesting to be connected to the Scout. Once they are connected, they can go to the Scout’s Membership page, add a date ended to the membership with the pack, and add a new membership with the troop.

E-mail address for Scoutbook support:

The parents will want to include as much identifying information as they can (Scout’s full name, BSA ID # if known, pack number, troop number, council name, etc.).

See comments following below / creating a second account for a scout may not be necessary

Melissa, IF you want to communicate through Scoutbook with the parent/s and scout before the scout’s account w/ their BSA ID# [call it REAL] is connected to your troop [working with Scoutbook Support or your council can take days], THEN use the account you have already created w/o the BSA ID# [call it TEMP]. Be sure the scout’s name and birthday match the paper transfer application you have. Connect the parents to the account.

If the REAL scout account shows up through the council processing the paperwork, then it should automatically match/sync with the TEMP account. If it doesn’t, then contact Scoutbook support to merge them.

If the REAL scout account shows up through the parent connecting the scout to the troop, then approve it and contact Scoutbook support to merge/delete the TEMP account with no BSA ID#. If any advancement has been recorded in the TEMP account, copy it into the REAL account.

I do not recommend creating a fake account for the scout since you already know he is in Scoutbook. It could cause issues when Member Update tries to bring the Scout’s real account into Scoutbook. If you need to communicate with the parents before the council transfers the Scout, I suggest adding them to your roster as Unit Scouter Reserve.

The Scout will be moved into your unit 24 hours after the Council transfers him in ScoutNET.

Ed, my choice of terms was poor. Let’s use the terms existing and new.

The scout has an existing account, but there is no access because the previous unit did not use Scoutbook. A unit admin can’t enter the BSA ID# into a new account because it is in use. No parent is attached to the existing account. The scout is transferring within a council. [Out-of-council transfers have other issues.]

I suggest when the scout joins your unit, create an account for them. This account will not have a BSA ID# until the existing account and the new account merge. This allows for immediate tracking of attendance, advancement, and awards. Attach the parent/s to the scout account. This allows for communication through Scoutbook and leaders can look up contact info to utilize other methods.

The paper transfer paperwork will be processed by your council. [This may take days; worst case is months or it gets lost.] This will add the scout to your My.Scouting roster and, if the scout name and birthday match, sync the existing scout account with the new account.

If they don’t sync, then a scout will have two accounts on the Scoutbook roster, one with a BSA ID# and all their previous advancement info, and one without a BSA ID# and possibly some advancement info. Contact Scoutbook Support to have the accounts merged.

The issue with the merge is the name and birthday. Without knowing how the scout was originally registered, you can’t be sure to match the name. So, enter the actual name and use the Scoutbook nickname field as appropriate. And errors in the birthday do occur.

If your council is great about processing paperwork quickly, a week or so, then just get the parents’ contact info and remember to update them as necessary until the scout shows on your roster, when you can then attach the parents.

Some councils are not timely in processing paperwork, making it hard on the unit volunteers to do their job.

So, there is no fake account. There is a new account which will merge into the existing account.


The accounts will not merge. The only way for accounts to be merged is to contact and have them do so.

Every Scout currently registered with the BSA already has a Scoutbook ID even if the unit did not use Scoutbook.

It is a bad idea to create a 2nd account for a Scout when one already exists. If you need to communicate with the family prior to the Council transferring the Scout, add the parent as a Unit Scouter Reserve to your roster or have the parents send an e-mail to asking to be connected to the Scout so they can do the transfer.

If your council is not processing paperwork in a timely manner, I suggest having a conversation with the Council. The longest I have ever waited for an application to be processed in my council is 1 week. Usually they are processed within 24 hours of receipt.

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I would love so fast a turn around on paperwork. I hand deliver our paperwork to the council registrar to reduce delays. Then I know when it was received by the person tasked with processing it and I know who to contact if it doesn’t get processed.

My error; I forgot that the check for sync is only for new registrations.

If Scoutbook Support connects the parent in a timely manner, then the parent can change the scout’s membership to the unit. A unit admin approves it and the scout is on the unit’s Scoutbook roster. This could happen in days, not weeks.

When the council processes the paper transfer, the scout is already on the roster with the same BSA ID#, and no duplicate account is created.

Doug, knowing how loaded up Scoutbook Support is, why are you still wanting to create duplicate accounts and merge them later? The recommendation to add the parents as Unit Scouter Reserve addresses your concern about communicating with parents from the moment they join the unit until their scout shows up in the roster. What else are you trying to accomplish?

Because the council I am in takes a long time to process paperwork, something has to be done at the unit level to facilitate communication and track attendance, advancement, and awards. If the timeline is ±7 days, then things are easily done manually. If it becomes ±45 days, then it is iffy that manual processes will get it all done. And ±90 days … Yes, I have had conversations with council about it.

For only unit communication, Unit Scouter Reserve will work. However, a Den Leader can’t choose to message them from the den email. They are only on the pack list.

If the scout is a Lion or Tiger, the parent can be added as a Lion or Tiger Adult Partner. This would place them on the den email list.

For other dens, the parent would have to be entered as Assistant Den Leader to get them on the den email list.

If the Den Leaders use the Feature Assistant Extension, they can create a custom list from the unit listing to include any one with their den.

If the den uses a Google Group account to communicate, the USR makes the parent contact info available for the Den Leader to add the person to the group.

Our pack is moving toward online registration. We have not worked out all the kinks yet.

For a new Scout, there is no issue with adding the Scout in Scoutbook before a BSA# is assigned. Just make sure the Scout’s name and DOB match what is on the application. When the Scout is added to the official roster, Member Update will simply add the BSA# to the record.

For a Scout transferring from another unit, currently you need to have a leader in the other unit or parent connect an admin in the new unit or transfer the Scout to the new unit. There are ongoing discussions about creating ways for the new unit’s admin to make the transfer.

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I had a similar issue. Contact Scoutbook support. They are pretty good about getting back quickly and resolving the issue.

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