Revisions and Changes

For a blog that claims to be about A2Z with ADHD… it is looking quite scout-centric lately. I really have other drafts, but I simply do not have time to finish them… and then something else crazy happens in my scouting life and I need to blog about it.

Believe it or not, this one is about the new 2019 Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures (BP&P) that Scouts Canada (SC) has been rolling out since March. I know, you are shocked. After writing about the amazing job they did on the first release, I then creating a post that not only made a downloadable, searchable, and printable copy of the BP&P document, but also itemized the updates or revisions in chronological order.

SC does not want these documents floating around because they want the 2000 volunteers to go read BP&P every time they want to plan an activity. I find this idea ridiculous. They so badly didn’t want me to leave them online that they spent several weeks contemplating allowing me to stay an active member of the organization.

My Position

I made my position clear.  If they didn’t like that I was sharing a document that made it easier to determine what the rules were, then they could kick me out. My position is simply this, until they built some kind of revision table into their webpage and make it easy for scouters to be notified of changes, then my PDF documents would stay up.

I am happy to say, that less than two months later, SC had introduced a page called the Change Log.  I think the idea was that it is the start of the revision tracking that so many of us have been asking for.

I am not super happy with the way it is setup for the following reasons:

  1. It lists every change in each document change rather than just listing the revision and a list of changes.
  2. It does not number revision changes.  They are sticking with a web format and doubling down on preventing users from ever printing or saving their standards which makes revision numbers less important.
  3. It is missing five of the seven changes that I have noticed since the March 2 BP&P was released.
  4. The change “date” does not match the “Updates” date on the actual standard.

The change log shows that the Swimming Standard was changed on July 26, 2019
The Swimming Standard itself says it was updated on July 21, 2019 (which is when the web page was actually changed.

There are some great things about the Change Log though:

  1. It is an attempt to allow volunteers to determine at a glance which standards have changed since the last time the reviewed them.  This would be more reliable if they were accurate but that is coming I am sure.

I guess I didn’t have to number the pros.

At the very top of the BP&P post I wrote several months ago, I have a short change log… a simple revision list that shows the changes that have come since March 2…

The Result

I promised not to share these blog posts on the social media pages that were managed by SC and Northern Lights Council.  Thank goodness that someone else finally got tired of the lack of free speech on those pages and started the Scouts Canada Unofficial Discussion Group where people discuss scouting without fear.  All these posts get shared there.  🙂

I have to tell you though, that I am very excited that SC came up with a Change Log of any kind because it leads me to believe that the Change Log will one day soon have all the revisions tracked with the same dates that the standards were modified.  Once that is done, there is a very good chance that they will institute some sort of subscription service that will allow people to sign up for email notification of changes to the standards.  

When that happens I can stop doing all the work I do to update the PDF and track the revisions myself.

The Big Change

What has happened in SC to make me so excited?  What makes me think that something changed at a National level?  Why am I looking at SC like Star Wars IV… because I have a new hope.  I know… that was cheesy… but you are used to that if you read much of my stuff.

The fact is that I attribute this to one change right now, and it is one that I look forward to watching in the future… Mark Little.  I just met the man a week ago but I have been hearing about him for a while.  Since he took on a role at national things have been happening fast.  This man is not afraid to rock the boat and I look forward to writing many more posts about the great things that have happened since he moved to Ottawa.

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