Re: ScoutNet 2000
Todd Tingblad (ttingbld@PRESSENTER.COM)
Sun, 21 Dec 1997 03:33:01 -0600
>Do we have anyone on the list that can answer questions about National's
>Scoutnet 2000? Or does anyone know who to call to get answers?
>Just need to confirm that what I am doing for our council will work
>right in with the new intranet. And how is the timeline working out.
Hello Tim and Scouts-L:
Back in June of 1997, I received the official document on the ScoutNet
2000. Basically, ScoutNet 2000 is a total rewrite of the old and outdated
Council Opperation Software that for most councils is running of very old
TI Business Systems Unix boxes.
ScoutNet 2000 is designed to fix all the problems the current system has.
Back when the current system was designed, most scouters did only one job
(National's view) and a boy in Scouting would stay in the one program. The
need to see a Scout's history was not needed as families did not move all
over the place like today.
ScoutNet 2000 fixes all these assumptions that the software designers made
about Scouting and America. Things have changed a lot since the
assumptions sesm to make...like it was still 1946.
Anyway. ScoutNet 2000 is Scouting's program to make a correct system that
anyone, from Scout to Adult Leader to National Professional all live in the
computer the same way. So with ScoutNet 2000, a boy joining in Tiger Cubs
will have a complete electronic history all the way through the youth
programs and on into the Adult Leadership programs.
Timelines are to get this big administrative chance complete by 1999
(before the year 2000). This is to give them a 12 month period to fix any
problems that come up. The system will work as follows:
1. A BSA only Nationwide ISDN network will connect all councils together
like the current leased lines do today.
2. All BSA program are access through a Web Browser.
3. We all will have only ONE registration number. I currently have three.
Many others on Scouts-L have more. Plus all the positions we have that
are currently not noted as registrated positions, will also be noted. You
will no longer just be noted as a member of the District Committee, but be
noted as the Activities Committee Chair for the District Committee. A Boy
Scout in Explorers and a Boy Scout Troop will be noted in the system as one
person. Currently, they are viewed as two people. Currently, when a
Webelos graduated into Boy Scouts, he is dropped from Cub Scouts (a loss)
and added as a totally new member in the Boy Scouts. So that boy really is
not a loss, or a gain, but a continuing member.
4. This is very important. The ScoutNet network national is creating is a
private network. We as members will NOT have access to the information
about the youth in our unit on-line. ScoutNet 2000 is ONLY for council use
As the ScoutNet 2000 continues down the road, electronic rechartering may
be possible. Also, access to our unit's information. The Intranet the
council offices build may provide that later.
This change is going to also be very painful to council staff and the
units. A lot of operational changes will be taking place. The council
staffs will need a lot of training and time to get up to speed. Until all
this happens, some services may not be possible that the current old
software provides. Why? Staff needs to learn the new software. For may
councils, this change will come with a total change in their computer
usage. In some councils, people who "never" used the old software or a
computer will need use a computer. This may lead to a number of support
staff leaving and some professionals too (unwilling to change).
There is another problem...money. Councils are required to make this
change. Unlike the change from the old TI Systems to the HP systems,
councils had some options because the programs really did not change.
There are a number of councils that are cash short to upgrade to this new
level of technology. Additional council mergers may happen or council
properties may get sold (camps and Service Centers) to get capital to make
the change. National is working to make sure the change to this software
When will se start seeing the change? If you have not visited your local
council or seen calls for computer/technology help in council news letters,
you may not even know that this is all happening. In my council,
Indianhead, the change has been taking place over the past 12 months (we
had a hand in helping design the new software). New have new computers
(Pentiums with Windows 95 and Microsoft Office 97...another National BSA
Standard of ScoutNet 2000), a new 10BaseT network, E-mail (council office
only, very some to be fully Internet accessable), new file servers running
Windows NT, and additional staffing through changes in responsiblities.
Does this mean that all councils and national will be accessible through
the Internet...yes and no...check with you council...e-mail to national
will only be a council-level function (National has had e-mail for years).
That should help some. It really seems like BSA maybe making it to a
"state of the art" information system, but its going to take until 2002 (my
guess) to get it working completely. This project seems almost too big to
an organization like BSA to get it all working as they have designed. If
it does happen, it will really help BSA a lot. Council staff is using to
much time to total information that is in the current software databases,
but can't get at it because ther tools are so bad and hard to use.
If you are asked to help...help your local council make the change a
smoothly as possible. This can only help all of use in bringing Scouting
to our youth.
Unit Commissioner, LaCroix District
Webmaster, Indianhead Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City