What is Scoutbook?
Scoutbook delivers a suite of easy-to-use web-based tools that are helpful to Scouts, parents and unit leaders. It enables units to better communicate, update records, track advancement and manage activities. Since it is entirely web-based, it is accessible on any device with an internet connection.
- Scoutbook provides leaders access to valuable advancement tracking tools and resources that will help with the day-to-day management of a unit, giving every leader more of what they need most: TIME.
- Scoutbook provides parents the means to help busy parents keep track of their Scouts advancement and unit calendar.
- With customizable profiles and interactive features, Scoutbook puts the excitement of advancement into the hands of the Scout. They can share their success with friends and family as they progress through the program.
Scoutbook & Troop 1775:
As a Troop we have been using it for a couple of years to track advancements and the BSA is integrating it into their system more everyday, so it’s imperative that we get everyone on board.
What does all this mean to you? If you haven’t already received one, we will soon be sending out invitations directly from the Scoutbook website, each family will get an email with log-in information and we need EVERY Scout family to accept the invitation and sign up. You do not need to create an account, we did that for you. Additionally, due to privacy regulations, we can not set up accounts for your Scouts, so parents/guardians are going to have to do that for them by inviting their email addresses (see instructions below). If a Scout is in 8th grade or higher, they have an email address though Natick Public Schools so we are asking, at a minimum, that all 8th graders and above be given their own accounts. Their account will always be linked to your account, you'll still have full control. If your Scout is in grades 5 through 7, it’s up to you. If you feel your Scout is mature enough to have their own email you can opt to add them, again it will always be linked to your account, any communications that go to them will go to parents/guardians too.
So what does adding a Scout’s email mean? They will then have the ability to use Scoutbook like they use their hard copy Scout Handbook now. They will be able to see where they currently are as far as Rank and Merit Badges, both completed and partial. They will be able to see what they still need to do. They will be able to check off when they have completed something, which then will send the leaders an alert that something needs to be approved. This will all be available through the parents’ accounts as well, and for younger Scouts, without their own email, that’s how you will be tracking that info with them.
We are hoping that by putting all of this info directly in your and your Scout’s hands, we will be able to keep Scouts on track easier, they will be able to catch any errors sooner, and everyone will know when advancements are happening, hopefully taking some of the mystery out of the process for all of you.
To make the process a little easier, we have put together some instructional videos, links to Youtube below. But one thing that you must remember when doing anything in Scoutbook;
NEVER, EVER, EVER, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NEVER, EVER CHANGE FIRST NAME, MIDDLE NAME OR INITIAL, LAST NAME OR BSA ID# FOR YOU OR YOUR SCOUT!!!!!
The first video is about 10 minutes long and is an Introduction to Scoutbook. Here’s a link:
These are the highlights..
- Please login to your account, go to "my dashboard," click "my account" and click "password" to change your password to something you'll remember.
- Check your personal information, under edit profile, fix anything that is wrong, however, NEVER, EVER, EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, never change your name or BSA ID #, for you or your Scout. Don't add or change middle name or initial, no changes at all to names or ID. You can add a nickname on that line (the line that says "nickname") if you or son are say Dave not David, but leave names and IDs as they appear or the records will not update correctly.
- Check under "my connections" that you are linked to your son.
- Go back to "my dashboard" and under "my family" you should see your Scout(s). Click a Scout and then go to "edit profile." Check and update all the info, including grade and school, but make sure you don't touch name and/or BSA ID.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the profile page and invite your Scout. If your Scout is in 8th grade or higher, this is required, this will give them an account that they can monitor their progress with. If your Scout is 7th grade or younger, and has an email address, we are leaving it up to the individual families whether their Scout is mature enough to manage their account, or if you will be helping them.
Now you can take a look around and see all the advancements your son has earned. Please take some time to review these with them, or if they're older they can do it themselves. If there appears to be anything missing or incorrect, please let us know ASAP.
The second instructional video covers how the Scout (or parent with the Scout) handles advancements.
Here’s the video link:
The video will show you the details but the highlights of how it will all flow are:
- You work on an achievement with an ASM (or Merit Badge Counselor) and you eventually get it signed off in your Handbook, just like you already do.
- You then take a picture of the signed page (or blue card) using your mobile device.
- You login and enter the info into Scoutbook, checking the box for what you completed, dating it, and linking the picture of your signed book (or blue card).
- Leaders get a report, see the signed book and approve it. If things aren’t getting approved, you need to ask someone why.
- Scoutbook tracks it all and lets you see how close you are to next Rank (or Merit Badge)
Eventually we may be able to eliminate the signed Handbook step, but for now, this is how we will track it. The biggest thing to remember is that if a Scout checks an item as completed in Scoutbook, its just like checking it off in your Handbook, its not official until its approved by a leader, just like its not official until its signed. So even if a Scout marks something as completed, they will need to go to an ASM or their Meri Badge Counselor to get it approved in Scoutbook.
Those two videos will get you started and are specific to Troop 1775. Scoutbook has created some tutorials and FAQs, more info then you might ever need about Scoutbook, I have not reviewed these, they may be redundant, they may be geared toward Cub Scouts so use with a grain of salt. Here’s what seems to be the most pertinent ones:
And you can have access to all of the Scoutbook created tutorials by going here (again more info than you probably want):