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swilliams

Help With Internet Advancement

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I like the sign-offs in their handbooks -- not only can they see what they have completed,  it also puts the record keeping responsibility on the scout. 

I'd also like to keep personal electronic devices from intruding too much on outings.  Sign offs in scout handbooks don't require getting out someones cell phone.

I have seen that not everyone has the same opinion I have.

 

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2 hours ago, sst3rd said:

Off topic a bit, but the scoutmaster I've been mentoring this last year, puts so much emphasis on updating advancement online, she completely forgets to update the scout's handbooks.

I guess my "old" is showing, but I thought the idea was for the scouts to read and study their handbooks as they are teaching and/or learning scouting skills pertaining to advancement. EDGE works, but all scouts should be taught to refer to their scout handbooks for ideas and info. I think they should always be able to refer to the back of their handbooks to review their "sign-offs" , and be able to know what their advancement status is, and where they want to go. It's a young troop, so adult leaders and the one older scout (SPL) do the advancement sign-offs.

So, I've had to get her to print out each scout's records monthly, so I can update their handbooks. Now scouts, and certainly their parent(s) can visually see how their scouting adventures impact their advancement. I guess the scout and parents could view all of this online...…………………………………………………….but then why have a section for advancement sign-offs in the scout handbook at all.

Am I wrong? Go ahead. I can take it.

sst3rd

I agree, but my view is slightly different.

  • Paper scout handbook is for the scouts.  It's the best way for them to track, drive and own their advancement.
  • Online tools such as internet advancement or the online scoutbook web site is for the adults and parents.  The online scoutbook.com the best way for them to see BSA's official records.  
  • When the SM signs off a rank or receives a MB card, it should be entered by an adult into BSA's official records ... as soon as possible.  BUT, it should be fully recorded in the paper scout handbook too.  
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13 hours ago, sst3rd said:

... EDGE works, but all scouts should be taught to refer to their scout handbooks for ideas and info. I....

In other words, EDGE is an insufficient tool for mastering a skill. The student needs a reference. This is what will keep him/her on the long march out of the Dark Ages. Who'd have thunk it?

13 hours ago, sst3rd said:

... I think they should always be able to refer to the back of their handbooks to review their "sign-offs" , and be able to know what their advancement status is, and where they want to go. It's a young troop, so adult leaders and the one older scout (SPL) do the advancement sign-offs. ...

I never thought of this advancement issue to be similar to EDGE. But the parallels are striking. With internet advancement, there's this presumption that the scout always has to be dependent on an adult referees for each step in his progress towards rank. In fact, he/she only has to be dependent on a handful of adults: the one's who wrote the program requirements, and the typesetters and editors who made sure the books were printed correctly. He/she will need an SPL/PL to help with the occasional translation of the written world into practicality, and the SM and committee are really only needed for personal growth conferences -- steps in the advancement process, but not the process itself.

There's a list, work down it, advance.

The main thing scouts need are cheerleaders telling them that they can do this, if not now, then after they grow just a little through participating in troop/patrol activities.

Lets be frank. IA, is a way for BSA to save money by streamlining the ordering of awards. A pleasant side-effect is it helps adults get an overview of which scouts may need us to specially cheer for them. It's also a convenient back-up in case their handbook is lost. But it and the data-plan and required devices are far more costly than pen and paper.

So in conclusion ...

13 hours ago, sst3rd said:

... Am I wrong? Go ahead. I can take it. ...

@sst3rd, as a scouting mentor once told me, you're probably crazy, but you're not wrong.

Edited by qwazse

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I always assumed, with the attendant risks, that "Explain" included references to sources (and explaining why the skill might be useful to know).  

(Was the "Application Phase" more PC?)

"Streamline" does seem to be about awards, but learning is another goal entirely.  Summer Camp has streamlined "awards" marvelously: attend class largely conducted by minimally-qualified children  x 5;  no or little testing;  obtain award;  obtain rank.  Timeless Values. Trustworthy.  

I liked "earning rank" and "recognition" better.

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So, my cheat sheet from before seems to not be working anymore.

When attempting to enter a merit badge, I get to the "Item" field and instead of popping up a list of MB's to pick it just says "No Data".

Is anyone else seeing an error like this?

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2 hours ago, Chisos said:

So, my cheat sheet from before seems to not be working anymore.

When attempting to enter a merit badge, I get to the "Item" field and instead of popping up a list of MB's to pick it just says "No Data".

Is anyone else seeing an error like this?

Yes.  Not only that, but I'm trying to enter a handful of merit badges for a scout so he can finish his Eagle application, and can't enter any of them.  I keep getting an error message, and the forum "help" has stopped replying to my request for help.  In addition, NOTHING shows up when I try to view his current badges.  Nothing under 'Started'.  Nothing under 'Pending Approval' and nothing under 'Approved'.  And that's after waiting 15 minutes for the page to load.

I will be showing up at council tomorrow with a handful of blue cards and they're going to have to enter them.

Edit: I get the list of merit badges, but when I click on any of them it says "Checking Advancement Status" underneath, nothing happens for a few minutes, then above the dialog box it says "Error".

Edited by swilliams

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51 minutes ago, swilliams said:

Yes.  Not only that, but I'm trying to enter a handful of merit badges for a scout so he can finish his Eagle application, and can't enter any of them.  I keep getting an error message, and the forum "help" has stopped replying to my request for help.  In addition, NOTHING shows up when I try to view his current badges.  Nothing under 'Started'.  Nothing under 'Pending Approval' and nothing under 'Approved'.  And that's after waiting 15 minutes for the page to load.

I will be showing up at council tomorrow with a handful of blue cards and they're going to have to enter them.

Edit: I get the list of merit badges, but when I click on any of them it says "Checking Advancement Status" underneath, nothing happens for a few minutes, then above the dialog box it says "Error".

That's exactly it (even the part about getting the  badges recorded so an Eagle app can get turned in!)

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9 hours ago, Chisos said:

That's exactly it (even the part about getting the  badges recorded so an Eagle app can get turned in!)

Ordinarily, we upload all the advancement after the COH, but that's next week.  His appointment at council is today, I think. 

The good news is, it was working at 7:00 this morning when I logged in to try again.  The bad news is, the scout starts school earlier than that, so I don't know that he'll get my email in time to print this before heading up to council for his appointment.  I'll call them today and let them know what happened, and will attach his Advancement History now that it's complete.  I would hope that they'll accept it from me, if he doesn't have a physical copy.  The Eagle coordinator (not sure that's the exact title) at council is one of scouting's gems, so it will probably be okay.  It will be a very sad day when that person retires.

Edited by swilliams

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AGAIN!  The software is doing it again. I can’t even.  I work 50+ hours a week. I don’t have time for this nonsense. 

On top of that, all of the merit badges listed in the file from our last COH have disappeared. I double- checked in June, after uploading the file, and everything seemed fine. I can only see which merit badges a scout has from the Scoutbook site. IA won’t load the scouts’ approved/pending/started info. 

So o now I can’t update flags in Troopmaster, and can’t manually enter the missing merit badges. What a mess (which is not what I really want to call it).

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1 hour ago, swilliams said:

AGAIN!  The software is doing it again. I can’t even.  I work 50+ hours a week. I don’t have time for this nonsense. 

On top of that, all of the merit badges listed in the file from our last COH have disappeared. I double- checked in June, after uploading the file, and everything seemed fine. I can only see which merit badges a scout has from the Scoutbook site. IA won’t load the scouts’ approved/pending/started info. 

So o now I can’t update flags in Troopmaster, and can’t manually enter the missing merit badges. What a mess (which is not what I really want to call it).

Are you able to put the items in using Scoutbook?  Scoutbook seems more reliable (overall) than Internet Advancement.

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5 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

Are you able to put the items in using Scoutbook?  Scoutbook seems more reliable (overall) than Internet Advancement.

Unfortunately, no.  Because we don't use Scoutbook (we use Troopmaster), I can only view items on Scoutbook.  The good thing is that the MC for the COH is a super bright kid who understood my instructions to ignore the merit badges with an 'R' next to them when creating the program, and add in the list of merit badges and awards I emailed him last night.

My daughter asked me this morning if fixing the BSA software would be considered an Eagle project.  :D  The project of the century, haha. 

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4 hours ago, swilliams said:

Unfortunately, no.  Because we don't use Scoutbook (we use Troopmaster), I can only view items on Scoutbook.  The good thing is that the MC for the COH is a super bright kid who understood my instructions to ignore the merit badges with an 'R' next to them when creating the program, and add in the list of merit badges and awards I emailed him last night.

My daughter asked me this morning if fixing the BSA software would be considered an Eagle project.  :D  The project of the century, haha. 


OK.  I use both Troopmaster and Scoutbook without any problems.  It does make for double-entry, though.  We are not a large troop, so it's usually not a problem (except after summer camp  LOL).  If you are able to access things in Internet Advancement (when it works), then you should also be able to access your troop in Scoutbook as a Troop Admin.

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