Re: National's Computer Program
Don Fairchild (dmf@AMLIBS.COM)
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 18:51:16 -0600
In my relatively short experience (compared to others), I did not know that
National had any kind of a database that tracked individual scouts, except
for those who had achieved the Eagle rank.
I know that our council does not have a database that contains the rank of
a scout. If we want to review the records of our troop, we are taken to a
room and given a folder containing the paper records for the past several
years that we fill out to report merit badges earned and rank advancements
for our troop. I asked the council staff if they enter the data from this
forms into some type of database. They said they don't do this and that
they don't send this information on to National. I am assuming that if our
council does not have the capability of capturing this information, then
there is not a nationwide database managed by National. I would imagine,
however, that many of the local councils *do* have databases that capture
this kind of information.
The impression I get is that Rich Locke accurately portrayed the current
situation in his reply message to the list when he said:
> National Program? Connected to BSA HQ? I don't think so. Too much
> credit given.
%< Snip %<
> the system was a UNIX based accounting and point of sale system based
> originally (this is my opinion and best guess) on "Real World" (TM)
> (or similar) accounting package. The focus of the software was
> certainly not advancement or even registration.
Our council staff said that the only information they had on-line was the
information required for rechartering. This would include names and
address for boys and leaders of the units, birth dates, etc. The other
information would be the retail point-of-sale data that is used for
Our council staff also indicated that when they receive requests from other
councils regarding boys who have transferred, they have to manually look up
the information in the paper files that I mentioned earlier. It takes them
a lot of time to go through the records and they have indicated that they
would really like having some sort of database they could go to in order to
provide this type of historical information.
I really believe that the key to keeping these records straight is the
combined efforts of the scout, parents, and unit leaders. Whenever
questions arise, they can all be cleared up with the original documentation
that should be kept up in the Scout Handbook along with the scout's copy of
the merit badge cards.
Perhaps National will come up with a nationwide database at some point in
time. I don't believe they have one now. This would eliminate some of the
headache of transferring scouting records in our increasingly mobile
society. Monitoring advancement is a *local* issue. National does not
have the resources to police things from there. We need to do this in our
Just my .02 dollars worth.
Troop 491 - Utah National Parks Council
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