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Scouting Forums

Why integrate Scoutbook with Internet Advancement?

Scoutbook was working perfectly fine as its own application. I can not see why BSA saw a need to integrate it with Internet Advancement. Let me rephrase. If anything, Internet Advancement should integrate with scoutbook, not the other way around.

Because of this change, the ability to easily add hiking, camping, and service has been eliminated. Having Scoutbook send you to Internet Advancement changes the interface and it effectively slows everything down. Scoutbook no longer seems to internally maintain the numbers on camping, hiking and service, so now I need to go to two different websites.

This is poor planning, and very poor technical practice. I encourage BSA to reconsider this setup.

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I totally agree. BSA needs to make sure that the two entities fully sync. If you add an activity on the Scoutbook calendar, it should update the activity calendar in Internet Advancement. The ability to record things on the go on a mobile device is the strong point of Scoutbook. Don’t start stripping away the program. If I’m at a service project and use my phone to record in Scoutbook who attended, I should not need to go back into Internet Advancement at a later date to re-record the info.

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I agree IA 2.0 is horrible. Scoutbook originally also had a speedometer which showed how much leaders were trained at a glance. The unwise collective decided that my.scouting.org would be the depository for such information and hence, my volunteers never go to that site, and they do not see the constant reminder that used to be in Scoutbook that they needed to finish their Den Leader training. Yes I as a Committee Chairman can run a Trained Leaders report and I can hound them to complete their training, but the little device in scoutbook was beautiful to get leaders to finish their training. Just another example of taking something that was working and breaking it to make it easier for managers and the upper levels with out any concern for the brand new volunteers who have to learn multiple platforms.

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Kevin,

I agree IA 2.0 is buggy and has crashed my computer several times. I have had issues with it for months. I finally gave up. I have all our service hours recorded on an excel spread sheet when ever someone who needs the information, but no one will be entering any data from our unit into IA 2.0.

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So how do I log into internet advancement to record now. I went to enter camping nights and volunteer hours and I can not. EXTREMEMLY irritating to say the least. Why is this feature gone? When end something that worked well.

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I have to say that I agree. Our pack uses Troop Track and the importing into Scoutbook has been broken for a long time now. I’ve had an open ticket for over 6-7 weeks now and I’m not given any updates at all as we continue to get further and further out of sync.

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Totally agree, makes it more difficult to log things in to the scout’s account. Nowhere is there an area to log bike trips.

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Totally agree, this makes it harder to log activities, we need to make it easier for scoutmasters not harder. This is a bad change.

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Thanks for comments. At least I know I’m not crazy.

In terms of data management this is simply not that hard. If the “central office” wants to keep records about activity, there should be no reason that they can’t scrape the data out of scoutbook.

There is part of me that says push decision making and record keeping to the lowest level…the pack-troop-crew. Make it easy for that leader at that level to record the data as needed. If district-council-national need data, code a tool to scrape the data. But don’t mess with something that works for pack-troop-crew.

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Hello, I need help to understand in scoutbook. on the internet advancement roster appear some children with a yellow symbol, among them inactive children and others that if they are active, that there appear inactive, how to fix that with those that if they are active?

Yep. Awful. I didn’t realize this had happened. I can’t even enter camping nights. I can only run reports of what’s been approved.

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Agreed - the databases that power Scoutbook could easily be migrated and synchronized to the databases of the national council data warehouse and then they could analyze the data and sync it back to whatever applications they want.

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Has anyone heard from Nationals on this? It is stupid that we now have 2 systems. Surely Scoutbook can feed whatever nationals is trying to get out of this. But making it harder for the rest of us is silly.

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I agree with the sentiments of the other posters on this topic. The BSA needs to adopt some type of maturity model with regards to its technical solutions. One thing that would be great would be a change control board to review changes such as this, and run them by some of the more technical volunteer Scouters to reduce bad roll-outs.

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I have not seen anything from National as to why this change was needed. It was really great to have been informed before it happened (just kidding). As the ACM, I was able to approve all service, hiking or camping activities in SB before. Now - I can not. I am not a Key 3 in the pack. I don’t know how many packs or troops have a COR with an active role, but it feels like National locked down these activities without explanation. I think we deserve to know why as leaders and/or parents, we are no longer seen as trustworthy or honest. Very frustrating to say the least.

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Dont be surprised if the person who made the decision was fired! I noticed on the BSA Redit that the National Office fired a good number of people in recent weeks.

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There is a pretty extensive discussion about what’s going on here: Activity logs - Sorry!

The short form as I understand it is that there were numerous requests to be able to have greater ability to approve and/or control events being added to the various logs, particularly at the troop level, since it was not uncommon to see non-scouting activities (or activities which didn’t qualify) being logged, which made it difficult for leaders to rely on the contents of the logs for review/approval of advancement requirements, OA eligibility, etc. Creating the ability to generate that review/approval was not feasible as the existing Scoutbook logs were architected, again as I understand it. When they were reimplemented in IA2 (scoutbook.scouting.org), they were subjected to the pre-existing limits on database access/entry for IA2 (Unit Key 3, Key 3 Delegates, and Unit Advancement Chair). IA2 has always relied on the positions as designated at my.scouting.org. The unintended (I think) consequence of moving the logs was that this immediately limited access to enter, review, and approve the log contents.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think the logs changes were “shipped” before they were ready for prime time. There are still many things I find nearly unusable about them (the UI/UX prime among them), but as far as I can tell access was not limited as an indictment of leaders, parents or scouts. It was the result of releasing the new log system before it was configured to permit reasonable (IMHO) access controls, rather than the overly-restrictive ones that have always plagued IA2.

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I AM a key-3 as the Scoutmaster for my troop, only national hasn’t updated their database since the recharter, so I can’t go to IA and enter things yet. Things I used to be able to do in Scoutbook but can no longer do! I wish they would update the database rather than spend more time updating the various different interfaces!

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This is a council issue. They handle recharter, and it’s their data entry that updates the database. Reach out to your council registrar to get it resolved.

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Maybe folks could look at it from a different perspective. Is it the scoutmaster’s job to track service hours, hiking miles, camping nights, etc., or the scouts’?

There is a section in the back of each book for scouts to record this information. Encourage them to use it. If they come to you asking for credit for, say, participation in 10 scouting activities, ask them to show you their list. If they don’t have it, ask them to go think about it and write down what they remember. They learn quickly.

If you feel you must add more administrative duties to your role, there is no rule that says scoutbook needs to be the tool you use. The same info can be charted with pencil and paper, the Notes app on your phone, or an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet. But personally, I don’t bother with tracking it all all. Council and National don’t care—it only matters when a scout needs something for a signoff, and I think it’s important for them to learn to do the the work themselves.

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