Scouting Tech: Syncing Your ScoutBook and Google Calendars

There’s no denying the convenience of the ScoutBook calendar function, especially when it’s organized by Pack and Den events. It can be frustrating to hold your annual Pack Committee planning meeting, determine your upcoming Year in Scouting, load it all into ScoutBook, share the heck out of your calendar, and still have families out of the loop.

So, how do you fix this? You put your Pack calendar DIRECTLY onto their smartphones or any of the other devices they can’t live without.

Here’s how.

Open your ScoutBook calendar and click the red Subscribe link directly next to the calendar you want to share. A “Calendar Feed URL” box will open with an iCal URL hyperlink that you can click on and save to your computer. Normally it will put this file into your Downloads folder.

If you have a Google account for your unit, sign-in to Google using that account and search for “Google Calendar.”

Create a new calendar by clicking on the plus sign next to “Other Calendars”, “Create New Calendar.” Name and describe your calendar, choosing the right time zone, and click the blue “Create Calendar” button.

Click “General” in the left hand navigation pane, then “Import & export”. On the Import section, click on the “Select file from your computer” button and navigate to the iCal file you just downloaded (probably in your Downloads folder). Select your calendar from the “Add to Calendar” dropdown, and click “Import”. A window will appear telling you that a certain number of events were imported. All you need to do is click OK and your ScoutBook calendar is synced up with your Google calendar.

You can now share your calendar with the families in your unit by clicking on that calendar in the left hand navigation and scrolling down to “Public URL to this calendar” box. Simply copy and paste that into a Facebook post or ScoutBook email.

How To Subscribe To This Calendar

You can subscribe to this Google calendar two different ways; by adding the subscription to your existing Google calendar using the Public URL you created above, or by embedding your calendar into your unit website, which automatically creates a “Subscribe” link that can simply be clicked.

To subscribe using the Public URL, go to your Google calendar, and on the left hand side under “Other Calendars”, click the drop down arrow and select “Add by URL”. This is where you’ll paste the Public URL you created above. Click “Add Calendar” and watch as the ScoutBook calendar imports into your calendar.

You can embed your calendar into your website many different ways depending on the type of program you’ve decided to use. I’ve written an entire blog post about building a unit website using Google Sites, “Scouting Tech: Building Your Unit Website With Google Sites“. Once you’ve embedded your Google calendar, a “Subscribe” link becomes available right there on your website. Let families know that they can simply visit your website to subscribe to your Pack or Troop calendar.

Not Bad, Right?

I’m sure we’ve all been told that, in Scouting, being on time is being late. We live by a schedule and nothing is worse than feeling like you’re unprepared… we all know full and well that we’re supposed to Be Prepared, and having a functional calendar at your fingertips is just one small way to stay on track.

Have you synced your ScoutBook and Google calendars? Would you add anything to this post? Did this help you sync up?

Yours in Scouting,

Published by Look Wider Still

Rebekah is the mother of two wonderful sons, Michael and Nate. She and her husband, Mike, married in 2002 and have built their family on a foundation of adventure. Between geocaching, camping, hiking, cooking, fishing, crafting, reading, and snuggling their Irish Terrier, Bentley, they enjoy a long and happy career in Scouting. The boys come from a long line of Scouters, including Eagles on all sides. Mike has served as assistant den leader, treasurer, and Pack Committee member, and Rebekah has served as den leader and Cubmaster for Pack 521 out of Mechanicsville, Virginia.

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