Service Hours Fixed and Other Updates

The missing service hours have been restored! Yay! We’re sorry this ever happened in the first place! :frowning:

We were able to restore any hours entered before Saturday (11/18) and Sunday (11/19, the day the bug occurred). If service hours were entered on Sunday before the bug occurred, they will need to be re-added. If service hours were added on Saturday, they might need to be re-added. With the exception of those two days, everything else is back up.

Here are some other updates:

  • Scouts can no longer access BSA Merit Badge Counselor lists, per BSA policy
  • Award Cards will once again print at the correct size
  • TurboNET can now upload these BSA Pack awards - Natl Summertime Pack Pin (Tiger/Wolf/Bear/Webelos), Cyber Chip Award (Grades 1-3/4-5), all Nova Cub Scouts awards, and CS Outdoor Activity Awd (Tiger/Wolf/Bear/Webelos)

@KelsieC - I’m still seeing issues with the Award cards printing. I reported this issue here back in August 2016. And I’ve since found other issues that I reported there as well. I just tried to print out the award cards for my troop today and I’m still seeing the issues:

  1. Image drifts down on other pages
  2. Specific merit badge images are 1/2 size.
  3. Merit badge cards including weird " (old)" or " (2011+)" suffix that does not really belong.

I went so far as to write my own python script using the free version of reportlab that would create the award cards for me correctly since I’ve been waiting on this for so long now. I’m happy to share my script with you or anyone that wants it.

I apologize that this hasn’t been addressed sooner. For time-sensitive problems, you can reach me more quickly via email at or via the Help Desk.

Responding to your questions in order:

  1. Our developer is looking into the problem with the images drifting and will see what he can do to fix it.
  2. If you can email me a list of which ones are showing at half-size, I can try to re-upload the MB images to fix it. I have done so with several in the past, but there is no way for me to see from my end how they are printing and which ones are problematic.
  3. The suffixes are there because the awards are constantly getting updated and we want the most current version of the badge to have the “normal” name. There has to be some means of differentiating when the original award is changed/replaced with a new one with different requirements. However, we don’t want to delete the old award, since it would delete the progress of anyone currently working on it or who has completed it. Thus, we change the outdated version’s name to something like “Camping (Old)” to reflect the change and differentiate from the most current version, which would become the new “Camping” option, and it is easy to tell the difference between the two.

If you would like to email me the Python script you are using, I can pass it along to our developer, since he is the one working with the code side of things (I do the help desk, Community, emails, etc. but not so much the programming/coding stuff).

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Thanks @KelsieC Kelsie!

I sent you the python scripts in a side email to the support email alias above.

Per #2, As for the half-sized images, here’s the ones that I know of as of today:

  • Wood Carving
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Forestry
  • Cooking
  • Nuclear Science
  • Weather

Per #3, yes, I understand that awards are constantly getting updated. The problem here is that TroopTrack is not following a single naming process that works consistently between all badges. If you look at the list of merit badges, I see these naming processes in use:

  1. “<Merit Badge Name>” - Generally for current merit badge (or the last one that was updated) i.e. “American Business”
  2. “<Merit Badge Name> (Before <Year>)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed as of <Year>. i.e. “Art (Before 2015)”
  3. "<Merit Badge Name> (Pre <Year>) - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed as of <Year>. i.e. “Architecture (Pre 2010)”
  4. “<Merit Badge Name> (old)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed with no information when it was changed. i.e. “Archaeology (old)”
  5. “<Merit Badge Name> (retired)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed with no information when it was changed. i.e. “Astronomy (old)”
  6. “<Merit Badge Name> (discontinued)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge no longer is an active merit badge from BSA. i.e. “Auto Mechanics (Discontinued)”
  7. “<Merit Badge Name> (new)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed to something new but no information on when it was changed. i.e. “Camping (new)”
  8. “<Merit Badge Name> (<Year>)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed to something new during <Year>. i.e. “Climbing (2017)”
  9. “<Merit Badge Name> (<Year>+)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed to something new during <Year> and that it will continue to use this version?. i.e. “Insect Study (2015+)”
  10. “<Merit Badge Name> (unused)” - Used to indicate that the merit badge changed with no information when it was changed. i.e. “Space Exploration (unused)”

Really, I think there’s way too many mechanisms here to indicate when the merit badge requirements were used. I propose that TroopTrack come up with a process to fix this. Specifically, I’d suggest something like this:

  1. Add two new fields into the Merit Badge itself that says the date when the merit badge requirements were active and one that says when these specific requirements are no longer valid. (Either retired or new version of requirements)
  • For example, say one of the merit badges updated on January 1st 2017. Then the first field for this version of that merit badge should have 2017-01-01 in it and the second field would be empty. If the last time the merit badge was updated was 2012, then the first field in that version should be 2012-01-01, but the last field would be 2017-01-01. Both fields should be shown whenever you look at the requirements for that badge.
  1. Then when displaying a list of the merit badges, you can show the dates in “()” to the next of the badge if there is a newer one available. If not, do not use the “()” notation at all.
  • For example, with the same example above, say the merit badge is Fishing. Then in the list of merit badges, you’d have two versions listed.

    • Fishing (2012-01-01 - 2017-01-01)
    • Fishing
  • Now, let’s say Fishing was updated this year on 2018-01-01. As soon as you add a new “Fishing” merit badge with the date set to “2018-01-01” the list should then look like this:

    • Fishing (2012-01-01 - 2017-01-01)
    • Fishing (2017-01-01 - 2018-01-01)
    • Fishing
  • This process could even work for future proposed changes. i.e. We know that X merit badge will change as of some future date. You could have the code only list merit badges active as of today or earlier. Then you could enter in the future date for the new Fishing merit badge with any different requirements in advance of when those merit badges are actually released. And then the system just automatically picks them up as soon as you hit the release date.

And beyond that, I think for at least these cards, the scout does not want to see when the merit badge requriements were active or not. They just want to know that they earned the “Fishing” merit badge. So, you would never print out the date fields here when creating the merit badge cards

Make sense?

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I have fixed the small merit badge issue, at least for the merit badge listed above. If you find others, let me know and I will fix them as well.

With issue #3, I really like your suggestion for fixing the problem. Unfortunately, I am not a developer, so I don’t have the ability to actually make the change in the code. In the meantime, I am planning on standardizing how we refer to outdated badges, so it is at least consistent across the board. I have passed your suggestion along to the developer.

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Thanks!! I appreciate the help!

Photography, Family Life and Bird Study MB images are also small in size when printing award cards.