unit-tools

Your life just got easier, thanks to these new online unit and district tools

Updating your personal info in the BSA’s database shouldn’t take an act of congress.

Fortunately, a just-launched suite of unit and district tools has the power to change your address, phone number, e-mail, or more—with just a click.

In the past, Scouters or parents who needed to make changes had to call their council. Now they can do all of it through the Unit and District Tools page on MyScouting (changes to your name and date of birth still go through your council, for Youth Protection reasons).

I suggest you log in soon and make sure the BSA has your most up-to-date contact info. Does someone in your unit lack reliable computer access? Have them call one of their unit’s Key 3 (unit leader, the chartered organization representative, or the unit committee chairman) to change it for them.

And simplified contact info is just the beginning. Phase 1 also offers an announcements page, a calendar, and a roster manager. You can learn about all the new tools and how to use them in the tutorial below. Or just log in and explore. I found it very intuitive.

I also want to draw your attention to the design of the new Unit and District Tools site. It’s clean and simple, with large icons and no frills. That’s a conscious, forward-thinking move by Debra Kendrew, Brianne Dondlinger, and other members of the project team.

“It’s designed simply for a reason,” Debra says. “It’s optimized for use on all mobile devices.”

Future phases will only make these tools better. Debra and Brianne gave me a sneak peek of these changes coming soon: 

  • One member number for life, even if you switch programs
  • An easy way to track and update Scout rank advancement electronically
  • An ability to add your preferred name or a second last name
  • A spot to list your education and employment history, a useful way for unit leaders to see who’s qualified to teach a merit badge, for example
  • The ability to update your leader training information (right now that’s done through the e-learning portal)
  • Full mobile functionality for managing your unit on the go

Phase 1 tutorial

 

11 thoughts on “Your life just got easier, thanks to these new online unit and district tools

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this since the first time I used My Scouting. The hitch? the new one won’t let me in. Keeps saying I’m entering the wrong username or password (despite having logged into myscouting.org with them). I’m using the correct browsers they list. When I filed a “help” ticket, they resent my myscouting.org password. Did it work on the new site? Of course not. So, while I would love to use this new tool for my unit (I’m Cubmaster), I can’t.

    • Steven – We checked and you do have several MyScouting logins and all appear to be working. A couple of items: first make sure you use the account that has your Cubmaster member id loaded as primary and second if you have a # or * in your password then I suggest you reset your password. We have run into issues with these special characters for some accounts. We are chaning the login requirements to request people with these charachers in their password to remove them. If you do reset your password then allow up to 30 minutes for the two systems to sync. If you still have difficulties – please email myscouitng@scouting.org and we reserach your issue further. Thank You.

  2. This is a great step in the right direction for the BSA. As a unit leader, I can see how this will save me a lot of hassle developing my own spreadsheets, etc. Kudos to the team who built this.

    One suggestion for the next release: Allow the layout to scale or scroll for monitors/windows smaller than 1280px wide. Only by zooming my browser was I able to reach the controls buttons on the left side of the screen.

    I can’t wait to see the coming releases of this tool.

  3. I really like where this is headed, but candidly – the Key3 limitation is a killer. I’m an ADC, but it doesn’t appear that I can’t see/do anything, though my DC (who doesnt live in his computer) presumably can.

  4. I have a reliable, OLD computer with IE8 on board. IE9 will not fit. The geniuses who are in charge should have taken into consideration that not everyone is capable of having IE9 on their computer.

  5. Re: the calendar, if there were a shareable URL, or iCal, or even a .csv file that could be imported in to another app, then I believe that would be most useful to users. The lack of ability to share this calendar causes me to be hesitant to use it at the unit level. That’s a shame, really, because it’s probably forced on council’s and districts to work within that construct.

    • I agree, without the ability to share it with other tools, it’s almost useless.

      I know many packs, troops, and even districts that already have a good calendar system. They might be willing to import from this, but not willing to replace what they have.

  6. Pingback: Today’s Links November 12, 2012 | New York OA Trader

  7. Pingback: Online Unit and District Tool « Palisades District Blog

  8. This is a nice step, and I like the additional items that you have planned.

    I also think you must provide the ability to sync the calendar to other systems via iCal. My Pack is using a system that does that and many members use it. My Troop is using Google Calendar with the various options that it provides for syncing.

    The Key 3 limitation is a problem. In both my Pack and Troop our Internet presence is managed by somebody who is not a Key 3 person. In addition on the Troop side it prevents the boy who holds the position of Webmaster from participating. You need to give the Key 3 the ability to delegate to others.

    • Thanks for your comments Brian. You will notice in an upcoming future release we are adding the ability for the Key 3 to delegate authority for administration to an additional 3 registered adults in their BSA structure (unit or district).

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