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seattlescouter

What App/Program do you use for advancement tracking?

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+1 for TM support. I had an issue on a Friday night on a holiday weekend. They got back to me with a fix by Saturday AM.

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Troopmaster over Scoutbooks.  Period.  Email Troopmaster and they will likely have a bug fix out in a week; if you are asking for a Troopmaster enhancement they often give that to you in a month.  Ever try to email BSA tech support?  The owners of BSA Internet Advancement and myscouting.org, or wait it's now my.scouting.org, now own Scoutbooks.  The patient will die quickly.  Ask any Council staff about ScoutNet and they will roll their eyes.  The day BSA requires Scoutbooks to be used over Troopmaster is the day I start doing paper advancement reports again.  

 

I fully agree.  BSA has a horrible reputation with technology.  Especially for ScoutBook.  Years waiting for basic simple improvements.  Requests for what I'd consider simple enhancements critical to a functioning troop are effectively DOA. 

 

Even worse, as ScoutBook is BSA owned now, ScoutBook has multiple times prioritized BSA's needs over unit needs.  This is frustrating as ScoutBook is supposed to be a unit focused tool.  

 

If you want detailed control over advancement, TroopMaster is a better tool as it has reports, exports, details, etc.  

 

If you can give up a bit of control and live with what you get, ScoutBook is a great way to go.  

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One caveat that could make a big difference.  ScoutBook is moving forward with an automatic bi-directional sync with BSA's main advancement database.  That would be a huge feature to most units.

 

Here is ScoutBook's posting about it.  https://www.scoutbook.com/mobile/blog/73/scoutbook-advancement-record-sync-with-internet-advancement-pilot-update/

 

Seems like just months away.  

 

But considering the previous post.  ...  Admiral, if we go "by the book". like Lieutenant Saavik, years could seem like months.   

Edited by fred johnson

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One caveat that could make a big difference.  ScoutBook is moving forward with an automatic bi-directional sync with BSA's main advancement database.  That would be a huge feature to most units.

 

Which also means that mistakes made in Scoutbook go directly in to the national database without any quality check.

 

TM allows you to run and review your report, then upload in to Internet Advancement. I love that aspect. It helps as a quality check before you post it to BSA. This has saved us TONS of paperwork and travel to council HQ to "fix" stuff that might have otherwise been erroneously uploaded.

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Which also means that mistakes made in Scoutbook go directly in to the national database without any quality check.

 

TM allows you to run and review your report, then upload in to Internet Advancement. I love that aspect. It helps as a quality check before you post it to BSA. This has saved us TONS of paperwork and travel to council HQ to "fix" stuff that might have otherwise been erroneously uploaded.

 

Why would you need to travel to HQ to fix stuff?  Simply log onto BSA online advancement and back out any advancements.  You can "almost" completely edit a scout's advancement that way.  I just went in and re-confirmed it's that easy.  

 

Same with scoutbook.  Clear out the date earned and BSA should clear out the date earned.  

Edited by fred johnson

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Why would you need to travel to HQ to fix stuff?  Simply log onto BSA online advancement and back out any advancements.  You can "almost" completely edit a scout's advancement that way.  I just went in and re-confirmed it's that easy.  

 

Same with scoutbook.  Clear out the date earned and BSA should clear out the date earned.  

 

Because if you don't catch it right away -- and with some volunteers this happens due to lack of training or knowledge or capability with technology -- you need to head to council to submit paperwork to back out what's in the system. Trust me, have had to do this on a few occasions. On the plus side, we developed a detailed training program for anyone using advancement software.

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Because if you don't catch it right away -- and with some volunteers this happens due to lack of training or knowledge or capability with technology -- you need to head to council to submit paperwork to back out what's in the system. Trust me, have had to do this on a few occasions. On the plus side, we developed a detailed training program for anyone using advancement software.

 

Huh.  Well I learn something every day.  Here's a PDF.  On page seven is a screen shot of the page for recording rank dates.  I've cleared out dates before.  I thought it became effective.  The PDF says to contact the registrar.  Huh .... not how I remember it.   

 

http://www.miamivalleybsa.org/files/d/usr/1162/Wright%20Brothers/BSA%20Online%20Advancement%20Walk-through.pdf

 

I'll have to ask our registrar next time I'm in.  

Edited by fred johnson

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Huh.  Well I learn something every day.  Here's a PDF.  On page seven is a screen shot of the page for recording rank dates.  I've cleared out dates before.  I thought it became effective.  The PDF says to contact the registrar.  Huh .... not how I remember it.   

 

http://www.miamivalleybsa.org/files/d/usr/1162/Wright%20Brothers/BSA%20Online%20Advancement%20Walk-through.pdf

 

I'll have to ask our registrar next time I'm in.  

If you catch your error on a rank or merit badge or award in internet advancement before you click SUBMIT to council,

you can cancel by clicking START OVER on the top right side of the screen. and then reload the roster and start over.  But that's cause the report doesn't go anywhere or do anything with scoutnet (or whatever they are calling it now) until you hit submit. 

 

If you do not catch your error and have already submitted to council,

you can't go in and delete the date on the next go around, it won't save as blank fro the date.

 

You can CHANGE the date, so if you just entered the date wrong, you can fix the date the next time you log in,

But if they never earned it, you can't delete it.

 

So if you accidently entered canoe merit badge under the wrong twin brother, when their names are almost identical, you will have to call your registrar, or email (if they reply promptly to email) to ask them to delete the date earned under the wrong scout.

btdt. lol.

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BTW, since I posted weeks ago basically saying "Troopmaster, or nothing" I emailed Troopmaster for a reporting enhancement.  This wasn't a bug fix but an addition to a report.  One day later they agreed to do the enhancement and said it would be added to their enhancement list - ETA about a month.  Next day other email, wouldn't be done by the end of the month but rather the end of the week.  That afternoon yet another email - forget the end of the week, the change was done and would be uploaded that night system-wide.  This was for a "nice to have" not a "need to have" report formatting change.  

Can't imagine any other company doing that, certainly not BSA owned ScoutBooks.  

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BTW, since I posted weeks ago basically saying "Troopmaster, or nothing" I emailed Troopmaster for a reporting enhancement.  This wasn't a bug fix but an addition to a report.  One day later they agreed to do the enhancement and said it would be added to their enhancement list - ETA about a month.  Next day other email, wouldn't be done by the end of the month but rather the end of the week.  That afternoon yet another email - forget the end of the week, the change was done and would be uploaded that night system-wide.  This was for a "nice to have" not a "need to have" report formatting change.  

Can't imagine any other company doing that, certainly not BSA owned ScoutBooks.  

 

Our unit had a similar experience with them on a data issue. TM is VERY responsive.

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