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Backroads

Sometimes Scouting volunteers really bug me...

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BR: I assure you, multiple registration numbers are not only possible, but not that unusual.

 

Believe me, I can testify to that! At my office, it's like playing detective to confirm someone has NOT been registered before, and it still happens. The biggest influx of duplicate registration numbers usually happens during online chartering, which is what my council is going through now. I'm running a duplicate list everyday to help me check for things. We have a lot of intra-council movement, people going from unit to unit, and that's when we try to encourage people to use their given name on each application for each unit--not nicknames.

 

Still, that shouldn't impact the myscouting registration at all unless an individual himself is registering himself there multiple times with different registration numbers. That's where I'm confused.

 

See, the myscouting database and the database for your council/National are pretty separate. They can link into each other, but that's about it.

 

(Unless... other councils set up myscouting profiles for people? Mine leaves that up to the individual Scouters...)(This message has been edited by Backroads)(This message has been edited by Backroads)

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Using myself as an example...

 

I live in Alaska, serve as Chapter Advisor and ASM. Have and use a myscouting account. I move to TX, fill out the application, provide my membership number on the application, and register as ASM and RTC. When I log into myscouting, nothing is visible for my new position unless and until I log in and change my primary Council at the bottom where I have been given a NEW membership number.

I move out of TX, fill out application for UC and CM, once again providing my membership number. Log in to myscouting, there is no indication of my current enrollment until I change the primary Council - again with a new member number.

I move back to TX, register as a UC. Log in to myscouting, again, there is nothing indicating my current position. TX has now registered me using my previous member number from the last time I was in the Council. Each of these member numbers is disconnected. So much so that training, etc is lost. Even the Commissioner tools are lost on my page when I transfer since the "old" number is invalid when I transfer. I only have one name so its the same on every application every time. I assume you mean that sometimes people give their middle initial and sometimes don't or write "Bill" instead of "William"?

 

I asked the local registrar why I get a new number every time I move, why she didn't just use the one I provided, and why they used the one from the last time I was in the Council. I thought maybe there was a reason - each Council was required to have a unique number or something. Her response, "Oh, I just saw the old one in there and it was easier."

 

Having different numbers doesn't change your myscouting account as far as user name and password. It does change what you see when you log in based on current registration.

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I would suppose that this failure to track people has helped contribute to people banned from BSA being able to get back in as adult leaders again.

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Wow, ntrog. Bad move on that registrar.

 

In my mind, I can't figure out why her choice would have been "easier". Seems like it would have taken more time.

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There is a related problem with Eagle identifications. Having reviewed records in depth, due to research on our troop history, I discovered that there is a number assigned to the Eagle, apparently on completion at National. Then, if the Eagle becomes a member of NESA, they too assign a number. So, council Eagle records very often show the same person under two different numbers, and on rare occasions even more if reregistration to NESA was done using a variant on the name, or inconsistent Eagle or council data.

 

I personally am shown twice due to this problem. In regard to that, there is also a disconnect in NESA for Eagles earned in councils no longer in existence. It took me forever to get mine accurate, as it insisted my Eagle was in the council in which I now live, even though the unit never existed here.

 

In very early records, there appears to be a strong likelihood of "lost" records in the case of scouts registered by National due to no local council at the times. I have tried a number of times to get access to early paper records on Eagles to see if there may be a few from our county, since we had hundreds of scouts dating from 1910 to 1921 when the council began. The data sent to the council has none prior to the inception of the council, which seems unlikely due to the records beginning in 1921 and the number of very early Eagles then. I have hit a brick wall though in trying to get access, even when I was in Dallas and willing to simply review things personally.

 

Oh well; maybe someday it will all get fixed.

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Yeah, so I think the main source of multiple registration numbers is BSA's dumb fixation on using the same form for new applications as well as change of positions, compounded by their insistance you fill out a complete new form for every change. The Bear DL has to fill out a new form to continue being the Webelos Den Leader? Brilliant.

 

So all theese new forms come in to the overloaded council office and it's just a guarantee to have screwups.

 

Adopting a "change of position" form that had a spot for your current registration number would go a long ways towards solving this problem.

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Hawk,

 

I was told tonite that you do NOT need a new app to switch positions within a unit.

 

 

As for SCOUTNET records, I've been told that councils only have access to the ID numbers they create. They do not have access to other councils' records. Hence you get a new number everytime you move.

 

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As for SCOUTNET records, I've been told that councils only have access to the ID numbers they create. They do not have access to other councils' records. Hence you get a new number everytime you move.

 

Tis most irritating true. I really have no way of accessing information from another council (other than calling/emailing that council).

 

Still, the standard should be that one should have no more than one ID# per council.

 

As for those numbers, I guess I'm still not sure what they have to do with Great Outdoors having his myscouting password changed on him. I can't fathom who besides the tech people at National would have been capable of doing that.

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And no, one should NOT need another form to simply change positions within the unit.

 

However, in Hawk's defense, some units work so closely together that no one bats an eye at the decision to move Joe Scouter from the Webelos Leader to the Assistant Scoutmaster.

 

Unfortunately, as these are two separate units, a new application is needed and that's where problems can occur.

 

The only solutaion I can think of for that problem is to have a better alternative to a "brand new application" that is a more obvious transfer form.

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Changing within the unique unit should be nothing more than putting the change into the records on Scoutnet, something possible from the unit person in charge. My understanding is that you can actually do this at recharter, simply changing their position codes on the data sheets. But, they do not have a way to do it in a similar manner during the non registration periods. I could be misunderstanding of course; but it seems I did this myself a year ago for one of my adults. Had to wait for recharter time to do it without a new application.

 

Also just discovered we apparently cannot be registered in two councils unless we pay in each one. I have a long time troop member who stayed on our charter while being registered in the district. She has move to Texas, and I was told last night that she can only stay on the charter here if we file a new app and pay here; so no dual positions if not in the same council apparently. Now that may not be accurate of course, but do not know where to look.

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Most of the time, we have someone call/email/walk into the office and tell us so-n-so has changed positions within the unit. I pull up the unit roster and change the position right then and there. I think I might look for a little more clarification if we didn't serve so many LDS units (where the information on changes gets passed around at church without too much thought on any process). I suppose that would depend on your council, whether or not you can just let someone know "hey, so-n-so changed positions". But National doesn't seem to mind.

 

I've never had to deal with a dual registration 'tween councils before. I might to have to call on that, to see just what the rule is.

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Backroads,

 

I've been reading your post with interest. Although the topic has strayed, I'd like to post on the original thoughts.

 

You are on target to become the effective registrar for your council with the things you were doing (logging incoming documents), and the other things suggested here (emails).

 

It will help to remember you have inherited the relationship of previous people in your position had with the volunteers. Those volunteers had their pack registration for camp lost. Moneys lost. Applicatons lost etc. Rudeness, no information, bad information.

 

The volunteers didn't get involved to do paperwork and find it a distraction from their calling to work with kids. Some of them just don't do paperwork well. Some work in places where the paperwork flows a lot better than the BSA council office. Some are totally new to the organization and are Amazed at how much they have to learn about BSA paperwork and the council office to get anything done.

 

None of them know the problems with the system and national that you have. And they should not have to know.

 

In many of the processes you are getting the paperwork at the END (hopefully) of a LONG already process of tracking down information from a number of folks who are only in contact 1 night a week (at most). To have to follow up or redo after that is a headache.

 

The volunteers are very busy putting on the program (and jobs, and kids) and the paperwork is just one more thing to get done.

 

Thank the voluteers for their service. Practice the Scout Law in dealing with them. Take ownership for solving the problems and communicating the resolution of those problems.

 

And once you have a good process, document it all in good desk procedures. You will become known as "the one to talk to over there". Then you be working with the relationships that you have developed.

 

Best of luck in your job, and turning it all around.

 

-- AK

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>

 

 

Unfortunately, BSA has a highly complex system of registering Scouts and Scouters, but the system is too complex, with too many fallible people involved for it to work reliably.

 

Make some small error in an application and it will be rejected, but the people submitting the application frequently wont be informed of that. Or perhaps they will lose the form or just give up on processing it as not being worthwhile.

 

There are MANY places where errors can be introduced or the system can break down, and no routine way to be informed when a failure occurs. It's a poorly designed management system.

 

 

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I could argue that it is perfectly designed for a goal of bureaucratic bloat...which of course can ONLY be managed by obscenely-paid professional administrators whose success thus confirms their convictions that the program should also reflect the 'professional' management characteristics of the organization.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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In spite of all the comments that go on and on ranting style. I'll go back to the original post which really is a question of HOW to make people aware of registration forms and making SURE theirs got to council the first week they joined?? We gotta be solution based here in my opinion. We need to create awareness that forms sometimes don't get from units to the Council office for various reasons even though chartering happens to ensure it does.

 

My feeling is most of these are newbies to scouting and thus buying uniforms and such too, correct? Why not little reminders where those cub scout stuff is asking

"Have you filled out this form? and insert a from pictures with words Adult and Youth"

Mention they can check to see if its been process with the check out/cashier's desk. Make it into a seasonal reminder with a different approach like later.. one can earn knots but make sure you're registered and on the unit's roster.

 

Need to put the check points into the individual's hands too as they will be the ones that suffer. The individuals not the Council office will be the one to catch the unit's delays of paperwork in not registering their members. I no longer leave it to my unit to do mine after experiencing mine not being processed ad thus losing out on knot awards.

 

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