Yes, the rumors are true! Starting January 1, 2019 Scoutbook will be free for everyone. BSA units will be able to use this Scouting resource at no cost. Current subscribers will not be charged for renewal if done on or after September 1, 2018.

Scoutbook is an online tracking system to improve the Scouting experience. Less paper work mean less hassle and more time with your youth! Some top features that Scoutbook has to offer:

  • Track advancements
  • Communicate with parents
  • Plan events / track activities
  • and more!

Learn how to use Scoutbook here!

Previously, units had to pay an average of $1 per Scout per year. “By making Scoutbook free for everyone, the BSA can drive program consistency and deepen our movement’s engagement with youth and adult leaders.” – Bryan on Scouting.

Join the thousands of Scouters using Scoutbook and simplify your Scouting experience by signing up for Scoutbook.

What does this mean for you? How will this affect Scoutbook’s future? BSA has released a list of FAQs to answer your questions. Below are the top three frequently asked questions from Scouters:

How will my unit be affected?

  • Units with a current Scoutbook account: When they need to renew their subscription this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees, effective Sept. 1, 2018.
  • Councils that provide Scoutbook accounts for their units: When they need to renew these unit subscriptions this fall, they will not pay any renewal fees, effective Sept. 1, 2018.
    • (Essentially, units — or councils paying for their units — can renew Scoutbook subscriptions in September, October, November or December 2018 at no cost.)
  • Units without a current Scoutbook account: They can begin their free Scoutbook unit subscription on Jan. 1, 2019.

Will existing users get a refund?

No. There are no plans to reimburse anyone who has previously paid for a Scoutbook subscription. This change applies only to any new Scoutbook subscriptions effective Jan. 1, 2019, or later — and to any renewing Scoutbook subscriptions that would normally be paid between Sept. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018.

What should units that don’t currently have Scoutbook do this fall?

Scoutbook will be free to all units beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

In the meantime, watch for the release of Scoutbook Lite for all units later in 2018. This free online tool will provide a slightly different user experience from the full Scoutbook, but it will help your unit track advancements for all your youth members.

To view the full list of FAQs, click here.

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Maloree Anderson
Maloree is a photographer, graphic designer, Ravenclaw, mom of one, friend of Scouting and Marketing Specialist with the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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