With a tap on your phone you can deposit a check, update your family grocery list or share a photo.
Shouldn’t keeping track of a Scout’s advancement be just as easy? The Boy Scouts of America thinks so.
That’s why today the BSA announces it has acquired Scoutbook, the revolutionary web app that makes tracking advancement easier, faster and more fun. That means more time for you and your Scouts to enjoy those life-changing experiences they can’t get anywhere but Scouting.
Imagine updating your Boy Scouts’ progress toward a rank or a merit badge with a couple of taps or clicks. Or letting Scouts input and provide proof for their own advancement progress. Or seeing at a glance which adventures your Cub Scouts lack for the next rank. Or knowing which of your unit leaders still need to complete BSA training. Or getting an automatically generated shopping list to make your trip to the Scout Shop a breeze. Or never again wondering whether you’re using the most up-to-date BSA requirements.
And imagine doing it all wherever you are and on the devices you use every day.
It’s all possible with Scoutbook.
Wayne Brock, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive, says that Scoutbook will help the Boy Scouts of America better connect with today’s connected youth.
“Kids today are always on the go, and their communication habits and preferences reflect it,” he says. “More than 75 percent of U.S. children now have access to a smartphone or tablet — a statistic that points toward a significant opportunity for BSA, and one our organization proudly has seized upon. Scoutbook is our latest approach to delivering a more digital experience that is both fun and meaningful for our members.”
Keep reading for more details about this exciting announcement.
Yes, it’ll work on your device
Scoutbook is an app, but it’s a web app. That means you’ll be able to use it if you have an iPhone, Android phone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry — or even (gasp!) your PC or tablet.
There’s nothing to download. You’ll just type the URL, scoutbook.com, into your browser on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The secure website knows which device you’re using, so it’ll load in a format that looks great on screens big and small.
Scoutbook lives in the cloud on an encrypted server. That means if your computer crashes or you lose your phone, all that hard work doesn’t disappear.
It also means multiple leaders — and the Scouts themselves — can share in the advancement-tracking duties.
Wait, the Scouts themselves? Yes, one of my favorite things about Scoutbook is that Scouts can use it, too. Scouts can fulfill some of the duties of their position of responsibility, upload photos of their work on merit badge requirements or share how much fun they had on the last campout with a video — all from Scoutbook.
Parents can use it to keep an eye on their son or daughter’s progress toward ranks and awards.
Scoutbook’s tagline is no exaggeration. It really is “the whole Scouting experience rolled into one amazing web app.”
By a unit leader, for unit leaders
Some 200,000 subscribers already know about Scoutbook’s awesomeness. That’s even more impressive when you consider the web app has only been around since 2013.
Scoutbook is the brainchild of Shawn Jackson, a parent and an active member of the Scouting community.
It’s pretty awesome knowing Scoutbook was created by a Scouter. And it makes sense, really. Who better but a real unit leader to solve the advancement-tracking challenges real unit leaders face?
The good news for current (and future!) Scoutbook users is that Jackson isn’t going anywhere. He’ll stay on to direct Scoutbook development, and the BSA’s National Council will work with him to make sure the app’s deployment to Scouts, parents, volunteers and unit leaders goes smoothly.
Technology only works if it, well, works. So the BSA and Jackson are committed to providing a reliable tool that will make your life easier.
Stay updated on the transition to Scoutbook
While the transition occurs, the BSA will share updates onscoutingwire.org in the days and weeks ahead. Scouting Wire also has a comprehensive list of FAQs.
FAQs from the BSA and Scoutbook
These come from Scouting Wire.
What is Scoutbook?
Scoutbook is a web application designed for mobile devices. 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.
Which Scouting programs does Scoutbook support?
Scoutbook currently is designed for Cub Scout, Boy Scout. and Venturing units.
Who can register as a Scoutbook user?
Although any adult leader or Scout can register, Scoutbook is designed specifically for registered unit leaders, registered Scouts, and parents or guardians of registered Scouts.
When can I subscribe?
Scoutbook currently is accepting new subscribers. A formal introduction of the application is scheduled for August.
How do I subscribe?
Visit Scoutbook.com to register.
How much does Scoutbook cost?
There are several pricing options starting at $10 a year. Full pricing information is available at Scoutbook.com.
Is training available?
Yes. Training resources are available once you are logged in at Scoutbook.com, and additional training is in development.
Who can see my information?
Scoutbook is a secure platform that provides a safe way for parents, Scouts, and leaders to record, track, and manage their Scouting experience. Personally identifiable information will be kept secure. Unit leaders can see Scout advancement information as well as training data on other unit volunteers.
Can I port my third-party unit-management vendor data to Scoutbook?
There will be no need to port data from other third-party vendors because Scoutbook will link to all unit membership data.
Can I still use other third-party unit-management vendors once Scoutbook launches?
Although Scoutbook will be made available to all units, they may continue to choose other third-party applications. However, Scoutbook will be the only unit-management system fully integrated with the BSA database.
What is Scoutbook’s relationship to ScoutNET?
We expect to integrate Scoutbook seamlessly into the BSA’s new membership system later this year.
How do Scoutbook and Commissioner Tools fit into My.Scouting and Commissioner Tools?
Scoutbook is a unit-management web application that will become the one-stop shop for Scouts, parents, and unit leaders to record and manage their Scouting experience. This tool will provide unit members a way to track advancements, unit activities, and unit communications.
Commissioner Tools is a module within My. Scouting Tools, which allows volunteers and employees to evaluate unit health and identify units in need of assistance. Commissioners will continue to use Commissioner Tools to monitor the health of their units, but should expect the data to become more robust as more Scouts and unit leaders engage with Scoutbook.
Can I renew my unit’s charter from Scoutbook?
Not at this time. However, we are exploring this and many other exciting features as a part of our longer-term roadmap.
Who is Shawn Jackson? What is his role?
Shawn Jackson is the creator of Scoutbook. He will continue to direct Scoutbook to ensure it continues to serve unit leaders with the same high level of customer service to which current users are accustomed.
Where do I go for answers to technical questions related to Scoutbook?
More information is available on the Scoutbook.comforums.