The

Commissioner

a publication for commissioners and professionals

Spring 2021

NatlCommServTeam_4k

Rick Hillenbrand
Technology Chair rick_hillenbrand@alum.mit.edu

Keeping Up With BSA’s Technology Changes

If you feel that it’s impossible to keep up with all the technology changes BSA is constantly making, you are not alone. In addition to the constant improvements, computer applications also inadvertently provide a never-ending supply of new bugs. Sometimes, just as one gets fixed, something else happens that creates a new bug with the exact same behavior. Years ago, I was told by a BSA IT professional — whom I regarded as the most knowledgeable person on BSA’s software — that due to the constant changes, even she felt she knew only about 80% of the information. This might provide the rest of us neophytes some solace.

So, what is a conscientious commissioner to do if they want to keep up with BSA’s technology, knowing that they may never become more than 80% knowledgeable? I have two recommendations: 1) practice makes perfect and 2) stay informed. The more you use BSA’s technology, the more proficient you will become. You might even be among the first to detect and report the occurrence of a new bug! The two best ways for commissioners to stay informed about BSA’s technology are to read the periodic Commissioner Technology Focus Group (CTFG) Status Report and to regularly visit the Scouting Forums.


All council commissioners and known Commissioner Tools champions are sent the CTFG Status Reports when issued, and hopefully the report is then shared widely with the commissioners they serve. However, if you are not receiving the CTFG Status Reports, you can find the most recent issues posted online at https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/tools/ under the heading “Updates to Technology of Interest to Commissioners.” The latest report includes a list of some BSA technology changes planned for the immediate future.

The Scouting Forums can be found at https://discussions.scouting.org/. In addition to program-specific groups such as Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA, etc., there is a section for BSA Announcements and technology-focused groups for My Scouting tools and Scoutbook. Additionally, the group BSA Commissioners is dedicated for discussing unit service. All commissioners are welcome to join this group.

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