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  • Pack Management Software

    Currently we use Scoutrack.com which is a web based pack management program. Its adequate but not great. Since our committee members use MAc and Windows, I believe we need a web based management system.

    I downloaded the trial version of PackMaster but I could not get it to work on a Mac.

    Are their any better solutions for us that you may know of?

    Thanks in advance
    CubMaster P608

  • #2
    I have used ScoutManage and liked it.

    It is web based and fairly flexible.

    Comment


    • #3
      My entire pack just started using scouttrack to track achievements and awards, but uses our website to list events etc. We are using Scoutlander for our website.

      Karen

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      • #4
        We use ScoutManage. It's not very intuitive to setup, best if you have a good IS/IT parent do the setup, but once it's done, works well. Has a good web based calendar.

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        • #5
          ScoutManage, while a bit cumbersome to set up, is not really all that hard that you need an IT person to do it.

          I set up our entire Pack of 38. Took some time, but not bad. I learned what was what, and what/how I wanted it, as I went.

          Trust me, I am NOT an IT professional!

          I like the calendar, the email capability (allowing attachments would be nice), the ability to upload files and pictures, and, for us, the ability to add Pack specific awards.

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          • #6
            Does anyone that uses Scout Manage use an Apple? anyone in your pack use apple for this site?

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            • #7
              We use ScoutTrack and I think it rocks! About the only thing we don't use it for is financial stuff.

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              • #8
                We spent a fair amount of time this summer researching alternatives to Scout Track and decided to stick with it. None of the other programs were as easy to use and allowed the ease of email notifications and reminders without having to go back in and program another email. The calendar in Scout Track works really well in this way and the ability to enter multiple acheivements for one or multiple scouts without having to click through so many screens made us choose to stay.

                I will say we have a real IT savvy parent who set up our website and a shopping cart so we can register people for camp outs and other events without having to chase people for money. Also, our treasurer runs all of the accounting on Quick Books so it is not integrated with the member database in Scout Track but we have figured it all out and are very happy. If you allow parents to enter acheivements themselves, I think there is nothing better than Scout Track.

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                • #9
                  Thanks to everyone who replied. Your remarks are helpful indeed. This is a good example (btw) of the willingness of the scouting community to share for the benefit of others.

                  Salute!

                  Brad
                  CubMaster
                  Pack 608, Ft Lauderdale

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is in no way any type of a put down.
                    But I really don't see the need for Pack Management software.

                    A little fellow joins a Pack.
                    All the information is on the application.
                    The Pack retains a copy. Once this has been entered in at the Council level all the information will be on the charter.
                    He joins a Den.
                    Den Leader has 6-8 Cub Scouts.
                    Advancement in Cub Scouting is supposed to be done by the parent.
                    Cub Scouts advance once a year!
                    Seems to me that all the records needed could be kept in a three ring binder.
                    Ea.

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                    • #11
                      Well, I could run the pack from a three ring binder but why if an easier way exist? I could also just use a ceiling fan instead of AC but air conditioning is BETTER.

                      We run one campout a month in season. No way that happens without emails and pack management software. Software is less consuming of time and better at organization then a three ring binder, undoubtedly.

                      I could reply upon the parents solely for advancement but this will cause lower long term participation. Why not take this burden away from them and let software do its job? If we make scouting easier on the parents the better effect we can have on the kids.

                      just my $.02

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                      • #12
                        Brad,
                        While I'm happy to go along with you if you think that a software package in some way makes the management of a Pack easier on you.
                        Back when my son now 21 was a Cub Scout, I managed very well without a software package.
                        Sure even in them dark ages we did use emails, and the telephone. Heck I even used Excel.
                        Still the most effective communication was between the Den Leaders and the parents along with a new-sheet handed out at the Pack meeting.
                        I do however disagree with you when you say:
                        "I could reply upon the parents solely for advancement but this will cause lower long term participation."
                        With all the respect in the world I urge you to take a look at the methods of Cub Scouting:
                        Advancement
                        Recognition is important to boys. The advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with boys on advancement projects.
                        4. Family Involvement
                        Family involvement is an essential part of Cub Scouting. When we speak of parents or families, we are not referring to any particular family structure. Some boys live with two parents, some live with one parent, some have foster parents, and some live with other relatives or guardians. Whoever a boy calls his family is his family in Cub Scouting.

                        If we fail to allow the program to work as it is designed we are failing the very core of why we have Cub Scouting.
                        Eamonn.

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                        • #13
                          I couldn't agree with your more regarding recognition and family participation.

                          The question at hand is Pack management software. The parents can simply log into to Scoutrack and input the awards thus having those awards easily communicated to our person that goes to the scout shop. This method in place of missed phone calls, messages, misinterpretations. In addition software like scoutrack has a calendar with auto emails sent to everyone in the pack. Rosters, contact info that can be easily updated by any parent, etc. There are numerous benefits and features. It's simply better than not using one.

                          I am not advocating a computer in place of Akela's or one on one communication at meetings etc. I am however defending the position of if we can make scouting easier for everyone we will improve retention, have more volunteers, and happier scouts.

                          You have attempted to redirect from my original question to one of recognition and family involvement, this is simply not an accurate representation of my original post. You are obviously a long time scouter and have much to offer. We can simply disagree on whether software is worthwhile or not.

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                          • #14
                            When I became pack committee chair a few years ago (I'm Cubmaster now) the first thing I did was invest in Packmaster .Net. The reasons:

                            1. Consistent communications - email blasts to stale email lists meant that new parents often missed out on the happenings. Now everyone uses the totally current list (we send out packgrams this way too)
                            2. Advancements - den leaders are responsible for entering into the DB. The advancement person just prints are report a week before the pack meeting and heads to store. No more chasing people around for awards and advancement person doesn't listen to complaints.
                            3. Rechartering - with a current DB, one person can recharter in an hour and knows at a glance who is in each den and who has dropped out. You don't pay for extra scouts (we have 55 boys).
                            4. Event attendance - part of quality unit is knowing how much scout participation you have. Packmaster allows each den leader to enter event attendance info for their dens.

                            I'm a huge fan of packmaster and talk it up when I can to others.

                            Bob Trabucchi
                            Cubmaster of Pack 253, Nashua NH

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                            • #15
                              Bob,

                              I too am a big fan of Packmaster (and Troopmaster). We don't do the email (point 1 on your list) since we use a yahoo group for that, but the other reasons are all true in my experience as well. I especially like the .net version since everyone can see the current data with no effort.

                              However, Brad asked for a solution that would also run on a Mac. Packmaster doesn't have that support. I suppose you might be able to get it to run with some type of Windows emulator on the Mac, but Brad said he couldn't get it to work.

                              That seems like the biggest advantage of the web-based pack management software. You could get to it from any browser, be it on a Mac system, at a library, on a friend's machine, from Linux, from your Blackberry, etc. It's not enough of an advantage that I'd consider switching, but I can see that if you were starting from scratch, you might prefer that option.

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