Note: the following examples all assume that you're working at the Troop level, but the process is the same for Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, etc.
The absolute fastest way to enter the basic details for the youth (and leaders) is to do an import from myscouts. To get instructions on how to do this, in ScoutsTracker go to “Account” | click “Import from MyScouts”.
If you need to create an additional youth at any time, do the following
You can then enter all the pertinent data for the youth, e.g., name, patrol, role, the date they joined your Troop, etc.
Before hitting “Save”, you can optionally give the youth a Login to access their own records, and optionally do a bulk initialization of their badge records.
You can always modify the youth's details at a later date by clicking on “Account” | “Scouts” and then drilling-down on a particular youth.
If you did an import from MyScouts, there will be a Login created for each youth for whom there is an email defined in MyScouts. All you need to do is to let the parents know about their login. You can do this by going to “Account” | “Logins” | “Welcome Messages”. There you can select all the parents and click “Send”.
If there was not an email entered in MyScouts, you can still give the parent (or the youth themselves) a login. To do this when creating a record for the youth, then check the “Create a Login for this Scout” checkbox. This will then let you enter an email address.
Of course, you'll probably want to tell the youth/parent how to sign in, so you'll notice that there is a “Send a welcome message” option… here you can customize a message that will be sent to the youth/parent when their login is created. This welcome message contains a link that youth/parents can use to sign in. First time users will be prompted to pick a password for themselves before they can access their records.
When the youth/parent does sign in, they'll only be able to see their own records, and will only be able to bookmark requirements or mark them as “ready to test”. As a leader, you'll be able to see (before the meeting) which youths have requirements that need to be tested by going to “Troop Reports” | “Ready to Demonstrate”
Note: before you can send a welcome message, you must verify that you are the owner of your email address. Otherwise, there would be nothing to prevent someone from claiming to be email@example.com and sending out emails. So, when you do the one-time verification procedure, an email is sent to your address (which if received by you proves you own the email address). The email explains that someone wants to send out emails from your address, and contains a link. Clicking the link will record your email as being verified.
Entering historical data for the youth is easy when you click on “Home” | “Other” | “All Requirements”… this will let you quickly click off the individual requirements or entire badges that the youth has already completed.
You'll note that when you click on some requirements, it bring up a little dialog that prompts you to enter a number. This is because some requirements stipulate that the activity be completed a specific number of times (e.g., the nights spent camping). ScoutsTracker automatically keeps track of these tallies, and marks the requirement as complete when the criterion has been satisfied.
In Bulk Initialization only marks the badge as complete… completed badges still have to be marked as having been awarded to the youth, but this is easy to do in bulk from the “Troop Reports” | “Ready to Award” report.
Hint: When you do “In Bulk Initialization” all the requirements are marked as having been completed on the day you do the initialization. If you want more precise historical records, you can at a later time go through the youth's records and update the date on which each requirement or badge was completed.
If using a mobile device, always use a PIN to prevent unauthorized access your device. (Consult your mobile device's security settings to set this up.)
Use a “Display Name” rather than the youth's full name. (See under “Account” | “Scouts”.)
In event descriptions, never reference the youth's home addresses (e.g., “We'll meet at Jason's house at 123 Maple Street”), or phone numbers (e.g., “To place an order call Jason's Mom, 613-555-1234”).
When you associate a login with a youth, you can specify that the associated email address should be Bcc'd in any emails you send (i.e., it won't show up in the email recipient list). (See under “Account” | “Logins”)
Tracking badge records is only half of what ScoutsTracker does. The other half is the track events. Moreover, ScoutsTracker blends the two tasks to make record-keeping as simple as possible.
An event can be created a couple of ways, but the easiest is to click on the “Schedule” link in the sidebar, and then click on one of the calendar days.
You'll then be asked to choose what labels you want to give to your new event (e.g., is it a meeting, or a camp, or a community service project?). Events can have multiple labels, e.g., you can an event that is both a camp and hike, or you can do an environmental project during a meeting.
Some labels have durations associated with them (e.g., nights for camps, hours for community service). Additionally, some labels have attributes that further characterize the event (e.g., whether a night away is a lightweight camp). Some of these attributes depend on the level of the Program.
Once you've picked the appropriate labels, you can add more information about the event (name, description, leader's notes, etc.)
You can also optionally configure signup and payment, and specify the related requirements.
Hint: The event Description and Leader's Notes can be fully formatted by using a wiki-like formatting syntax. Click on the “formatting tips” links to see how this can be done.
ScoutsTracker lets you track which youths plan on attending your event, and helps you track who has paid. To do this, click on “Signups / Payment”. You can then click on the “Options” link to set whether you want the youths to sign up for the event, and if so, whether there is a deadline for the signup.
Similarly, you can also specify the per-youth cost of the event. If you specify a deposit, then you must also specify a deadline for sign up.
Upon clicking “Signups” to return to the previous page, you'll note that you now have a table that shows whether each youth has signed up and/or paid. You can additionally say that some youths are not eligible (e.g., for a linking event that is only open to your senior Scouts).
When you specify that an event can be signed up for, each youth will have the event added to a list of “My Signups” (if they are eligible to attend), and they can then quickly indicate whether they will attend or not.
You can record payment, either of the deposit (if applicable) and the full amount. There are some Troop reports that show who has paid for what, and what each youth owes. The individual youth can also check their “My Balance” report to see what is outstanding.
You generally run events to help the youths progress through the Program. As a result, there are usually badge requirements that you hope to satisfy during the event.
You can identify these related requirements, by clicking on the “Related Requirements” link. You can then drill down on the appropriate badge, and select which requirements will be addressed. If you don't recall which badge a particular requirement is in, you can enter some text (e.g., “fire”) to filter down the list of choices.
Note: ScoutsTracker does NOT automatically mark all your related requirements as complete after an event has occurred. Generally, this would be the wrong thing to do do as there are invariably exceptions to the rule. Instead the event is simply flagged as needing to be “finalized”, which is explained in the next section “updating records after an event”.
Once an event has occurred, it is flagged with small alert icon that indicates that it needs to be finalized. The two tasks involved in finalizing an event are:
You can record which youths attended by editing the event (e.g., drill down on the event from the Schedule's calendar, and then click the “Edit” button), and then clicking on “Attendees”. This provides a pick list from which you can select the youth and/or leaders. If you enabled event signups, then the list of attendees is conveniently initialized based on who signed up and/or paid.
Sometimes, a youth cannot attend in the same way as the others in the Troop. For example, a youth with a broken leg might not be able to participate in the four-hour hike, or a youth who is also involved in sports may have to leave the camp one night early to participate in a tournament. ScoutsTracker can accommodate these changes… just click on the “override” link for any youth in the Attendee list, and you can alter that youth's participation.
Once you've recorded (and saved) the attendance, you'll want to click the “Update Records” button under the Related Requirements section. This will present you with a table of all the youths who attended, and all the related badge requirements. You can mark everything as complete for all the youths, with a just single click of the “All” button in the upper left corner. Or you can individually mark or unmark entire rows or columns, or individual cells. When you are satisfied, click the “Save” button.
If the requirement is a tally (e.g., do 5 nights of camping), the youths' individual tallies are shown. And when you click on a tally requirement cell, you'll notice that it shows how much the tally will be updated by.
When you are satisfied, you can changed the “Finalized” toggle to clear the alert icon. However, the alert icon will automatically re-appear if you ever change the event participants and/or related requirements.
However, you can rest assured that you can always revisit the “Update Records” table, without worrying that the youths will be granted double credit for their participation, because each database update is flagged with the event identifier.
Obviously, each youth and leader can see the Troop schedule when they sign in.
Additionally, you can publish your calendar to your Troop website (no sign-in required). To do this, click on “Account” | “Advanced” | “Embedding” and select the options you want for your embedded calendar, and then copy the HTML fragment that is shown.
You can also share your calendar with other sections using ScoutsTracker (e.g., to create a combined Group calendar). This will require that you share your section key with a leader in the other section. You can get your section key by clicking on “Account” | “Collaboration” and then copying the value under “Your Account”. Similarly, if you get the section key from another ScoutsTracker account, you can add it to the “Other Accounts” section of “Account” | “Collaboration”. After you do so, you'll be able to toggle the other sections events on or off when viewing your calendar.
You can also add your Troop calendar to your favourite calendar app (e.g., Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal). There is a button to do so below the calendar. Note: Google Calendar only refreshes subscriptions every 6 to 24 hours, so if you make a change to an event, and then check your Google Calendar, don't be surprised if it doesn't show up right away!
Finally, you can share a particular event with other individuals… if you drill down to an event, you'll notice a “Share” event in the right-hand tab. This will give you a couple of options to email or embed a link to your event.
Anyone can add your Troop's schedule to their favourite calendar app, so you can see your scouting events alongside your family and work commitments.
To do this, click on “Schedule”, then click on the “Subscribe” button below the calendar.
You'll see a URL (or two, if you're a scouter). Copy that URL then follow the instructions for your favourite browser (listed below).
ScoutsTracker allows to you track the collection of dues.
Then when you create a new meeting, it'll automatically be created with a dues of $2 (if that's what you specified above).
If you allow youth to pre-pay their dues for the year, you can record which youth have pre-paid by doing the following:
You can change the dues for a particular meeting (e.g., if you are going to the pool which costs $5)
Note, whenever the dues for a meeting differ from the default, it shows up in the event view as “Special Dues”.
To record dues collected for a particular meeting
To see who still owes money, you can go to “Troop Reports” | “Event Payments” report, or to see the outstanding balances of each youth, click on “Troop Reports” | “Amounts Owing”.
You can set your badge box inventory by going to “Account” | “Inventory”.
Here' you can set the current stock for each inventory item. You can also set the minimum stock you like to keep on hand. E.g., 10 badges of “Vertical Skills 1”, 5 badges of “Camping Skills 2”, and 0 badges of “Camping Skills 7”.
When a badge is marked as awarded, the inventory is automatically reduced by one.
You can also manually tweak the inventory, if the inventory item is for something that isn't an earn badge/award (e.g., a necker)
If you go to “Reports” | “Shopping List” it'll produce a list of what you need to order to get your stocks back up to the required level. This takes into account the badges that have been completed, but not awarded (e.g., because you have insufficient stock). So if 4 of your Scouts completed “Camping Skills 2”, the shopping list would consider the current stock (e.g., 2), plus the demand (i.e., 4), plus the desired minimum inventory (i.e., 5). Therefore it would recommend buying 5+4-2 = 7 badges. In this manner, after handing out the earned badges, you'd be left with the desired stock.
You can print the shopping list off and take it with you when you next visit your local Scout Shop.
You can add inventory items. E.g., perhaps you keep Beaver Buggy kits in stock, in this case you can go to “Account” | “Inventory” | “Add”. You can optionally add a photo of the custom item.
If your Group has a Commissioner account, they can enable Shared Inventory, and then the items added at the Group level will be seen by all section accounts. In this manner, your Group Committee can add inventory items for neckers, group insignia, glow sticks, tents, stoves, etc.
Any reduction in this shared inventory by a section account (e.g., the Colony) actually updates the Group's inventory, and therefore affects the stock seen by the other section accounts (e.g., Pack).
If your Group has a Commissioner account, they can enable Group-Wide OAS Inventory, and all the OAS badges will be counted at the Group level (like Custom Inventory) rather than at the section level. Like Custom Inventory, any section that awards an OAS badge will actually update the Group's stock, and this will then be affect what stock the other sections see.
ScoutsTracker will let you send email messages, in a manner that respects Scouts Canada's “two-deep” policy.
An important concept is that each youth can have multiple contacts and each youth is actually treated like a mini mailing list. I.e., when you select a Scout to send a message to, by implication it is going to include all emails associated with the multiple logins for that youth (the Scout's own login, Mom's login, Dad's login, Step-Mom's login, etc.) as well as any other contact email addresses.
You can control who gets included by going to “Account” | “Scouts”, clicking on the youth in question, then clicking on “Email Contacts”.
This will show you a list of logins that you can check/uncheck, as well as a couple of fields that can contain comma-delimited email other addresses (e.g., Step-Dad doesn't want/need a login, but still wants to receive all Troop emails).
You must comply with Scouts Canada's “two-deep” policy when communicating with youth.
Therefore, ScoutsTracker requires that you always include another active scouter, visibly*, when sending out any message.
But this can be automatically configured by editing the Login for any scouter and ticking the “Is a two-deep Scouter” checkbox.
Once you do this, then any subsequent email that is created will automatically have all “two-deep” scouters added to the Cc line.
* Even if the account preferences are to send everything via Bcc, the two-deep scouters must be visible, and will therefore be included as a Cc recipient rather than a Bcc recipient.
By default, all emails are sent out on the “To” line. This means that all recipients of your message can see the other recipients. This is useful for starting conversations about car pooling, where the recipients want their replies to be seen by the other recipients.
Optionally, you can go to “Email” | “Options” and set the section-wide “Only Bcc email recipients” option to “YES” At this point, all subsequent messages will only ever use the Bcc line (except for two-deep scouters). But this means that you can't ever start conversations about car pooling, because no recipient will be able to reply to other recipients (that's the purpose of Bcc… to hide the recipients from each other!)
So many groups do not use the section-wide “Only Bcc email recipients”, but want to respect some parents' desire to have their children be hidden from view. This can be achieved by going editing any login, whereupon you can optional tick the “Only Bcc” option for that particular login. In this manner, they can hide the youth's own email address, but still let their parental emails show up on the To line.
The only time that the Bcc line is used is when the two-deep scouters are added, and the two-deep scouters aren't already specified in the 'To' recipients.
Of course, you are free to move specific email addresses from one line to the other, for a specific message.
You can bulk add recipients to your message by clicking “Add Parents”, “Add Youth”, etc.
Whether an email address is added to the recipient list when click “Add Parents” vs “Add Youth” depends on how their login is configured.
If you go to “Account” | “Logins” and drill down to a particular parent/youth login, you'll notice there is a “Is this a parent email address?” checkbox. If you tick that checkbox, then the email address will be assumed to belong to parent/guardian. Otherwise, it is assumed to belong to the youth themselves.
So when composing a message, clicking on “Add Parents” will include only logins that have the “Is this a parent email” checkbox ticked. Similarly, “Add Youth” will only include logins that don't have the parent checkbox ticked.
To combat SPAM, many email service providers (e.g., hotmail.com, yahoo.ca) now summarily reject any email that is sent from an email address that doesn't match the domain of the server it was sent from. This means that unless outbound messages originate from a “@scoutstracker.ca” email address, they won't get delivered.
Consequently, all accounts are assigned an unique email address from which all emails will be sent. For example the “1st Muddy Paw” Scout Troop emails will originate from “firstname.lastname@example.org” If you really want to change that email address, you can, by going to “Email” | “Options” | “Troop Email Address”.
But… it is not possible to receive emails via that special @scoutstracker.ca originating email address, so the sender's email address is always included in the email via a special “REPLY-TO” header field that all email programs understand and respect. In this manner, if a recipient of your message clicks “Reply” or “Reply All” in their email program, the email program will list your email address as the recipient, not the special @scoutstracker.ca originating email address.
So, even though the message comes from a special @scoutstracker.ca email address, replies will go to your email address.
To receive replies sent from ScoutsTracker, some sections like to use a common non-personal email address (e.g., “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” for all their communications, regardless of which Scouter sent the message. To enable this, go to each Scouter login, and enter your common non-personal email address (e.g., “email@example.com”) in the “Delegate Email Address” field. Then, when messages are sent out, rather than setting the “REPLY-TO” header field to email address that you use to sign in to ScoutsTracker, it'll use your login's delegate email address. Thus, all replies will go to “firstname.lastname@example.org” rather than your email address. In this manner, you can have an external email Inbox (that you have to set up, yourselves), that all scouters can access (you have to configure that yourself… by granting everyone the password to the Inbox, or configuring your inbox to automatically forward to all Scouters' personal email addresses).
A message can be tagged to a specific event. If it is, then the message will not only be shown when clicking on “Emails” in the left-hand sidebar, but also when viewing an event and clicking on “Email History”. An message is tagged to a specific event when you click “Send Email” when viewing the event details.
If a message isn't tagged to a specific event, it'll only be shown when clicking on “Emails in the left-hand sidebar.
When composing an email, you can add recipients in bulk via “Add Parent”, “Add Scouters”, etc. But you can also use “Quick Pick” to select specific subsets. This is most useful when the event has been tagged to a specific event, and signup/payment has been enabled for the event.
Quick Pick will show you a table that includes the signup and payment columns (depending on what you've enabled for your event). You can click on any cell in the table, and it will select the Youth/Scouters with similar values. E.g., if you have signup enabled for your event, and the youth named “Tyler” has signed up YES (shown by a dot in the YES column of the Quick Pick table), then clicking on Tyler's YES column will select all the other youth/scouters who have also signed up YES. You can then click “Add selected” to add them to the recipient list.
Similarly, if you had payment enabled for your event, you could have selected on a member's PAID cell, and it would have selected all youth/scouters who have similarly paid (or not paid). You could then click on “Remove selected” to remove those people from the recipient list.
In this manner, you fine tune your recipient list. E.g., select and add all the people who signed up YES, then select and add all the people who signed up MAYBE, then select and REMOVE all the people who have PAID. Then you're left with just the people who indicated that they wanted to go to the event, but haven't paid… i.e., the perfect candidates for a nag message about outstanding payment.
When composing a messages that is tagged to a specific event (see above) that has signup enabled, you have an “RSVP” button in the composition toolbar. If you click this button, it will add a placeholder into your email that will result in recipient-customized RSVP buttons that will let the recipient sign up for an event just by clicking on the buttons in the email without having to sign into ScoutsTracker.
Furthermore, the email will also show the sign up status. So if Mom receives the email first, and indicates that their Cub will be going to the Area Cuboree, when Dad views the same email, he'll see that their child is already signed up.
The RSVP buttons reflect the event options. I.e., if you enabled the “MAYBE” option, the recipients will have YES/NO/MAYBE buttons, whereas if the “MAYBE” option was not enabled, the recipients will only have YES/NO buttons.
When the recipient clicks on the RSVP buttons, they'll get confirmation of their signup status, and be given the opportunity to add comments in response to the signup instructions that you (may have) specified for the event (e.g., responding to an appeal for parent helpers or car-poolers). Recipients can also back at any time and change their signup status by clicking on the RSVP buttons in an email they had received the previous week.
If the email recipient is associated with multiple youth and/or scouters, then there will be a line of RSVP buttons for each recipient. E.g., the Beaver siblings “Emma” and “Jackson”, plus scouter Dad “Hawkeye”. In this case, there would be three rows of buttons in the email so that Mom or Dad could signup up Hawkeye and Jackson but not Emily (because of a conflicting hockey tournament).
Some parents and/or Scouters will opt-out of your emails. There's several ways this can happen. E.g., they could mark your email as SPAM in their email program (e.g., GMail, Outlook). Or, they might click on the “unsubscribe” link that is included in each email.
Regardless of the route, once this happens, they will be put on a do-not-contact list, and all further attempts to send to them will be rejected. This will show up as a little red exclamation mark beside their address when viewing the a sent email.
However, frequently parents will actually want to receive the emails (e.g., they marked your messages as SPAM because their child wasn't planning on attending the “Area Cuboree”, and are now shocked to find out that they aren't hearing about any subsequent events!). By law, neither you nor ScoutsTracker technical support are permitted to arbitrarily change a person's explicitly stated preference, even if that preference was made incorrectly.
However, there are three possible solutions:
You can view other sections in your calendar. E.g., you can have your Group's Colony, Pack, and Company schedules overlaid with your Troop activities.
To add another section to your calendar, you need to get the other section's “section key” from one of the others section's leaders.
The other section's leader can get this for you by
Then, in your account
Then, when you click on “Schedule” you'll see a toggle for “Other Sections” Show/Hide which will show all the other sections' you've added.
If you send your section key (found the same way as described above) to the other section's leader, then they can add your schedule to their calendar
There are two ways to import events from other sections.
First, if you can view another section's schedule in your calendar, you can simply click on another section's event, and you'll notice there is an “Import” button in the right-hand side tab. Click this any you'll be prompted whether you want to “Copy” or “Subscribe”. Subscribing to the event lets the other section continue to make updates to the event name, time, location, and notes and those changes will be automatically reflected in your schedule. In this way, if your Group's Venturers are organizing the Spring Group Camp, they can fill in the organizational details over time, without having to constantly send updates to you for you to fill in. When you subscribe to an event, you can still maintain your own signup and payment options, and define your own related requirements.
Second, if someone mails you an event key (see the section on ”Communicating/Sharing Events“ above), you can click on “Troop Events” | “Import” and then enter the event key in the designated field. You'll have the same “Copy” or “Subscribe” options as described in the previous paragraph.
You can move youth to another section (e.g., when the family moves to another city), or you can promote the youth to the next section at the end of their three years.
Moving up a youth creates a new record in the new section, and copies up all the login information so that the same people (parents and/or the youth) can access the youth's records in the new section. It also copies up all the youth's badge progress in the Outdoor Adventure Skills (OAS), so the youth can continue working on their OAS stages exactly where they left off in their old section. Once moved up, the youth's record in the old section is marked as “Inactive”. If the old leaders ever need to access the youth's old records, they can change the youth's status to “Active”.
To move up a youth (e.g., Scouts to Venturers) the Venturer leader has to share his Company's “Section Key” with you… use of this key is how ScoutsTracker determines that the Venturer advisor grants you permission to send them your Scout's records.
First, this is what the leader who is RECEIVING the youth (i.e., the Venturer advisor) needs to do.
Then, this what the leader who is SENDING the youth up (i.e., you, the Troop leader) needs to do
The process is similar for Beavers → Cubs, or Cubs → Scouts.
Transferring a youth between sections moves everything associated with that youth over to the new section. This includes all the login information so that the same people (parents and/or the youth) can still access the youth's records in the new section. Additionally, any events that the youth may have participated in with the old troop are copied into the new troop so the new Troop leader has a record of what the Scout participated in.
To transfer the youth from one Troop to another, the new Troop leader has to share his Troop's “Section Key” with you… use of this key is how ScoutsTracker determines that the new Troop leader grants you permission to send them your Scout's records.
First, this is what the leader who is RECEIVING the youth (i.e., the new Troop leader) needs to do.
Then, this what the leader who is SENDING the youth up (i.e., you, the old Troop leader) needs to do
the new Troop leader emailed you
You can run ScoutsTracker offline if you use *Chrome*, *Firefox*, *Edge/IE10+* or *Safari*. Note that earlier versions of Internet Explorer do not support off-line access.
To set up offline access, sign into to ScoutsTracker and click on “Account”. Then change “Allow launching while off-line” to “Yes”.
This will cause your browser to reload with a URL that ends with
/mobile. You'll note that when it first reloads, ScoutsTracker will say “Application updating…”, and when it's done will reload again. This “Application updating…” message only appears the first time you connect, or whenever the server gets patched.
You can then bookmark the page for easy access later. On a iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android or Blackberry device, you'll probably want to a short cut to your “Home Screen” (process varies by device).
If you add ScoutsTracker to your mobile device's “Home Screen”, you must launch it once (and sign in to your account) while you are connected to the internet, so that your section's records are synced before trying to go off-line.
Thereafter, when you're off-line, you can just launch ScoutsTracker from the bookmark (or Home Screen). Any changes you make will be automatically synced with the server the next time you connect on-line.
To test if things are working, you can go into “Airplane mode” on your mobile device, or turn off your wifi on your laptop. Note, Sometimes when you launch offline your browser will complains that you're not connected and offer to change turn off airplane mode. You can ignore this message, and ScoutsTracker will open anyway, in offline mode.