So now that we have Trooptrack working for events and communication, I want to dive into doing electronic tracking for advancement. It looks like we have two options:
- Track advancement in TroopTrack and then sync those changes into Scoutbook.
or do the reverse
- Track advancement in Scoutbook and then sync those changes into TroopTrack.
I’m looking for feedback from units that do this. Which method has worked out better? Any pitfalls to be aware of?
Any tips and tricks will be very appreciated.
We have always done TT advancements so I can’t speak to the Scoutbook tracking and sync to TT. It is an easy process to create, download a file from TT, upload to Scouting Advancements and then close the report in TroopTrack. Entering advancements in TT is easy, especially if you are a Pack when the Den does an adventure it is easy to enter for all of the Scouts at once. Not sure if Scoutbook has the same but I would imagine they do as well. Troop level is really more individual anyway.
The only negative that I’ve thought of so far about starting in TroopTrack is that sometimes our scouts work on merit badges with counselors that are outside our troop and therefore would not have access to our TT instance, and in that case, they would have to work in Scoutbook. So if we work in TT normally, and but in those instances the records would start in Scoutbook, then we would have to sync in both directions.
Would love to hear some other real world examples before we dive into this.
We had that happen recently where Scouts did a Merit Badge summer workshop and they used ScoutBook to record those MB’s, we ended up just manually entering into TT since there were only a few but could have done an import.
Another option for external Merit Badge Counselors would be just to go old school and use a Blue Card, the Scout turns that in to your Advancement Chair when completed and they enter that into TT, the MB counselor doesn’t have to do anything in SB or TT. BSA seems to be pushing SB so Councils and Districts are starting to use that for MB workshops and summer camp so at some point it will be necessary but that is why the import option is available.
A few years back when I first came to TroopTrack, I spent a very long time researching all the available advancement tracking solutions. I was coming from a mix of paper (ugh) and Troopmaster. I hated the need for an installed program or app so quickly narrowed it down to TroopTrack or ScoutBook (was not BSA affiliated at the time). I went with TT because there is SO much more I can do in one product. I eventually migrated all our members, advancement, money accounts, and finally our website into TT and have loved it ever since.
While ScoutBook did affiliate with BSA, and it is now the “official” advancement tracking method, they did not come close to the features and customizability of TroopTrack. If you are here, I assume you have also found the same to be true.
I will continue to track and manage advancement through TT because it is just a better all around solution for me (I manage everything for my troop). When my troop goes to summer camp or other event where they earn advancements, awards, or MBs, my council uses BlackPug Software to generate reports. I simply take that report and add the info to TT, and then upload to SB when we hold a Court of Honor. My scouts and families know that TT is the place to go for advancement status info and the weekly newsletter now shows their progress as well.
For me, ScoutBook is only updated twice a year to keep council happy when I go to buy awards. For outside MB counselors, I actually create a TT account for them but many simply use oldschool blue cards.
Kraig – thanks for the reply. It definitely helps to hear about other troops’ experiences.