scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: When is an Eagle rank official?
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Wed Aug 23 2000 - 11:53:59 CDT
>But now to the point: I wonder whether any of our computer programmer list
>members have considered or written a simple program that, with the input of
>the dates the candidate gives in his application, a click would identify
>errors in the calculation of his eligibility. I know some of the troop
>recordkeeping programs automatically do this while on the scouting trail,
>but many troops and councils still review these applications manually.
I'm not a programmer, but I have some experience in what you are talking
First, troops that use computer record-keeping software should be able to
escape these problems. And, as I understand it, Troopmaster software is
fully compatible with Scoutnet2K, so those troops can just send a diskette
to their service center, instead of written advancement reports.
Now, here are where problems occur:
1) scouters make an error when completing a written advancement report;
2) scouters fail to send in a written advancement report;
3) council office misfiles or misplaces an advancement report.
These are the biggest things that slow up an Eagle application. Our troop
has had personal experience with the latter, when our office misplaced a
full year of advancement reports and we had to regenerate them. I don't
know how common that is.
Now, understand that BSA, in general, appears to be slow in adopting
technology that is available. It should be relatively easy, for example, to
create secure servers and allow on-line file-transfers of advancement and
other information. However, this is a problem given that many council
offices do not even have/allow external email capabilities, or do not use
Some councils, and I think this is best policy, review advancement when it
is sent in. For example, I had a scout how had completed in Tenderfoot
while I was living in Denver. Through an error on my part, I had failed to
send in his application. The service center there called me and said that I
had a rank advancement for an unregistered youth. That was quickly
In my present council, nothing is reviewed until the Eagle application. As
I understand it, advancement is supposed to be entered into scoutnet when it
comes to the office. I don't know if that program has "alarms" on it when
advancement is entered to early, or something like that. It would be nice
and helpful if it did and could catch clerical errors that drag out the
Eagle process in many cases.
Jason A. Cruse
Dept. of Political Science
University of Missouri-Columbia