Scoutbook for Tracking Advancement - Free on Jan 1
Here is a recent posting about Scoutbook
Starting January 1, 2019, Scoutbook subscriptions will be free to all BSA units! Scoutbook is an online unit management tool that ensures that you never miss a Scouting moment-from tracking advancements to milestone achievements along the Scouting adventure. When councils with Scoutbook accounts for their units need to renew these unit subscriptions this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees effective September 1, 2018. For units currently without a Scoutbook account, they can begin their free Scoutbook unit subscription on January 1, 2019. Learn more here.
Here is a reprint that was posted on this blog last February
Upcoming Change to Advancement TrackingSince 2006, Troops and Packs have posted their advancement information by way of the Scoutnet Internet Advancement website. That will change soon in 2018, when units will instead create an account with "Scoutbook Lite" and post advancement information into that site. Click here for an article in Scouting Magazine that gives more details.
The Scoutbook app was created in 2013 by Shawn Jackson, himself a unit leader. He got lots of good reviews on his Facebook page from early adapters, which encouraged him to keep adding new features. Meanwhile there were plenty of other software packages out there, most notably TroopMaster and PackMaster and Troopkit.
Everything changed in 2015, when BSA National acquired Scoutbook, and everything changed a second time just now, where all units will soon be using "Scoutbook Lite" instead of Internet Advancement. This is surely bad news for all those other packages. Most likely existing units will continue to use TroopMaster, etc., because they're used to it, but expect new units to start off with Scoutbook.
So how good is Scoutbook? Scouting Magazine called it "awesome." Click here to access a promotion video with Scout leaders praising its advancement tracking, which is not just "complete/not complete", but also tracks each advancement requirement separately. The snapshot above shows how one Scout is progressing with his Climbing merit badge. The promo video shows how a Den Leader can use his/her smartphone to log in and record belt loop requirements while they're still fresh in his/her mind. The promo video also shows kids accessing the site to see their own status and then responding by posting, "I just completed another requirement on my own. Here's proof."