Text Message should go to scout parents like email

I’ve put this in Ideas, but I really think it should go under bugs. It we have to cancel an activity due to weather, we want the scouts and their parent to be notified.

I also consider it awkward that I have to select one and only one mailing list for the text message, unlike an email.


This would definitely be considered an enhancement over a bug. We use an outside service called sms-easy for our text messages and don’t have a ton of flexibility on this. Something you may consider is creating a custom mailing list or just use the parents mailing list.


I don’t know how the sms-easy API works, but I don’t really see how that it
relevant since the work of figuring out what to send to the API has to be
in TT itself: look up the people on the mailing list, look up their
carrier, look up their phone, mangle as appropriate for the sms-easy API.

But there were two parts in my idea.

One is adding parents. But I can’t use the magic parent mailing list
because TT is broken with respect to deciding who’s a parent…I’ve already
written about that elsewhere. When my scouts age out, the magically become
parents if they have a sibling still in the troop. I can use my manual
"moms" and “dads” lists, but…

The second part is multiple mailing lists in the text message “to” form.
It’s not like the members of the mailing list all have the same carrier, so
under the hood you have to already be iterating over the mailing list
members. Being able to put multiple mailing lists in the “to” box would let
me manually include the parents. Right now, I have to send out 8 messages.
One for each of our six patrols, one for the dads, one for the moms.

Why not send it to the magic scouts list? That goes back to managing alumni
and friends which is discussed in yet another idea thread. To make it work
the way you describe, I have to eliminate everyone from my TT data that
isn’t currently a registered scout. And since it’s useful to keep them
there and not archived so I can invite them to special events (which,
like this year, lead to one boy rejoining the troop), that’s a no-go for me.

So multiple mailing lists in the “to” form would work for me.

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I agree that text messages should also be sent to parents of scouts, just like emails can be under TroopTrack’s settings, but my big concern is for youth protection purposes.

The main reason we enable the option to have all emails sent to parents is to make sure there is no one-on-one contact between a leader and a scout, which is prohibited under BSA Youth Protection guidelines (and I suspect the same applies for other youth programs supported by TroopTrack). That is just as dangerous as having a scout and an adult alone in person.

For this reason, we don’t use TroopTrack to send out text message notifications (even though we’d like to, since it would save us time)- instead we have to create a mass text using our personal phones to both scouts and parents, and that’s assuming that we even have all individual parents and scouts’ numbers in our device phone book. Very, very tedious.


I have created a formal enhancement request on this topic for the developers to consider. Thank you all for the feedback.


Agree, unless text messages can automatically be sent to parents when sent to scouts we can’t use the text feature do to youth protection concerns…

While I do like more and more to be within TT there are also outside Text based services like Remind that are opt in and logged so that takes care of the YPT concerns, and even for the current system if messages sent were archived within TT that could be an easy way to appease the YP concerns as well. I would actualy expand on this feature request and point out that more and more people are doing text more than e-mail so investigating more uses of text messaging would be welcomed. I realize that introduces many limitations on size and complexity of messages but we are definitly seeing that people are using e-mail far less than they text.

I just looked at the text message section again and you really could set up a Custom mailing list to aceive what you are looking for. Yes it would take a bit of work and maintenance to keep the list updated but it is possible to create one custom list with everyone you want so you can just do one text message.

I honestly never really considered this aspect of the communication. I guess so far we have just been using TT for broad communication so this hasn’t been an issue and I think we have the setting to copy parents disabled because the thinking was they get the messages anyway so why copy them, but it does raise a question about how that fits into YP.

I agree with much of the above, but especially with more communication options via text. Our parents are wanting reminders about events in TroopTrack. I know someone mentioned the Remind App above, but to be honest all of the data, invitees, details of the events, are in TroopTrack. It would be great to be able to select events that send blanket reminders to the parents of key messages related to an event (i.e.- this is a reminder about the troop meeting tonight at ABC Center at 5:00 pm). without having to enter or create another to do for someone. If I am missing the options please let me know. Thanks!

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I would love to see the text messages work similar to the emails: copy the parents when the scout gets a text. In my case, we are a Cub Scout pack, so we don’t have any cell phone numbers for our scouts, but this modification would help den leaders communicate with the parents in their den. Or it could help the Cubmaster send a text to just one den. In the interim, I will manually create and manage parent groups per den, but this could easily become a huge mess if not properly maintained over time (like a parent inadvertently not added to the group), so it would be better to automate this.

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