Frequently Asked Questions
Nearly 22,000 advancement reports have been
submitted in the first 10 months that Internet Advancement has been available
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will the
Internet Advancement application work through any browser?
Internet Advancement is supported by Microsoft Internet
Explorer version 5.5 or greater and must be used regardless of the Internet
service you are using. No other browser provides full functionality.
Q: Will Internet
Advancement work with a 56K dial-up Internet connection?
Yes, the system works with a minimum 56-KB dialup
modem connection to the Internet. Faster connections such as DSL and cable will
speed up the process. There is a greater possibility that a browser will time
out if a large amount of data is being accessed through a dialup connection.
Q: How does my unit
get its unit ID number for Internet Advancement?
The Council will provide it. It will be in a sealed envelope and available
at the roundtable when the training takes place. For those not at the
roundtable the envelope will be in the unit folder in the District
mailbox. As long as a unit is renewed as
a reregistered or separated unit, its unit ID will not change.
Q: Can the unit ID
the council gives my unit be used to see another unit’s data?
No. Each unit has a unique unit ID and it must be used
in combination with the proper unit type (pack, troop, or crew) and a
four-digit unit number to register the unit. (Note – DON’T use the District
number in front of your unit ie. 8099 – use 0099) When a user first registers,
they will create a password. (Note – Keep this simple – write it down – too
many problems with complicated passwords for Internet Re-chartering.) This
password and the unit ID will allow the user to log in as a returning user the
next time they use Internet Advancement. The unit ID for Internet Advancement
is the same as the unit ID used for Good Turn for America. Internet Advancement and
GTFA are completely separate applications, however.
Q: Will the council
provide advancement guidelines for its units as it has in the past?
Yes, the use of Internet Advancement does not change
the need for units in the Minsi Trails Council to follow its advancement
procedures. Advancement Reports from Internet Advancement must be turned into
the Scout Shop and must have two copies. Reports that list merit badges must
have the merit badge counselor name listed for each badge. A signature is required on all forms and 2
additional names are required, and can be written in, for ranks in Scouting.
Scoutmasters can’t sit on boards of review and assistants should not. Units not using Internet Advancement must
follow the guidelines and submit proper paperwork as before. Because the Eagle
Scout rank cannot be submitted online, the current procedures will not change.
Q: What is the
Minsi Trails Council’s role for support and administration of Internet
The council serves as the “help desk” for its units
using Internet Advancement. The council staff will know how Internet
Advancement works. They will answer questions from units, referring to a Help
file designed especially for council support. The council will administer the
process by providing units with their respective unit IDs, monitoring unit
activity, changing passwords, resetting profiles, and unit data, and creating
reports requested by council management for staff and volunteer use.
Q: What about the
use of unit-management software and advancement file uploads?
The council may accept files from units for processing
in ScoutNET. The council has not been entering advancement to individual
records in Cub Scouting, except for the Arrow Light Award. We will not up-date
files for Scout Troops or Venture Crews from unit-management software. If there
is a problem with a file, however, it is the unit’s responsibility to contact
the vendor who sold and supports that product and request their assistance.
Internet Advancement does not have the capability to process advancement file
Q: What ranks,
merit badges, and awards may be recorded through Internet Advancement?
Based on the unit type and program, each unit will have
an appropriate pick list for the entry of ranks, merit badges, and awards to
unit youth members. Packs may enter ranks and awards only. Troops and crews may
enter ranks, merit badges, and awards. LFL Explorer posts may only enter
awards. No nominated awards, including meritorious action awards, and awards
controlled by other organizations, even if approved for uniform wear, can be
recorded. Lapsed units may enter advancement only for dates prior to their unit
expiration date. If a unit is dropped, the unit advancement processor will not
have access to Internet Advancement.
Q: Can the council
prevent a specific unit or person in a unit from using Internet Advancement?
The council may block a unit/person from using Internet
Advancement. When this is done the unit/person cannot load its roster until the
block is removed. Changing the password is only a temporary means of blocking a
unit, as is not providing the unit ID. The council management will determine if
and when to
block a unit’s participation and explain to the unit why
it is not eligible to use the online process. If a unit wishes to stop the
Scouter assigned to do the advancement record keeping they must notify the
executive for their District and this executive will get approval from their
supervisor to close the unit down for advancement record keeping. The registrar will block the unit at that
point and provide the unit with proper information when they are ready with new
Some commonly asked questions by unit
Q: Are there times
when Internet Advancement is not available?
As an Internet application, it can be accessed on a
24/7 basis. When the BSA internal ScoutNET network is unavailable, it will not
be possible to load the unit roster or to submit reports.
Q: How often is my
Internet Advancement has a process which regularly
resets the unit to load a roster if a roster is loaded but has no activity for
45 days. If a roster is loaded for seven days and no ranks or awards are
entered, the process also resets this unit data. Upon log in, if the data was
reset, you will load the roster or upload an advancement file to begin
processing advancement. If you only want to view or print a report, do “Start
Over” before you log out.
Q: How accurate will my roster be?
Your roster will be only as accurate as the membership
you submitted at charter renewal time and correct additional enrollments you
provided to the Council on a timely basis. Additional enrollments are usually
processed within one week of receipt, provided they are correct and paid for.
Q: How often should reports be submitted?
It is recommended that units submit reports at least
once per month. Each unit is to submit a final report each December with any
advancements not previously submitted.
Q: What is the
Unit Order Form and how is it used?
This feature permits a unit to enter quantities for
advancement items that it needs to purchase, extend, and total the prices, and
print the order or save it as a PDF file. The order is available in a
printer-friendly version, which lists only the items with quantities entered,
or in a full list showing all items.
The quantities entered can be saved for future use or
reset each time. It is not necessary to load the unit roster to reach the Unit
Order Form. When an order is created, it does not connect to any online
ordering system. Orders for the Minsi Trails Scout shop mailed or faxed to
610-266-7798. Items and prices listed on the order form will change without
Q: Does Internet
Advancement provide the same record-keeping system as unit-management software
(PackMaster/TroopMaster, Scoutmate, ScoutSoft, and Rank N' File)?
No, and it is not intended to serve as a substitute
for this type of software. Internet
Advancement is designed to automate the process for submitting the required
unit advancement reports to the council. Only restricted ranks and merit badges
and awards that are tracked by the council and BSA are recorded online.
Supplemental programs, such as the Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program, are
not entered as advancement. They can, however, be found on the Unit Order Form.
Q: Who provides
support for questions on how to use PackMaster/TroopMaster, Scoutmate,
ScoutSoft, and Rank N' File?
Support for these products is the responsibility of
each vendor who sells the unit-management software. For example, if a unit
needs to know how to create an advancement file for upload to Internet
Advancement, they must consult the help for their software or contact the
Q: What items can
be uploaded from unit-management software advancement files?
Only ranks and merit badges can be uploaded from an
advancement file. You will need to add all other items to member records
through the Internet Advancement application.
Q: When our troop
or crew approves rank advancement, we hold a board of review. Since we can’t
enter the rank advancements for submittal and print the report until after the
board, how do we obtain the signatures needed?
As stated earlier a troop or crew must have three (3)
committee members sit on each board of review for ranks. The advancement chairman or unit advancement
processor must sign the board of review form and then can print the names of
the two others who were at the board and gave approval for the ranks being
awarded. Scoutmasters/Crew Advsors
CANNOT sit on boards of review and Assistants should not. Internet Advancement advises to make two (2)
copies of the reports – you will need two copies to turn into the Minsi Trails
Council Scout Shop, so if you wish one for your units records – make three (3)
Q: Since Internet
Advancement validates that ranks are earned in sequence, if an earlier rank is
missing, must it be entered?
Yes, any missing rank must be entered with the date
from the unit’s records or from other evidence provided by the member or a
former unit. Although each item entered for the first time will be listed on
the Advancement Report as new, the council understands that these are being
reported for the record only. Merit
badges and awards previously earned should also be entered.
Q: If we find that
a rank, merit badge, or award which appears on a member record is incorrect for
that member, what should be done?
The council must be notified in writing of the
incorrect information so that the council may correct the member record. The
unit cannot remove any item on a member record.
Q: If a member was
transferred into our unit and the member has no advancement information, should
it be entered by our unit?
Yes, if the member’s record is incomplete, your unit
should update the record. If the member came from another council, use the
information provided by the last unit or verify the advancement from the
Q: There are
members of our pack now in Wolf, Bear, and Webelos dens who were Tiger Cubs and
earned the Tiger Cub rank. Can this information be entered?
It is not possible for the unit to enter this
information because the sequence for Bobcat and the Tiger Cub rank changed on
June 1, 2006, and these members earned the rank prior to this change.
Consequently only the council can enter the Tiger Cub rank to a member record.
Q: If our unit is
lapsed, can we enter and submit advancement reports?During the lapsed period (up to two months after unit
expiration) you can submit reports, but ranks, merit badges, and awards must be
dated before the unit expired. Once a charter renewal is processed and posted
by the council for the unit, the unit can then obtain its new roster and enter
current year dates. If a unit separates (drops), then no advancement can be
WHAT SHOULD OUR UNIT DO NOW?
1. Appoint the unit advancement processor.
2. Give the unit ID code that was provided by the Council
to your processor along with the other information that was given out at the
3. The processor then needs to go to the council Web site
www.minsitrails.com and click on Internet Advancement
4. We urge the processor to review instructions, help and
frequently asked questions.
5. He/she will then register as a new user. Make sure the person registering writes down
the codes that are used and keeps them.
The biggest problem in Internet Re-chartering was complicated and lost
codes and then not having the ability to finish the process.
6. Review Current Unit Advancement Summary
7. Gather youth advancement records and begin entry.