BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Youth email

Is there a way to add an email address for the youth? We have older scouts that have a personal email and would like to receive the emails from the troop as well.

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Parents can go to the youth > Edit Profile and at the bottom click invite > there they can enter email so the youth can create their own Scoutbook account.

https://help.scoutbook.com/knowledge-base/how-do-i-give-my-scout-access-to-his-account/

It would be nice to be able to do this at the admin level for both parents and scouts alike. Everyone seems to have groups, predominantly yahoo or google, that units utilize for troop communication, thereby bypassing the ten hoops a parent must go through in order for their scouts to receive communications. It’s hard enough getting parents to utilize Scoutbook. Now we must plead with them to not only sign up, but approve their scouts as well.

I’m currently trying to determine how I can move our scouts onto this platform without pleading with the parents to jump through these steps and simply allow the communications to flow. The logic with Scoutbook seems to be about protecting the youth, but it’s of no use if units simply circumvent the Scoutbook method by utilizing another platform like Google Groups.

I would much rather have everything in one nice tidy place.

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It’s one additional step they can do when they access their account for the first time… Not a huge additional project for them to complete.

But that’s my point - most do not do it the first time. Some parent’s NEVER sign in despite the link being established to their scout. Some only periodically sign in, with the frequency being months instead of days.

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BSA Legal views this as a YPT issue - that is all we can do

Well, you can’t be responsible for those parents. What you can be responsible for is making sure your unit’s adult leaders are using the appropriate tools for communicating with the troop’s youth and parents. Using Scoutbook for that enforces compliance to YPT standards for electronic communication by protecting youth email addresses and copying parents on communications sent to youths.

Lay down the law with your parents. THIS is the only we the troop will be communicating PERIOD They have to take five minutes to set up their account and their child’s account, and then never log in again if you don’t want to…

After their accounts are set up, I don’t really care if they never log in again.

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@SteveYuroff - As a parent within our troop, I’ll let you respond to this.

@MattSchultz Did you relinquish your “parent within the troop” title? :slight_smile:
(For those playing along at home, Matt and I are in the same Troop, and both involved in finding a post-Yahoo Groups communications tool, and Scoutbook/discussions.scouting.org are on the list of potentials)

I agree with Matt that if a willing Leader could invite parents and Scouts into Scoutbook, that would be a better workflow than “please, busy parent, we need you to do this”. You’ll get some compliance, but never enough. I’d also like to have “everything in one tidy place”, but that place has to work well. When we ask parents to manage +1 username/password just for Scouting communications, we’re at a disadvantage vs just being one more thing in their email. Scouting does not hold the place in their lives that it does for those in this forum, and we have to have empathy for our target audience.

Scouting can “cover their rear” by providing a platform that complies with Youth Protection, but if it’s a hassle to use, folks will use other tools.

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Guys, I understand where you’re coming from, but you need to consider this…

Parents don’t need to manage multiple usernames/passwords, etc. to invite their scouts (if they even want their scouts to have access to SB). They have to log into Scoutbook exactly once with their parent credentials, go to their scout’s account, enter the youth email and invite them. Then the youth can accept the invite. Now they’re both all set, even if they never ever log into Scoutbook again. I have a bunch of parents that have done this, and everything still works fine. They get emails reminders from Scoutbook, etc. with no issues, even though some of them haven’t logged into Scoutbook directly for a year or longer.

To make sure I understand this, the BSA official stance for YP reasons is that even the adult leaders cannot know the scouts email addresses so the only ones who can add them are their parents which just means that most units will just avoid using Scoutbook for communications.

I have an idea for those that still want to use it… Set up fake parent accounts in Google (or a throwaway email address service) for all of the scouts and send the parent’s invitations to the fake accounts and then you can accept them and use them to set up the scout emails. Problem solved :slight_smile:

As a parent, I would be very unhappy if you added my Scout this way without my knowledge or permission.

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I was just making a point that a lot of troops are going to just bypass using SB for communications since it does not seems to be able shake itself of its Cub Scout roots which is not a boy led mindset. It treats scouts as second class members when in Scouts BSA they are the leaders.

Case in point, scouts are unable to easily use it to communicate with their patrols since the mechanism to send emails to patrols is only available to troop admins or adults connected to all the scouts in a patrol.

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I agree with you that the e-mail system in Scoutbook needs improvement, but it should be up to the parent to decide if their Scout is old enough / mature enough to have his or her own e-mail address and to be able to access Scoutbook independently. There are ways for Scouts to communicate with one another using Scoutbook (if they are connected), but it is not the most obvious path right now.

So, exactly how does that square up with “trustworthy”, “courteous”, and “obedient”? Because, to me, that’s exactly the opposite, and a leader actively trying to get around YPT safeguards would have me calling council immediately.

If you are having trouble getting parents to log in to Scoutbook and invite their Scouts, I suggest taking a laptop to a parent meeting and helping them through the process. I have done this in the past and had great success getting parents and Scouts connected.

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I don’t view communicating outside of Scoutbook as “trying to get around YPT safeguards”. Those safeguards define that another adult must be copied on communications, very similar to “no 1 on 1 contact”.
From https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/04/06/no-one-one-contact-provision-applies-digital-contact/

Leaders should include or copy a parent or another leader in all online communications, ensuring no one-on-one contact exists in text, social media or other forms of online or digital communication.

The responsibility to copy another adult is given to the leader. Not to the software used.
Therefore, nothing is being circumvented.

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@SteveCagigas - Parents trust me as a leader to help guide the pack or troop. They also trust me with their scout’s home address, telephone number, medical issues, and food allergies (aka Health Forms), how is an email address any different?

It’s courteous of me to send out communications to all involved as efficiently as possible. If the most efficient way to do this is outside of Scoutbook, with the scouts and parents agreeing to it, I see no harm.

Obedient? You got me there, I’m about as obedient as my cat. That being said, from the Scout Handbook, “If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.” This would appear to be the proper forum for that.

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I did not condone the method, but the point being made is valid.

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OK, we had different interpretations of what the act of “trying to get around YPT safeguards” was. I interpreted it as “not using Scoutbook”, but I see your point of that phrase referencing @PaulSuchko 's thought experiment of (reference removed at request of SUAC). His point that it could be done is true, and I hope we all agree it’s not OK.

The idea that we can’t trust our leaders to have email addresses is a head scratcher to me, as @MattSchultz points out. I have phone numbers of youth my son is closest to, some of those youth follow me on Instagram… Scouting BSA is going to have quite a challenge if it feels the need to insert itself in every communications channel of today and tomorrow.

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