Year of Publication

2014

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

The Boy Scouts of America was established as a non-profit organization in 1910 and now has over three million active volunteers in the United States. Since the organization was founded in America, the program has grown not only in membership, but also in complexity with many new awards, training requirements, and programs. Originally the organization tracked this information via paper submission. After the development of the disk operation system (DOS), the organization started tracking and storing information in this data system. Yet, while today the DOS-based databases are outdated, the Boy Scouts of America still continues to use this technology as the foundation of its data system. In the last five years the Boy Scouts has started to emerge from the DOS system and incorporate more online subsystems. This has lead to the creation of the MyScouting website.

The MyScouting website (MyScouting.org) is the only system by which all volunteers in the organization can access and obtain personal scout-related information. Currently the system only allows individuals to complete basic online training, register for major national events, update contact information, and research basic scouting information. This system is still currently new however, there are many improvements which could be made. This paper presents the analysis of a survey developed to assess the satisfaction of the current MyScouting users and ascertain their preferences about possible functions which could be incorporated in the future. The respondents indicated that, as a whole, they do not utilize the website much, which could be due to the lack of useful tools. Respondents also indicated that having access to individual personal profiles, automatic profile updates, the ability to upload a completed physical form, and to register for all scouting events would be helpful.

After a review of other organizations’ data systems and analysis of responses from the survey, it appears that the MyScouting website and the data system currently used by the Boy Scouts of America could be improved to better serve the needs of the volunteers and youth involved in scouting. If key improvements were to be made, they could reduce the information costs to the organization, lessen the time needed to track current data and improve its accuracy, and would also provide better support to members of the organization.

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