When BSA announced its acquisition of Scoutbook in April 2015, they said: “Scoutbook helps the organization connect with its leaders and members when, where, and how they prefer.” Scouting Magazine has also called Scoutbook a “revolutionary web app that makes tracking advancement easier, faster and more fun.” As a leader, you can stay more organized than ever with Scoutbook.
Using Scoutbook, Scouts, parents and especially unit leaders are now able to cooperatively record, track and manage individual advancement within their unit. You can even track leader training, which can come in handy when you are committed to leaders being trained.
Not only can leaders stay abreast of their training and unit progress, parents can track their Scout’s progress as well. Scoutbook allows parents and leaders to remain on the same page, maximizing cooperation and coordination. Upcoming events can be displayed as well, so everyone knows what is happening with their Scouts and when. Scoutbook’s many different features truly streamline all of the information leaders need to manage their units.
Need more convincing? Here are five reasons Scoutbook is a great choice for your unit:
1. Scoutbook Makes Advancement Easy
Scoutbook now automatically uploads advancement to a Scout’s official records—no manual upload required. And, no more using Internet Advancement at all. When a leader marks something as approved it gets recorded on his official record—Talk about easy! It even creates a PO (purchase order) with the prices of the things that need to be picked up from the Scout shop. It creates a report (with pictures) of the items that need to be awarded at pack meeting. In fact, a leader can bring that up and mark them as ‘awarded’ right at the pack meeting. It can even create an individual advancement record for each boy. Eventually it will create a report to help you with your Journey to Excellence scorecard. You can customize all kinds of reports and even save them to your “dashboard” if you wish.
2. Track Leadership, Service, Camping & Hiking
Scoutbook can track time a Scout has been in each leadership position, like den chief, patrol leader, troop guide, quartermaster, etc. It can track nights of camping and hikes, which is especially helpful with the camping and hiking merit badges, and it can track hours of service too. You can even use Scoutbook to track dues and other financial payments.
3. Stay Organized with Scoutbook Calendars
Scoutbook helps leaders organize more than just advancements. Use the calendar tool to create reoccurring events like pack meetings each month or for special events. When making a calendar event, you can determine what kind of event it is—pack meeting, committee meeting, roundtable etc.—and who should be invited to this event. Then, you can set up event reminders that will go out to all of the meeting attendees. You can even set up multiple reminders, for immediately when the event is scheduled, one week in advance of the event, 1 day in advance, 2 hours in advance, etc. Each unit will want to determine how often they want reminders for each event. The reminders are sent out with all the information included in the details so you can include date, time, theme, activity, etc. For example, a Scoutmaster could send a reminder for an upcoming merit badge pow wow that includes everything units need to know, including the link to register.
4. Parents can Update Scout Information
Depending on how you set up the permissions—full access, view, edit etc.—a parent can “connect” to their Scout and update any information, saving time and making less work for you. They can even mark when a requirement is completed at home. Rather than having to wait until the Scout handbook changes hands from boy to parent to boy to den leader to boy to parent etc., a parent can see any changes made to their son’s record almost immediately after it is entered. And along with that, a leader can see what a parent has “signed-off” for their son. This streamlines the process for everyone involved and makes a leader’s job easier.
5. Access all the units you are registered in
With one account you can access all the units you are registered in. This is especially helpful for parents who are leaders of one unit and have children in others. Let’s say you are a Tiger Cub parent in one pack, a Webelos den leader in another pack, a committee member in a troop and have another child in the local community crew. Your two children would show up for you to access directly and the two packs, the troop and the crew would also show up. What you can see and do will depend on the “rights” given to you in each unit but you will only need one login and password to see them all, making it super simple.
Author: Madison Austin | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council