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JosephMD

OA Paperwork Woes

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Wrapping up elections season and preparing for the ordeal.  I shouldn't be shocked anymore, but every year I am.  Elections paperwork that lacks the information we need, has misspelling, or is just plain illegible.  The level of effort that the advisor has to put in to make all of this right is considerably more than it would be for the unit leader just to do it right in the first place.  I'm several hours into correcting BSA IDs, scouts' names, and had a 20% e-mail address failure rate.  I dream of a day when they can click a button in scoutbook.com that says "unit leader approved for OA election" and it gets us the information electronically, but until then, I guess I'm stuck pushing paper.  

 

Finally remembered my password for this site.

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I share your dream brother.

Seems no matter how hard we try, what process we set up. It is the same issues every year. 

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Simple solution: stop using Email. Pay the USPS 50 cents a pop to find your Arrowman.

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First class mail is now 55 cents.  I know this because I reminded my wife to stock up on Forever stamps before the rate hike went into effect.  The Post Office dutifully held her "Stamps By Mail" order form for about 2 weeks before processing the order...at the new higher rate.

  • Sad 1

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

Simple solution: stop using Email. Pay the USPS 50 cents a pop to find your Arrowman.

With email being free, I'd continue to use the email to reach the 80% whose email addresses have stayed the same over the past year, and only pay the "to cents a pop" to send follow-ups to the other 20%.

By the way, I know you're right. I've had more than 10 email addresses over the past decade but only 1 physical mailing address. No contest as to which is the more reliable method to reach me...but that's me, people move too and it could just as easily go the other way.

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

Simple solution: stop using Email. Pay the USPS 50 cents a pop to find your Arrowman.

It’s not just the email. Street addresses and phone numbers are often recorded incorrectly or difficult to read. 

But the real problem is that we need to track them in Lodge Master (the official OA system)

If the BSA ID or DOB are wrong or missing, it becomes a problem/hassle. Even if you have contact info.

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We send a letter too, and some of them will bounce, and I won't find out for a week, then it'll cost us an extra stamp and envelope.  These days, you have to use every communications method available.  Letters, e-mails, e-mails to scoutmasters, direct communications to TOARs, fliers in unit roundtable mailboxes, even telephone calls.  I still have people tell me that they didn't know. 

 

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1 hour ago, JosephMD said:

We send a letter too, and some of them will bounce, and I won't find out for a week, then it'll cost us an extra stamp and envelope.  These days, you have to use every communications method available.  Letters, e-mails, e-mails to scoutmasters, direct communications to TOARs, fliers in unit roundtable mailboxes, even telephone calls.  I still have people tell me that they didn't know. 

 

It also depends on the person receiving the communication. Some do great with email, others with snail mail, others with text, and so on. But they don't read/hear any of the other types of communication. It is difficult to know which type works best with an individual, particularly when they are candidates and the sum total of what you know about them is on a piece of paper that may not be accurate or legible. 

It is the same struggle every year. I hear "I didn't know I was called out" (they missed the call out event and no one in the troop let them know). Or, "I didn't know when Ordeal was" (even though they were given a letter at call out, sent a letter by mail, emailed etc.)

 

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