BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Where did "Leader Training" go?

I concur and brought this up in May. Multiple hat scenario now has to be managed by a spreadsheet. Simply put: scoutbook used to do this and the need did not go away.

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What Scoutbook did was no longer accurate after the training codes were updated at the beginning of 2019. The BSA has limited development resources and decided that instead of supporting 2 different ways of saving and reporting training, it would support 1 and use the resources elsewhere. A report that is not accurate is no better and in some cases worse than no report.

We have requested additional training reports so that a leader will be able to determine what positions others are trained for and what additional courses may be needed to become trained for another position. At this time we do not know if or when the BSA will create such reports.

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Riddle me this if the new YPT can be pulled from myscouting.org then it is not the difficulty, but rather the will or the desire to do so. Keeping this topic open in conservation may change the desire. Also, the mobile app pulls information and displays it better than myscouting.org. My relentless commenting on this topic, along with many others who are now waking up to a new scouting season may get National to re-think their hasty decision. YPT changed all the modules in 2019 and that information is in scoutbook. Not all modules were changed only the new CS19 training to be more inclusive to girls. Irony again the new District Committee module mentions the "Boy Talk’ rather than “scout talk” when recruiting so the process will probably be revived again. The National decision (to remove adult leader training) was made over the summer when not a lot of achievements nor adult track is monitored. Yet as recharter in the fall then unit training will become very important to units.

I am CC and I have pulled the report that you speak of, but it does not seem accurate or conclusive to me, as I have unit members claim they are doing training but I do not see it being added to this report. It seems more awkward and without the graphic feedback of a trained badge indicating the training is complete. Myscouting report also lacks different positions as well. Position trained does show up in the mobile app ironically.

Unfortunately, all the power I have is only to ensure the members of my unit are properly trained.

Also begging the question we have Den Chiefs coming over from the Troop how do I confirm that their training is complete before interacting with scouts in the den?

I am Assistant District Chair, Nova councillor, Nova Mentor, Merit Badge courncillor and Committee Chair but myscouting only show information for one position in the unit. Scoutbook used to show all the positions and even if the training was completed in person or through ScoutingU.and listed all the classes. Multiply this issue times the 17 Adult Leaders in our Pack now begin to understand the complexity of knowing if the Adult is trained for the roll/rolls they are assigned. I also have a trained Den Leader that myscouting.org has listed correctly, but I have her working this year as a New Member Coordinator is she trained? I have no idea.

The difficulty is not in pulling the specific course but in keeping up with which courses are required to be considered fully trained. Maintaining that logic in two systems is inefficient.

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The trained leader status report from MYST provides me with trained status, mandatory training with its status and what has not been taken, classroom training and online with status and what has not been taken. That is sufficient for me as CC for the troop and k3 delegate for the Pack. I would argue that for you @ScottMarbut it is a lack of desire or will to work with what is available in MYST. I can get details of training on all leaders which also shows taken and not taken training.

Which my.Scouting tool are you using? What type of position are you referring to, registered position or functional role? My understanding is that only the Chartered Organization Representative can have two registered positions in a unit, and that is not ideal.

In the Training Manager “Trained Leader Report” I can see and sort people with multiple registered positions at the district and unit level. Getting the functional roles requires:

  • Getting all the functional roles defined
  • Getting that data entered in the membership database
    Then BSA can develop tools to use the data. However that is the subject of another discussion topic,

@DougWright, a Unit trained leader report is only going to show the status based on the position the user is registered in the unit. BSA that is the only position used for designating if a leader has earned the “Trained” status with the BSA.

I get what you are saying, as I have bene in a number of units over the years, but it is not feasible for the Scoutbook programmers to keep up with the changes in Training Manager, so they have decided it is better to point leaders to the Training Manger reports, instead of trying to keep 2 separate systems in sync.

If a leader is preparing to change positions, you can use the individual training report to determine if they have all the training to be considered “Trained” or other supplemental training.

The other thing that is missing through this consolidation is the ability to look up a person who is not a leader assigned to your unit and see their training. For instance in our pack we like our parents to have completed YPT to attend family camp outs. It is not required, but we recommend it. I used to be able to use the Training Validation link under Legacy Web Tools to look up parents in my pack to see if they have taken YPT.

Or for leaders who are taking training as they work through application process and waiting for Council to add them to our roster. For those instances I could verify training and “project manage” them through completion.

Now we have no visibility into those situations unless the parent has registered and been added to our roster.

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The decision to retire the Scoutbook Trained Leader Report and use the my.scouting.org reports was made and announced early this year. The implementation was completed over the summer.

We have requested the ability to produce other training reports than those currently available. This is in the development backlog but at this time we do not know when it will be scheduled.

The reason Scoutbook can continue to import YPT despite the new online modules is Y01 is still recorded in Training Manager as the training code when YPT is complete. Scoutbook did not need to make any changes when YPT changed. Position training for other positions were assigned new training codes, have more than a single code that are needed to be trained and are not stable.

The way Scoutbook used to import training was to do a screen scrape of the legacy Training Validation screens. These screen scrapes too a lot of developer time to keep up with the training changes. The BSA decided it was better to put the limited development resources ($) into other Scoutbook features and use the reports that already existed in my.scouting.org.

Corrected typo. The training code for YPT is Y01.

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Ed,

Thank You this is the best explanation yet. Scoutbook is light years ahead of when I was a young scout near fifty years ago as if a scout lost or had their scoutbook destroyed at camp then all the evidence of their achievements was non-existent.

Stephen,

No need to get personal. Honestly I open MYST nearly everyday and try to figure out how to make it work.Yet I have listed the issues. I would not be constantly on these message boards seeking answers if I had solutions. I know I have a full plate, so beyond CC I am default training manger. Five Adult members who volunteered this spring just quit two weeks before our first den meetings. They are all women. I am having a hard time understanding how someone who gave their word and filled out an adult application then left the pack in a lurch right before regular meetings, is beyond my goals of having fully trained den leaders and assistant den leaders for every den. Hind sight if I would have not spent valuable time trying figure out MYST, and spent it mentoring these new den leaders maybe they would not have quit. Our whole AOL Den has now disappeared, which now affects the Scout Troop. All of this on a year when the LDS Packs are not re-chartering.

In the end, I need to use a spreadsheet to do my job as pack trainer = ensure all leaders and den chiefs are 100% trained. This is a gap that needs to be filled.

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The Training Manager report to use for YPT status verification is the YPT Aging Report (not the Trained Leader Report for basic leader training). It only uses Y01 to verify YPT status. Looking at my district I find:

|Program|Position|Youth_Protection_Code|

||Asst. District Commissioner|Y01|
||District Chairman|Y01|
||District Commissioner|Y01|
||District Executive|Y01|
||District Member-at-Large|Y01|
||District Service Team Member|Y01|
||District Vice-Chairman|Y01|
||Merit Badge Counselor|Y01|
||Roundtable Commissioner|Y01|
||Unit Commissioner|Y01|
|Crew|Chartered Organization Rep.|Y01|
|Crew|Committee Chairman|Y01|
|Crew|Committee Member|Y01|
|Crew|New Member Coordinator|Y01|
|Crew|Venturing Crew Advisor|Y01|
|Crew|Venturing Crew Assoc. Advisor|Y01|
|Crew|Venturing Participant|Y01|
|Pack|Assistant Webelos Leader|Y01|
|Pack|Asst. Den Leader|Y01|
|Pack|Chartered Organization Rep.|Y01|
|Pack|Committee Chairman|Y01|
|Pack|Committee Member|Y01|
|Pack|Cubmaster|Y01|
|Pack|Den Leader|Y01|
|Pack|Lion Guide|Y01|
|Pack|New Member Coordinator|Y01|
|Pack|Pack Trainer|Y01|
|Pack|Tiger Den Leader|Y01|
|Pack|Webelos Leader|Y01|
|Ship|Chartered Organization Rep.|Y01|
|Ship|Committee Chairman|Y01|
|Ship|Committee Member|Y01|
|Ship|Mate|Y01|
|Ship|Skipper|Y01|
|Troop|Assistant Scoutmaster|Y01|
|Troop|Chartered Organization Rep.|Y01|
|Troop|Committee Chairman|Y01|
|Troop|Committee Member|Y01|
|Troop|Leader of 11-Year-Old Scouts|Y01|
|Troop|New Member Coordinator|Y01|
|Troop|Scoutmaster|Y01|
|Troop|Unit Chaplain|Y01|
|Troop|Unit College Scouter Reserve|Y01|

It can be confusing. I believe Y02 was and still is the training code for the old Venturing (and Sea Scouting) YPT course. Someone apparently with only Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting experience incorrectly referred to the previous new Y01 course revision as Y02 and the confusion has continued.

Position registration notes for the above data

  1. “Pack|Lion Guide” should have been converted to “Pack|Den Leader” (in August 2018?). This may be a registration error.
  2. “Troop|Leader of 11-Year-Old Scouts” is an LDS position that will be retired 31 Dec 2019.
  3. The “Chartered Organization Rep.” (CR) is a Council Scouter. To connect the CR to the representative’s units, the CR is registered as a key-3 leader in each of their units.

If you need to discuss registration please do so in a different discussion topic.

Thanks Bill. Y02 was a typo, it should have been Y01. I corrected my post.

Bouncing around from one site to another is jarring and confusing to both new leaders/parents as well as grizzled scouter veterans. It’s hard enough to get new parents to volunteer, but then get them frustrated enough where they rethink volunteering if just doing the simplest tasks is a pain.

The way Scoutbook handled the training before was pretty clever and very easy to use. It gave us exactly what we wanted. We could see who was trained for what position because in reality people have to take multiple positions.
It was nice to:

  • Track leaders whether they were new and not in the BSA’s database yet as a leader.
  • Track leaders who have to wear multiple hats.
  • We can ignore leaders who are no longer with the pack who still show up in my.scouting.org

Now as others have stated it’s a real hassle and makes tracking training difficult.

As a software engineer who has been in the business a while I find a lot of these changes unnecessary and terrible user experiences.

If money or manpower is an issue, why not open up development and support to volunteers using an open source model? I know for a fact there’s a lot of software engineers involved in scouting who can find the time to assist in development/QA/support.

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@JameyDecker - just a thought though on new leaders and where they have to go for the training modules is it scoutbook or my.scouting… ? As Ed has noted and I had several times that the defacto training source has been my.scouting and all that scoutbook did was scrape data from the source based on course numbers placed in a table. So do you update that data twice or once. Flat file on scoutbook or the dynamic data in my.scouting…

Yes, they have to go to my.scouting. For their training. Not to just do random scout/den/pack maintenance. They shouldn’t have to worry about two different sites. If the powers that be are married to myscouting.org for everyone, make part of my.scouting look like scoutbook for training and no one would be the wiser. New leaders/parents have enough going on to freak them out. Why not make their experience as pain free as possible?

User experience is everything.

Again, I know it’s my.scouting. That site is not always user or mobile friendly. And the app is buggy. Even when I first tried to post my original message on this site, the page locked up on me. (in fact I see JS errors in the console right now).

Ever thought about opening up API calls to my.scouting from SB? it’s a pretty easy thing to do. I thought that’s what was being done already, maybe I’m mistaken. You can easily keep info in one source and allow SB to show only the relevant data that makes leader’s lives easier.

Written above someone said money is an issue. If manpower or money is an issue, why isn’t the BSA using volunteers? That would help in two ways.

  1. Free labor from experienced engineers. Get faster development and turn around time on support issues. Many universities use the open source model and it works wonders and saves money.
  2. Many companies will match volunteer hours and give money to units.
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I’ve been using Scoutbook for years and really miss having the one stop shop of scoutbook to do advancement and training. Additionally, for each member I could post notes and import pictures of certificates within scoutbook. The new format simply “sucks” and is a through-back to the 1990’s. Since you’re on the user advisory council Ed, please add my displeasure to the list of many that would rather see the training revert back to being listed with scoutbook. The change may have happened pre summer, but I’m noticing now because rechartering is starting up. This is a huge mess now.

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Eric,

The BSA will not be moving training back into Scoutbook. The BSA does not have the resources (dollars) to duplicate the effort to maintain training reports in two locations. Since not all units use Scoutbook, the decision was made to have Scoutbook use the training reports from my.scouting.org.

Hi, @edavignon,

Do you know if there has been any consideration on the developer/owner side regarding more user-friendly interfaces via my.scouting? It sounds from many comments like the issue of where the data lives is secondary to how it’s displayed, which is the most common user-side beef with database queries (besides “Why can’t I see…with my permissions?”) around my office.

As a user, if I’m in Scoutbook and I click a button that says “Leader Training” and it pops up the UI I’m expecting, I don’t see any reason I would care that it’s hosted at my.scouting in the same way as the reports we can currently see via My.Scouting Training Manager or Trained Leader Status.

I suspect that, if the BSA was willing to generate an interface that looked more like the old training status report from Scoutbook and less like the current Trained Leader Status report at my.scouting, these types of requests would go away.

At the unit level, there is a lot of extraneous data displayed that makes it more difficult to wade through the information to determine what each leader needs to complete to become Trained. For example, a typical unit leader checking their leaders’ training status does not need to see the following columns in the report:

  1. Council
  2. Sevice Area
  3. District
  4. Sub-District
  5. Unit
  6. Gender Accepted
  7. Chartered Org Name
  8. Program

At the same time, seeing the laundry list of training codes is fine for someone at the council/district level trying to chase global trends, but for a user trying to figure out what training his or her leaders need to take, the codes make it difficult to sort out what training needs taking, since the training codes themselves don’t show up in the names of the training at BSA Learn Center.

Admittedly, if someone selects the full training program form his or her my.scouting account, and then just chugs through until everything appears done, then they’re going to tick all of the boxes. That said, the more obfuscated the interface, the less likely adult leaders are to know what they need to do. If it’s a lot of work for the devs at BSA to maintain a list of what training codes associate with what training video title, and count for what position, how much more difficult is it for every unit trainer to keep track of it.

Admittedly, what I’m talking about isn’t a Scoutbook feature request, per se. However, if you know that the BSA already rejected the idea of enhancing the UI at my.scouting, there’s not a lot of mileage in trying to drive change there, either. If they haven’t already said no, then the focus of the conversation can change from “Let’s bring training reports back to Scoutbook” to “Let’s define the feature set that we as volunteers need so that the BSA can determine whether or not to support that feature set at my.scouting.”, and then passing that list of requested features along to the folks at myscouting@scouting.org.

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