Do your chartering in ScoutSoft early! At least a week before your BSA assigned Charter turn in date if possible! This will give you time to correct problems, get adult or youth applications and collect Boys' Life subscriptions. The ScoutSoft Chartering screens provides user helps and checks each major Charter area for compliance with basic requirements. Any unusual requirements will have to be handled directly with your BSA Council's registration office. If for some reason your charter files will not upload then you can use the ScoutSoft charter reports to manually enter in your charter information on the BSA Chartering website. You should allow at least a minimum of 3 days between preparing your charters, obtaining all youth and adult applications and Boys' Life fees and the day you upload the charter files. You should upload your charters at least by the day before your charter turn in. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY YOU TURN IN YOUR CHARTER FILES! A good rule is to run and upload your charters by the Sunday night of the week you charter if not chartering on the next Monday. Also, as most leaders will be uploading charters in the evening you will usually find the BSA internet response time faster if you upload your charters during the day.
1. Update all of your sponsored BSA Unit committees in Update/Assign Adult Committees.
2. Update all of your scouts member records to include all boys to be registered and print a telephone roster for each BSA unit in Reports-Rosters.
Helpful Hint - If your council provided you with a print out of each units chartered youth and adult leaders then to help with the BSA Charter upload name matching process edit all member's names in ScoutSoft to agree to their respective names shown on the roster. This will reduce the time to manually match members that are not automatically matched by the BSA Charter program. You can also download your Unit roster from the BSA Internet Advancement webpage.
3. Contact each family regarding their Boys' Life subscriptions and get checks. Give the parents a cut off date like the Sunday before your charter date to deliver the check, otherwise you will mark the boy as not taking Boys' Life. Usually the youngest scout in the family is shown as the Boys' Life subscriber so start calling parents of Cub Scouts first.
4. Obtain new registration forms for new adult leaders and new scouts not shown on your council's unit charter report if they provided you with a current charter print out. Remember the Social Security number (and it is recommended to always get their drivers license number for tour permit information) must be included on all new adult applications being turned in with the Charter. Check with your Council to see if they require a new application for youth that are automatically promoted to the next BSA unit as part of the Charter process.
ScoutSoft Re-Chartering Unit Window:
5. Accessing Charter Programs - Click on Maintenance/Re-Charter Units and enter in your privacy lock password to unlock security. Begin chartering with the youngest BSA Unit (Usually the Cub Pack). If you have already run a charter you will be asked if you are starting a new charter year file or if you want to start completely over again. The first time you start your next year's charter or if you want to start over on the current charter you are already working on then you would the select to Clear Prior Year Charter file, otherwise check the Load Information from Prior Recharter to maintain the current year charter information you have already updated. New users entering their charter for the first time will be taken immediately to the Charter screen.
Important Warning! - ScoutSoft has autosorting of rosters being performed when you access the member and the adult leader roster screens. ALWAYS check the youth and leadership rosters for completeness including checking for individuals you added manually to verify your prior entries are still present. If your council provided you with a print out of each units chartered youth and adult leaders then to help with the BSA Chartering's upload name matching process edit all member's names in ScoutSoft to agree to their respective names shown on the BSA Unit roster. This will reduce the time to manually match members that are not automatically matched by the BSA Charter program. You can also download your Unit roster from the BSA Internet Advancement webpage.
6. Creating Unit Charter Process - ScoutSoft will walk you through the chartering process starting from updating the Unit's information to the printing of the draft copy of the Unit's Charter report and creation of the transmittal file. Follow the chartering page sequence and complete or correct any items. If you have leaders serving on several committees it is easier to remember which adults you have already marked as paying their registration fees if you pay their registration fees beginning with the first charter the leader appears on. Once you have completed the information for each screen click on the Check/Save button and correct any problems. If you have to leave the Charter program to correct members records you will repeat each step until you get back to the place you were originally at. Each of the Charter screens has an Instruction window and a Clear Exceptions window to help you through the chartering process.
7. Charter Sponsor Information - Complete all the Sponsor information. The telephone number and mailing address for LDS sponsor's is usually the Bishop's home address and phone number. When complete click on the Check/Save button and clear any problems shown. The current charter expiration date must be filled in (example: 12/31/07 for December 31, 2007) and the next year's charter expiration date must be filled in (example: 12/31/08 for December 31, 2008).
8. BSA Unit & Meeting Place Information - Complete all of the Unit information. The telephone number and address are those of the actual meetingplace location like a church, school or community center. For LDS sponsored units the meetingplace for all units usually is the meetinghouse address. For sponsors, such as LDS Church units, that use the 'same' location for all of their BSA sponsored units you can click on the 'Copy Meeting Place Information from other unit' button to copy the meetingplace info from another unit and then change the applicable information related to the current unit as needed. For Cub Packs the Meeting Place is usually for where you hold your monthly Pack meeting - not your weekly Den meetings. Completed the Leader Trained, Quality Unit and Boys' Life boxes. When done click on the Check/Save button and clear any problems shown.
9. Verify Youth Roster Members - ScoutSoft will attempt to add members based upon the unit age ranges defined in Sponsor Settings, the member's lock status in the BSA section of the member's Personal tab and the current year and next year unit's expiration dates.
To manually add a youth click on the Add Youth button and then click on the new Select Youth button to find the youth.
To edit a youth's information click on the Edit Youth button. You will be returned to the charter screen when you complete the editing of the youth's information.
To remove a youth click on the Remove Youth button.
Registration fee box - Usually for youth they are always paying the registration fee with the unit. Contact your District Executive if you have a youth with a different situation.
Check the Paying Boys' Life subscription with unit box if the youth is ordering Boys' Life through this unit.
When done click on the Check/Save button and clear any problems shown.
Warning - Check your youth roster for all expected members EACH time to access the screen! Re-add members that may have been dropped due to any changes you made in the boy's records.
10. Adult Committee Members - You do NOT need to have a leader for every position available. Check with your District's chartering representative as to minimum leader requirements and what documentation you need to have to charter your unit. ScoutSoft leadership tests are based upon the BSA National minimum requirements. Your Council may have other leader requirements which you will have to make sure your adult leadership complies with.
Warning - Check your leadership roster for all expected leaders EACH time to access the screen! Re-add leaders that may have been dropped due to any changes you made in the leader's records.
11. Shared Adult Leaders - If your sponsoring organization shares unit leaders with another sponsoring organization you must check with your Council or District charter representative as to what forms or information you must provide with your unit's charter. You should first set up the leaders for your sponsoring organization and then click on the Check/Save button and see what other leaders you still 'need' to charter your unit under the BSA National office minimum leader requirements. If you need to fill a leader position in order to charter your unit you must have all of the shared leader(s) information (including Social Security number) in your unit's ScoutSoft records. You would usually mark the leader as M-multiple leader if the leader is NOT paying their registration with your unit. You may have to have a copy of the leader's registration to turn in with your sponsor's charter or get a separate registration form for shared leaders for your charter. You need to find out exactly what your Council requires PRIOR to Charter night and you should alert your Council or District representative on Charter night as to the sponsor and unit # that the multiple leader is paying their registration fees with so they can verify payment. Usually your Council registration office needs a separate registration (or copy of the shared leaders original registration) with Social Security number, unit number and your sponsoring organization's leaders signature included on the original form or on the copy of the leaders other units registration. For continuing shared leaders previously registered in a prior year many Councils only require that you inform them of the unit # in which the shared leader is paying their registration so they can check that the registration was paid by the other unit.
Once you have added or corrected all members information click on the Check/Save Button to view any problems related to the members records. Correct any problems and return to this screen and repeat the Check/Save process. If a member has no telephone then enter in 999-999-9999.
12. Verify Adult Committee Members - The left column displays all of the BSA Unit committee positions currently set up for the unit. If you need more committee postions go to the Settings-Sponsor Setting menu to set up the positions. To edit a leader click on the circle button next to the Select Name button. You can click on the Add Leader button to add another leader for the same position type or the Edit Leader button to edit the current leader shown by the button you selected or the Remove Leader button to delete an existing leader. Check the Paying Boys' Life subscription with unit box if the leader is ordering Boys' Life. Registration fee box - Select the P-Paying registration with unit for the first time the adult leader is registered. In all other subsequent unit committee rosters which the leader is part of select M - Multiple Member for that leader. If a leader is registering with two or more separate sponsoring organization they must be included on each unit's charter but they only pay with one of the units. Once you have added or corrected all leaders information click on the Check/Save Button to view any problems related to the leaders records. Correct any problems and return to this screen and repeat the Check/Save process. If a leader has no telephone then enter in 999-999-9999. You should report to your District Chartering officers on the night of your charter review if you have any youth or any adults who are not paying with any of the units of your Sponsoring Organization.
13. Committee Positions - Read the Instructions screen to determine what committee positions must have leaders assigned in order to register the unit. MC means Committee Member. You may see similar leadership positions listed for the same type of Position code. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A LEADER ASSIGNED TO EVERY POSITION SHOWN! Select the leadership position name that is common for your Sponsoring Organization. The IH-Executive officer is shown on all committees and is always marked M-Paid with another Unit as no registration fee is assessed for the Executive Officer. In general, all units have an IH-Executive Officer, CC-Committee Chairman, CR-Coordinator, CM-Cubmaster or SM-Scoutmaster, etc. and 2 other MC - Committee members. See your District Executive if you have special situations regarding number of youth or adults. In a few cases you may not be able to use ScoutSoft to create a charter file such as not having enough youth members or enough adult leaders. Contact your District Executive for guidance in those situations.
14. Re-Chartering Fees and Boys' Life Information - Check again all chartering fees and click on the Check/Save button.
15. Charter & Boys' Life Fees - Open up the RE-Chartering Program in Maintenance/Re-chartering Unit (the Privacy Password is required). First, check the Charter fees to make sure they are set up correctly for the current year.
Click on OK to accept the fees.
16. Transmittal File Location - Select the location on your computer where you want to save the Charter files to. (Warning - Due to a bug in the BSA chartering program you cannot save the unit charter files to the default ScoutSoft directory which usually is C:\Program Files\ScoutSoft V4.0\Exports as the BSA Chartering program CANNOT import charter files from a directory name that has a 'period' in the directory path name.) Save it to My Downloads or to the C:\ root directory or to an external drive directory that does NOT have 'period' in the directory name. If you are not going to use this computer to upload the charter transmittal file(s) then you must save the charter files to a floppy disk or a jump drive or other portable drive to take to the computer you will upload your charter files to the BSA charter webpage.
17. Preview Re-Charter Report - Review the Unit's Charter report for any problems prior to creating the transmittal file and printing the Charter report. Print the Preview report. If you find problems you must click on the Cancel button and correct the problems and then come back into the Re-charter program. Remember everytime you access the Charter program you MUST review the youth members and adult leaders to ensure all are still present on the charter as expected!
Suggestion - To make determining the payment status of adult leaders easier we recommend that you exit the current unit charter processing at this point and commence the next Unit's charter using the previous unit(s) charter printed preview report(s) to determine the paying or not status of duplicate leaders in your other rosters. Then once all charters are set up and paying fee status appears correct so that NO leader is paying the registration fee twice for your Sponsoring Organization then sign back onto each Unit's charter program and process the charters completely through. Remember you MUST re-check the unit's charter Youth and Adult roster screens prior to the Preview report to ensure no manually added youth or leaders were dropped due to auto sorting.
18. Print Re-Charter Report and Generate ScoutNet Transmittal File - Clicking on this button will print out the Re-Charter report and save the Charter file to the drive you selected. However, since at this point ScoutSoft has indicated that your Charter is complete you may consider clicking on the Cancel button and completing all of your other unit's charters to make sure there are no problems that may affect this Charter. Then once all charters appear proper return to each unit's charter and quickly click through each screen's Check/Save button and print the Re-Charter Report and Generate the ScoutNET re-charter file. Save all the Charter Transmittal files for each BSA unit in the same directory or on same floppy disk drive. The ScoutSoft printed Charter report is for your reference. You will print an official Charter reports for executive officers signature from the BSA Internet Chartering program.
19. Process Next Unit - Repeat steps 7 to 18 for each BSA unit you are chartering. Be mindful of those adult leaders that have already been marked as paying with another unit.
20. Checking Multiple Leaders Fees - Prior to uploading your charters you must make sure every leader (except Executive officer if not serving in another unit position) is paying a registration fee in at least one of the units. Layout the charter printouts together and check off the paid and multiple status of each leader. Remember the Executive Officer is ALWAYs marked as N - Non-paying. But if the executive officer is also included in another unit leadership position then he must pay the registration fee unless he is already paying in another unit. Remember Adult leaders only pay registration once. The executive officer does not pay any fees unless he is also listed as serving in another paying leadership position for which he would marked as paying for that extra position subject to the same multiple leader criteria. The best procedure is to mark all leaders (not executive officer) as paying at least once in the first roster. Process the unit's roster up to the Print Preview step. Print the report and then go onto the next unit's charter and compare the leaders to the other already printed rosters to see if leader is paying registration with the previously processed units rosters. If you do have leaders appearing on several unit committees then your 'paying' leaders should decrease on each roster until the last roster which could have very few paying committee members.
1. BSA Chartering - On your assigned charter date sign onto the BSA Internet Charter program and start with the Cub Pack. Click on the Load Unit Management Software button to upload your unit's charter and bypass all of the manual input of members and leaders. BSA charter transmittal files are named beginning with CHT for Charter file then the Unit type of C-Cubs, S-Scout Troop, V-Varsity Team, X-Venturing Crew and then the unit number. For example, CHTS3217.csv is charter file for Scout Troop #3217.
2. Print the draft of the unit charter report and make any corrections and then proceed to final charter report.
3. Print the final BSA official unit charter report for Executive Officer signature and take the signed BSA Charter Report, new adult applications, new scout applications, Quality Unit Report and all other reports requested by your Council to your Charter night. MAKE SURE YOUR EXECUTIVE OFFICER SIGNS THE OFFICIAL CHARTER REPORT and not the draft report that is printed first for your review.
4. Repeat the BSA charter process for each unit beginning at step 18 above.
1. Directory Path Error - Directory Path cannot have a Period in the Directory's Name.
Due to a bug in the BSA Internet Chartering Web programs they cannot upload a file from a directory that has a period in the name. Do not use your default ScoutSoft directory of C:\PROGRAM FILES\SCOUTSOFT V4.0\EXPORTS. save your charter files to an external drive or to the C:\ root directory or to C:\MY Downloads, etc.
2. NO COMMAS ALLOWED!
No commas may be entered in any of your Unit Information names, addresses, phones, etc and in your Scoutsoft member's preferred name, legal name, address, phone, zip code, medical information. NO COMMAS CAN BE ENTERED ANYWHERE! Watch out for a comma being entered in the street address line in front of an apt # and at the end of a person's name where there is II or III being used.
The BSA charter transmittal file's field delimiter is a comma so if a comma is entered any field it will be intrepreted as an additional field and the file will be rejected due to invalid number of data fields. Also, do not use multiple generations numbers in the name such as Bob Jones II. Edit those names with different name for each member. If you do not remove the II the person will not match the BSA's member's name on the BSA's database. If your file is reject check each member's name, address and phone for commas and check for duplicate names.
3. NO Multiple Member Names, No Commas in Name!
You must resolve any multiple member names generated either manually by you or when importing from your sponsoring organization. You must either delete the multiple member or change their name. Multiple members are indicated by either an * after the name or a (#) after the name where the number indicates the number of multiple members with the same name. As mentioned above no commas are allowed in the member's name. See #4 below for instructions on how to keep your ScoutSoft member names from being changed when updating membership from your sponsor's database.
4. Duplicate Street Addresses
Sometimes when importing members in ScoutSoft the first street address in the import file may not be intrepreted as being the same so ScoutSoft adds the street address on the 2nd street address line. You can automatically clear the 2nd duplicate street address in all members records by going to the Maintenance Menu and click on the Enter Override Code program and enter Clear Dup Add and press the OK button and all duplicate addresses will be cleared.
5. LDS Users - Eliminate Problems when updating records from a Sponsor's membership file.
The Settings feature on the Import Sponsor Membership window allows the user to 'mark' all members being imported from the file as 'Do Not Import' plus not checking the Overwrite Personal Information helps avoid most unwantedchanges. This allows the user to pick the new members they want to import and to not have their existing ScoutSoft member's names, etc. changed by anything your Ward membership clerk may have changed. This protects your member's preferred names for the youth and other data so it will agree with the information you originally submitted to the BSA council.