Quick Reference Guide
Creating Records for your Youths
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 or Venturer Scouts.
Adding the basic details
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
- Click on "Account"
- Click on "Scouts" (assuming you're using the Troop version)
- Click on "Add"
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.
Giving the youth or parents access to their records
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Initializing the youth's records
Entering historical data for the youth is easy when you click on "In Bulk Initialization"... 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.
Protecting youth privacy
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.
Signups and Payments
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".
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:
- Recording attendance
- Updating youth related requirements
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.
Subscribing via Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, etc.
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).
- View your Google Calendar by browsing to https://www.google.com/calendar
- Click on the pull-down menu beside "Other Calendars"
- Select "Add by URL"
- Paste in the URL you copied
- Check the "Make calendar publically accessible" if you plan to embed this calendar in your website.
- Click the "Add Calendar" button
Follow these instructions
Follow these instructions
ScoutsTracker allows to you track the collection of dues.
- Go to "Account" | "Advanced"
- Make sure that "track event fees and meeting dues" is "on"
- Set the value of your weekly meeting dues (e.g., $2)
- Optionally, if you allow youth to pre-pay their dues for the year you can toggle that option to "Yes"
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:
- Go to "Account" | "Scouts"
- Click on a Scout who pre-paid
- Toggle the "Pre-paid dues" to "Yes"
You can change the dues for a particular meeting (e.g., if you are going to the pool which costs $5)
- Drill down to the meeting in question
- Click the "Edit" button
- Click "Signups / Payments"
- Click "Options"
- Change the dues to your desired meeting
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
- Drill down to the the meeting
- Click "Edit".
- click "Signups / Payments"
- click on the table, to record who has or hasn't paid
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".
Badge Box Inventory
To be written
To be written
Working with Multiple Sections
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.
Adding Other Sections
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
- Click on "Account" | "Collaboration"
- Copy and paste their key (looks something like "1-2-eabbfe67329eeaf"), and email it to you
Then, in your account
- Click on "Account" | "Collaboration"
- Click the "Add Other Section" button
- Enter the section key you got from the other section's leader
- Add a name (e.g., "Monday Pack" or "Beavers"), and optionally change the colour associated with the other section.
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
Importing Events from Other Sections
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 blank record in the new section, but 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. 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.
- Go to "Account" | "Collaboration"
- Copy the key shown under "Your Account" (the key will look something like "2-123-1234abcd5678abcd")
- Emails this key to the Scout leader (i.e., you)
Then, this what the leader who is SENDING the youth up (i.e., you, the Troop leader) needs to do
- Go to "Account" | "Scouts"
- Click on one of the Scouts who are becoming Venturers
- Click on "Move/Link up to Venturers"
- If the Venturer Company doesn't appear in the list of destination Companies, then click "Other Company" and enter the Section Key that the Venturer advisor emailed you
- Click the "Move Up" button
- Repeat steps 2-5 for all the Scouts who are moving up
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.
- Go to "Account" | "Collaboration"
- Copy the key shown under "Your Account" (the key will look something like "1-123-1234abcd5678abcd")
- Emails this key to the old Scout leader (i.e., you)
Then, this what the leader who is SENDING the youth up (i.e., you, the old Troop leader) needs to do
- Go to "Account" | "Scouts"
- Drill down on the Scout who is transferring
- Click on "Transfer to another Pack" button
- If the new Troop doesn't appear in the list of destination Troops, then click "Other Troop" and enter the key that the new Troop leader emailed you
- Click the "Transfer" button
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.