Making the most of OSM
The Online Scout Management system, or OSM, is a really useful tool to help your Scout Leaders manage all the administration tasks involved in running the day-to-day tasks. It is used to manage membership, events, badges, emails, and more.
As Parents, you use OSM to check up on your child’s progress; to view what the upcoming program is and obtain detailed information; and to book a place on any special events that are being run.
However, there are many more features in OSM that you may not be fully aware of.
The term’s program for your section, and any special events, are stored in an online calendar in OSM that you can view (under ‘Program’ and ‘Events’ in the OSM web interface). These are also available as an online ‘iCal’ feed, which you can link to your existing digital calendar, such as Google, iPhone, and so on. Exactly how to add a link to an external iCal feed depends on the software that you use; however in all cases, you will need to specify a read-only iCal feed, and give a URL (web address) for your personalised calendar feed.
To find out the URL to use, follow these steps:
- Log into OSM (My.Scout Parents interface)
- If you have more than one child, make sure you select the correct child
- Select ‘Program’ from the top menu
- Click on the button ‘Get program calendar feed’
This causes a pop-up window to display a long personalised URL. You can use ‘copy and paste’ to copy this and use it in your digital Calendar feed. If you need to specify credentials, then use your OSM credentials. This feed is personalised to you, so you should not share it with other parents as it will stop working when your child leaves their current section.
Similarly, you can select ‘Events’ and get the calendar feed for events. This is a separate feed and needs to be added in addition to the Program feed.
If you have two children in different sections – for example, one in Keas and one in Cubs – then you will need to add the calendars for each separately.
The OSM system creates special email addresses for members of sections, sixes, and people who have registered for events. When necessary, these will be communicated to you.
Any emails which are sent to you via OSM relating to your child are also archived in OSM. You can see these via the My.Scout page under the ‘Emails’ menu.
You can update your child’s personal details – address, phone number, parent contacts, and any necessary medical information – online via OSM. This is a good idea to keep current, particularly if your child has any medical issues that leaders need to be aware of during events. Having up to date parent contact details is helpful if we need to contact a parent quickly for any reason.