It’s finally happened. Those adorable Tigers (or Lions) of yesterday have completed the Cub Scout program and are bursting out of the nest, soaring toward their next big adventure. We usher them out in ceremony and are sometimes so distracted by the to-do lists and the emotions that we forget to wrap up the digital loose ends. The last thing we can do as leaders to ensure their success at the Troop level is to take great care with their records and deliver them safely and soundly into their new Unit’s ScoutBook account.
There are a few things you’ll need to think about and know before you start clicking away their membership and enjoy your retirement.
Complete Their Cub Scout Records
It’s extremely difficult to back-peddle and update their Cub level records after they’ve been transferred to a Troop, so it’s extremely important that you double-check all advancement and awards for their AOL year before making the switch. Ideally, this would have been completed before their bridging (physical or virtual) so the Pack could purchase and present any final pins or awards before the Scouts move on.
After you’ve updated their records, make sure you’ve approved everything by opening your Den and navigating to Den Reports > Needs Approval Report, and approving any records you missed. This puts those pins and awards on the existing purchasing order. You can navigate to Den Reports > Needs Purchasing Report to screen capture the outgoing AOL items on the list. (Am I the only out here loving the Microsoft Snipping Tool for this?)
Note: It was suggested to me by the ScoutBook User Advisory Council that I just close out and print the official Purchase Order, but the Pack is still working on advancement for the month. Make sure you reach out to your Advancement Chairperson before you make any changes in ScoutBook that might create confusion on a future order.
Run the Cub Scout History Reports
ScoutBook provides a Cub Scout History Report, which provides completion dates for required and elective adventures, service hours, hiking miles, camping nights, special awards, and more. You can pull individual reports by navigating to your Scout’s page > Reports > Cub Scout History Report. You can also pull this report for all of the Scouts in your den at one time by navigating to your Den Page > Reports > Cub Scout History Report. Both reports allow you to save as either Portrait or Landscape PDFs.
These reports are what I call “mission critical” for special projects, like wrapping Arrow of Light Ceremonial Arrows with their individual achievement strips. They’re also a great keepsake for your Scouts. I print copies for each Scout and include them with their arrows when they bridge.
Transferring Scouts to New Troop Units
If your outgoing AOL is transferring into a Troop WITHOUT ScoutBook, there isn’t much for you to do. You would navigate to that Scout > Membership > Current Membership and enter a date in the “Date Ended” field, un-check “Position Approved” and click Update. This will take you to that Scout’s membership page again and will show that most recent membership change under the “Past Membership” header. Since you aren’t adding them to a Troop, simply click out of this window and that Scout is no longer listed as a member of your Pack. If you’re moving with your own Scout into the Troop and are looking for a way to contribute to their overall success – offer to be their ScoutBook Administrator! Set them up with the program, transfer your Scouts in using the techniques below, and they’ll thank you later.
If your outgoing AOL is transferring into a Troop WITH ScoutBook, there are a few ways of moving them out of the Pack.
- One way is to simply allow the Youth Application to process. Each Scout will need to fill-out a new application when transferring into a Troop, which will be processed by the Council and, using their BSA Number, will drop them into their new unit automatically.
- You can manually move each Scout to a new Troop by navigating to that Scout Scout Membership > Current Membership and enter a date in the “Date Ended” field, un-check “Position Approved” and click Update. You will return to that Scout’s membership page, where you’ll see the red “+ Add” button in the top left. You’ll click that, double-check the Council, choose “Troop” from the Unit Type drop-down and enter the Unit Number in the field. A new “BSA Unit Description” drop-down populates; choose the appropriate unit from the list. Next, if you know the patrol your outgoing Scout will join, choose it from the “Patrol” drop-down. Enter today’s date, any notes you’d like to add, and click the red “Update” button to complete the transfer.
- Finally, you can reach out to the Troop to determine who their ScoutBook Administrator is. Search for and add that person as a Connection for each Scout with Full Control permissions. They can then review their Connections and make the transfer above on their own.
Of these three options, I prefer the second. It’s time-consuming but it’s faster than waiting on the application to process and, unless they prefer option three, easier for the Troop Administrators.
They’re Transferred in ScoutBook, But Still Need to Submit a New Youth Application
ScoutBook is a record-keeping program, but not the end-all-be-all in official Scouts BSA membership. The Troop will have these Scouts complete brand new Youth Applications to transfer their membership officially, but it’s a great help to have them moved over in ScoutBook as soon as possible.
They’re Ready to Scout On!
At the time of this post, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 lock down, with all springtime traditions canceled or postponed for sometime in the future. Many Packs have “virtually bridged” their AOL’s, or are waiting to officially bridge them in full ceremony this summer or fall. Those Scouts shouldn’t have to wait to start working on Troop-level advancement now, as expected. Most Troops are offering virtual Patrol Meetings via platforms like Zoom and Skype, and many are using virtual tools to help those new Scouts earn their Scout Rank. See my recent post entitled Pack-to-Troop Transitions: Preparing AOLs (and their PL’s) for Scout Rank for ways to help make this particular transition as easy and engaging as possible until regular meetings are scheduled. Transferring them to their new units in ScoutBook will help those Scouts advance and their new youth leadership team keep track of that advancement right away.
I hope this helps you feel more confident about navigating this big change! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found a more efficient way of transferring Scouts, if this helped you with your transfers, or if I left anything out. Don’t forget to give this post a like and/or share!
Yours in Scouting,