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  • #16
    I use troop Troopwebhost and like it very well. I have used internet explorer, chrome and firefox with it and have had no issues with disappearing buttons or flakey performance. I currently use it with a chromebook where ever I go......very happy with it.

    We did not get our own url....

    TroopMasters web program was horrible. It still needs to sync with a database on someones home computer or laptop........ I looked at it before purchasing Troopwebhost. My criteria was webbased, everyone in troop leadership needed access to the program.

    Not sure what niche Soar fills. Website and emails?????? You have limited storage for your photo gallery as well. only a couple of hundred megs......your paying $89 for that.....Why not a free google group if that is all you need??????? I didn't see the benefit so we didn't go that route, but we did look at it.

    Troopwebhost I can add documents to emails. email troop or patrol or just leadership. Once a month I have it set to email the group the upcoming events and their scouts rank advancement info. these are what jr, needs to complete first class.... Our advancement has improved since this has started.

    It also holds the troop equipment inventory and finances, which I drug our treasurer kicking and screaming into using.

    Troopwebhosts web calendar can be linked to google calendar or any other calendar programs.....so event changes or new events automatically update everyones calendar. Photogallery is hosted on their site as well.

    Honestly $15 per year is irrelevant.

    Call me an underachiever, but I didn't want to maintain two pieces of software......

    Comment


    • #17
      mozart that still doesn't give you web access to the program using any web browser....With troopmaster you must spend another $59.88 for the troopmaster web....so we are talking $100 a year and you can't email your Troop.

      Comment


      • mozartbrau
        mozartbrau commented
        Editing a comment
        @BW, I think you missed my post where I put the costs out there directly from the TM website. Let me recap:

        You can buy TM for $41/year on a three year license. That gets you TM and DotNet which allows you to have it installed on several machined. I am in a large troop and we have plenty of people accessing TM from laptops, desktops. This makes TM cheaper by nearly half than the other software you mention.

        Now you need to have a website, right? SOAR allows you to have a full featured website which does everything the other software you mention does AND integrates with TM to update your site so your Scouts can see their status. You can update this as much as you want. You ALSO get troop email, patrol emails, calendars, event registration, online payments, etc. ALL of this for just $15 more than what you pay. I posted the prices from each software's website so there was no mistake what the costs were.

        *If* you want TM web access, which is not really needed IMHO, you can add that and then it does indeed cost $180/year. However, you don't really need that unless you feel compelled to make changes to TM from your mobile phone or iPad. Otherwise, I have all I need with TM+SOAR which includes a robust website and the full features of TM for just $15 more a year.

        To answer your question about SOAR, it is a competitor to Troopwebhosts. The features and functionality of SOAR is slightly better than Troopwebhosts IMHO. When you add the fact your can integrate TM with it (which is a mere click of a button) that's a HUGE advantage. The issue with managing two pieces of software is not that hard. When we "on board" a new Committee member or SM we walk them through the install and everything is so user-friendly it is never an issue. Add to that the fact TM is like PM the learning curve is even lower.

        We looked at Troopwebhost a while back when we were looking at SOAR+TM and found this to be the best course for us.

    • #18
      I hate not being able to edit a post.

      so your talking $189 per year for TM with Web add on and Soar to get similar functionality to Troopwebhost.

      Comment


      • #19
        We're looking for some beta testers for our free new web app tracking software over at Scoutbook.com. If you are interested come swing by and let us know what you think. A few screen shots of our tracking web app in safari on iPhone.


        Comment


        • #20
          I thought I replied to this.
          why would I check out an app that allows a tiger to earn boy scout merit badges?

          Comment


          • #21
            Right now I use paper and pencil. Not sure what the pack uses, we haven't ever discussed it. Definitely need to look at my options (but for now, I'm OK with paper )

            @ 5yearscouter, looking closer at the images above, they are two different ones. Maybe its two screenshots of two different areas? I may check it out to see (since we are currently Tigers.)

            Comment


            • #22
              Has anyone checked out Scout Connect? Its still in the beginning stages but I like their user friendly features especially in recording MB work.

              Troop used TroopMaster but I find it complex. Which they could revamp it and simplify it.

              Comment


              • #23
                Reccord merit badge work?????


                Let me see from my understanding of the merit badge program

                Bobby tenderfoot wants to earn the Rat Rodeo merit badge. He goes to his SM and asks for a Unit Leader signed Merit Badge card and a councilors name. Bobby meets with Rat Rodeo merit badge councilor completes the badge and then turns the Councilor signed card back into the Advancement Chair or SM.

                So exactly what is there to record far as merit badge work other than Start, completed and awarded???????????

                Comment


                • mozartbrau
                  mozartbrau commented
                  Editing a comment
                  - Tracking what requirements Bobby doesn't finish should he get a partial
                  - Keeping a permanent record (not paper) that has a back-up in case Bobby loses his Blue Card
                  - Being able to run a report on how many MBs were earned or ranks were award to qualify for JTE or other unit honors
                  - Being able to give group credit if you have 20 guys taking Basketry and not having to fill out the same spreadsheet 20 times for the same thing
                  - Having a file that can be imported into Internet Advancement so that National has a record of the Scout's work (and for free rank patches)
                  - Tracking when badges have been awarded or not in case Bobby does not attend the COH
                  - Being able to provide online or printed reports for Bobby when he asks for them so he can make sure his Handbook matches the Troop database (seen way too many Scouts find surprises in their records when going for Eagle without these periodic checks)
                  - Allows Scoutmasters to view every Scout's status on how many completed and partial MBs he has to help them manage their Scout careers and determine what each Scout's interest is to better tailor their SMC discussions
                  - Use the software to match counselors with Scouts or to identify where a troop might need a counselor
                  - To reduce the amount of time we as volunteers spend managing out program

                  These are a few of the reasons we use software and have an ASM assigned as MB advisor. He manages the whole process and is the contact point for all things MB. I can tell you if I had to do all of this manually (70+ boys) I would spend four time the amount of time I currently spend just managing that aspect of the program. For a medium-sized troop (for my area) Troopmaster is a God send.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What an incredible waste of time... Tracking merit badge partials????? I think a volunteers time is better spent on anything other than managing merit badge partials.

                  Mercifully the camp we attend uses blue cards....I hand the partials to the boys in the CO's Parking lot upon our return. Some run right out and finish them....I have a couple of boys who held them to the next summer and then finished them....

                  I award rank advancement immediately after the BOR and Bobby can get his merit badges the next time I see him if he misses the court of honor.

                  We do not do Internal Troop merit badge councilors, I am a firm believer in how the program was intended to work. The call an adult they don't know and manage the badge on their own. We do not hold merit badge classes during troop meetings.

                  JTE.....laughing out loud here....Who cares other than the DE whose bonus depends on it. Lets just say I don't like it or see the need.

              • #24
                Fair enough.

                I view it as the boys responsibility. In our troop once you give the boy a merit badge card I do nothing with it till he gives it back to me with his. councilors signature as completed.

                I don't track partials. I track start date, completion and award dates. If the boy loses it it teaches responsibility.....he can redo it or ask the MBC for another signature.

                The boys can be responsible if you make them

                ..

                Comment


                • mozartbrau
                  mozartbrau commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There is nothing in what I posted that does not put the onus on the boy in out troop. Merely, we have a large troop with 70+ boys. Every COH we have roughtly 200+ MBs to hand out. We don't do MBs at meeting. Our troop is blessed enough to have professionals from many walks of life who have medical, dental, military or other specialized training that allows us to offer classes to our Scouts (outside of regular meetings) where the boys can learn something new. Classes are kept small so the boys learn something. This is no differerent than a boy going out and getting an MB counselor on his own. We post the class openings and the boys have to sign up and manage their class work on their own. If a parent sneaks online durng the day (dead give away is during school hours) and signs their son up we kick it right back out and tell them to let the Scout manage their work.

                  As a troop we have a responsibility to know what our boys are doing which is why we track partials and completions. If a record is lost, National will accept the troop's record as a back up PLUS it makes it easier for us to enter the data into the national DB so that they have the record too. I would hate to tell ANY kid "tough luck" if his house burnt down or tornado hit his house that he's SOL because he did not have his records in a strong box and it's his fault. Troops keep records -- especially larger troops -- so we can be there to support our Scouts should they need us. The boys are plenty responsbile...in fact, perhaps even more so.

                  BTW, we track partials as a way of 1) knowing if a boy is working on too much already, or 2) identifying a Scout who may start something and not finish it. With the software in place, tracking partials is no harder than tracking camping nights, service hours or anything else. Doing it in software allows us to run reports and know fast who our Lifeguards are, who needs canoe training before our float trip, who can plan our Philmont training hikes, who does/doesn't need climbing or firearms certification, etc. So I would argue the software and tracking we do SAVES us time. Trust me, I've done it manually AND with software and the latter is by far less time consuming and allows me to focus on other things.
                  Last edited by mozartbrau; 04-04-2013, 02:10 PM.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Guess my guys are under achievers....Generally they get one at a time and complete em.....except summer camp......

                  I don't have much in the way of parents or adults with any skills, Think the folks you see walking wide eyed at walmart.

              • #25
                Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                Fair enough. I view it as the boys responsibility. In our troop once you give the boy a merit badge card I do nothing with it till he gives it back to me with his. councilors signature as completed. I don't track partials. I track start date, completion and award dates. If the boy loses it it teaches responsibility.....he can redo it or ask the MBC for another signature. The boys can be responsible if you make them ..
                The only partials we track are summer camp. If the summer camps would do blue cards, we would stop doing that.

                Comment


                • #26
                  National doesn't care about partials and national doesn't care about the boy or the troops copy of the blue card.
                  some councils I guess collect copies of completed blue cards but I'm not really sure why they would go to that much trouble.
                  programs like troopmaster care about partials, but it doesn't really do much good unless the mb couselors can use it to see what they haven't covered with the scout yet, but a blue card does that just as well or not better.
                  We track completed merit badges in internet advancement which goes to national
                  and that program will provide a copy for any scout that needs one due to his house burning down,
                  and if required for his eagle we would recreate all merit badge cards marking them with the correct date they were earned but really that is adding to the requirements IMHO.

                  I don't like dealig with tracking partials on ranks either, although I can see the merit in using that info to help decide what the direction the troop needs to head in order to ensure the scouts can earn their next ranks. but I see that as info the youth leaders should have for planning patrol meetings, troop meetings and outings--and we very rarely allow the youth to see the programs such as troopmaster for anyone's records except maybe their own. So then it's just adults entering things in the computer in order to enter things in the computer.

                  partials for summer camp are valid to keep track of, but why is it my job as an adult leader to keep track of them rather than the youth? should a merit badge counselor accept a print out from troopmaster of what things the boy has already completed in the badge, knowing that the print out from troopmaster doesn't have a mb counselor's signature on it so who knows how accurate it is since it's passed thru several hands being entered into the system. the scout should just keep his blue card showing the partials, shouldn't he?

                  Comment


                  • mozartbrau
                    mozartbrau commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If a Scout loses a blue card in a house fire and we happen to have his partial info in TM, we can reissue his blue card and send a note to the next counselor noting what happened. Never had a Scout turned away yet.

                    On the other hand, we HAVE had counselors turn away Scouts for losing their blue card essentially saying "tough luck, start over". Ergo, we keep records.

                • #27
                  If a counselor says tough luck, you lost your blue card and have to start over, having the info in TM doesn't do any good, since that's not a blue card.... how can you reissue a blue card from the info in TM? You aren't the mb counselor so you can't sign off on partials even if you have it written down in TM.

                  Comment


                  • #28
                    My CM and I evaluated a bunch of these options + some more.....
                    We ended up using a group email solution (emaildodo.com) tied to our own pack domain. We have email addresses set up for the parents, the committee, and each den. I have even set up temporary groups for all of those going on a particular trip.

                    and for my den I have been using the free trax spreadsheet templates.
                    The group email is helpful, but honestly I can't say that the spreadsheet is all that valuable. It's hard to get the data from the parents (even for the leader's kid) to enter it, and even then there is little to now value in having it. It would be just as good to have a parent give you a list of what the boy has earned at the appropriate time before a pack meeting..... make a shopping list...... and just buy the stuff. half the time all I can get is "he completed his wolf".... but I cant enter which of the optional achievements he did. They wont answer it..... If they wont do something as easy as tell me so I can enter it, there's no way they would enter it themselves!
                    We don't currently do any sort of attendance award, so there hasn't proven to be much value even in the attendance I strive to take.
                    I think I'm going to stop all tracking for my den for the Bear year, and then pick it back up for WEBLOS when it is no longer up to the parents' sign off.

                    Comment


                    • #29
                      Originally posted by 5yearscouter View Post
                      If a counselor says tough luck, you lost your blue card and have to start over, having the info in TM doesn't do any good, since that's not a blue card.... how can you reissue a blue card from the info in TM? You aren't the mb counselor so you can't sign off on partials even if you have it written down in TM.
                      If he has a partial in Woodwork from summer camp, we have his partial in TM, we most certainly can issue him an updated blue card. Already checked with Council on that point and they backed us up. If he was signed off on requirements 1-5 and was not on 6-10, we either a) get our troop Woodwork counselor to sign off after talking to the boy, or b) get a counselor within the District to do it. Council was just fine with that.

                      Comment


                      • #30
                        Anyone tried Connecting Scouts website??
                        [URL="https://www.connectingscouts.com/"]https://www.connectingscouts.com/[/URL="https://www.connectingscouts.com/"]

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