BSAdv Project on SourceForge Get Boy Scout Advancement at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads

Users: | BSAdv Home Page | Release Notes | Using BSAdv | Youth Protection | Installation
Developers: | To Do List | Database Tables | Extending BSAdv | Database Consistency

About BSAdv

BSAdv stands for Boy Scout Advancement, a Joomla 1.7 component for tracking advancement and activities for Boy Scout Troops in the United States. For now, this restricts the implementation to Joomla 1.6 and greater, MySQL and PHP. It is currently being developed, and is not yet ready for use for unit data. We are interested in your comments and welcome your assistance developing and testing it. Here is what we need to do on BSAdv.

Note that, as of this time, BSAdv cannot upload information electronically to the Council database. It is critical that this capability be added, to simplify the transfer process and to reduce human errors. This capability depends on negotiations with BSA.

We are not a part of, nor are we funded by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). We do abide by the standards and practices of the BSA. Let us know if we fail to do so.

How does it work?

Joomla is an open-source web content management system (CMS) that can be configured via extensions to create a customized web site. There are thousands of available extensions, each of which offers a specialized web feature. BSAdv is one of these extensions, specializing in Boy Scout rank advancement and activity tracking. A Scout unit can install BSAdv on their Joomla website and use BSAdv to enter unit data and create web pages and reports based on that data. The unit can use BSAdv as it is distributed, or modify the software to meet the custom needs of the unit.

BSAdv uses the MySQL database of Joomla. This allows multiple users to enter unit data and view online reports created dynamically from this data. There is effectively no delay between data entry and the ability to create reports from this data. Both data entry and report generation are done via the BSAdv front-end. Data entries are moderated by the unit advancement chairman, or the chairman's designee.

You don't use Joomla? That is a problem! You need Joomla to use BSAdv.

Open Source

BSAdv is an open source project, distributed under the GNU General Public License. This gives our volunteers the ability to improve the quality and functionality of the software that they use with their units. It is expected that these improvements will continue as long as BSAdv is in use.

There are numerous commercially-supported software packages that provide great benefits to the Scouting community. It is our hope that these will continue to thrive with their respective customers. It is possible that the Model part of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) BSAdv system could be provided by a commercial entity, allowing continued open-source participation in the View and Controller elements. We welcome this concept and look forward to the cooperation of volunteer and commercial contributions.

Proprietary database formats that are owned by companies or individuals remain the property of those entities, unless they have relinquished those rights to the public. BSAdv does not condone the violation of those rights and will not allow volunteers to contribute software to the BSAdv project if it is based on violations of intellectual property rights. We do not approve of cracking proprietary database formats for any reason.

Types of Units Supported

Currently, BSAdv supports Boy Scout Troops in the United States. It is possible to modify BSAdv for use by Cub Scouts, Venturing, Sea Scouts, Explorers and other types of BSA and non-BSA units. Some people have requested that one program be extended to cover the needs of all of these types of units. While that would be possible, it has problems.

  1. The BSAdv database has information on advancement and merit badge requirements. These are fairly extensive and are necessary to provide direct access to these requirements when documenting Scout advancement. Extending these tables to include the needs of all of these types of units would make the selection of the advancement categories difficult for the user and could cause data entry errors.
  2. Updates to BSAdv are required whenever the BSA makes changes to advancement requirements. It is simpler to update the different types of units separately.
  3. Instead of encompassing all needs in a single program, it is better to provide a means to export the data from the database of one unit into that of another unit. This capability is needed when a Scout transfers from one Boy Scout Troop to another. This mechanism used for unit-to-unit transfers can suffice for the transfer from a Cub Scout Pack to a Boy Scout Troop.

No Donations

BSAdv is supported by volunteers that are familiar with Boy Scout unit operations and want to help those units efficiently implement the goals of Scouting. Monetary donations are not needed to help us to reach our goals. If you feel compelled to donate, contact your local Boy Scout unit or Council. If you have software or program management skill to help us reach our goals, welcome! Either way, thanks for supporting Scouting.


Previous version of BSAdv used a modified version of the milkyway template. It can be downloaded from That template no longer works in Joomla 1.6. BSAdv can be used with virtually any template that is compatible with Joomla 1.6.

Get Boy Scout Advancement at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads Thanks to for hosting our project.