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Everything posted by cubtrails

  1. Thanks for your responses: I think I understand the electives that can be completed multiple times (ie. #9a), and the fact that if one of the 24 "group" of achievements for the Bear was used towards the Bear badge, that none of the achievements therein can apply towards electives. And it sounds like what you are saying is that if a Bear achievement belongs to one of the 24 groups that was applied to the Bear badge, that the same achievement can not be completed again for elective credit. Right?
  2. I heard recently that Bear electives that were counted towards the Bear badge could be completed again as an elective towards arrow points. I'd never heard this before - can anybody shed light on this for me?
  3. I think fred8033 makes great points. Parents should be expected to be involved. It probably helps with a bunch of other issues, too.
  4. I know it's been said, but I think you need to rotate people through. People may come back for another tour of duty in a year or two, but everybody gets burned out. Our current Cubmaster was a Cubmaster several years ago, and is now doing a second stint at it. We always prep the ADL for the transition, and they know and expect to be the DL eventually.
  5. Thanks everybody for your feedback. That makes a lot of sense.
  6. I have a question about the policy for Webelos achievements and how they relate to belt loops. The program was changed sometime in 2004-2005 to state that Webelos scouts should earn certain belt loops as part of their Webelos advancements. It was also stated that the belt loops should be earned while a Webelos (that belt loops earned as a bear would not count - they would need to be completed again). The place where it's a little unclear is if a Bear scout partially earned one of these belt loops - do the partial achievements count towards the Webelos belt loop requirement, or must the scout start completely over?
  7. Yes, I've contacted Scouter.com twice about advertising. I actually even paid money through their online signup page. Sadly, I never got a response, (even after paying money) so I cancelled the payment. I'm not looking for a free meal here, and would be happy to pay for advertising space, but the operators of these forums seem to be MIA.
  8. It's been several weeks since I posted about www.CubTrails.com, but thanks for everyone on this thread giving it a look at offering feedback. I've taken the feedback to heart, and am proud to announce that our latest release offers: - Pack calendar with the ability to download/sync with desktop or mobile calendaring software - Ability to plan den meetings in advance and then track attendance later - All meetings now track time, duration, and have notes - Printable Pack Roster - Lots of other little things If you haven't already given it a look, you can create a free account for 90 days to check it out by visiting http://cubtrails.com/trial.htm In addition to the points mentioned above, CubTrails is an extremely easy-to-use, mobile-friendly pack management program that was built just for Cub Scouts. It makes a big difference to have your software built specifically for Cub Scouts, instead of having it built for Boy Scouts and then retrofitted for Cubs. As always, feedback is welcome! Eric
  9. Ignore this post, I'm just testing forum security. Which, incidentally, isn't very good!!(This message has been edited by cubtrails)
  10. I can't tell if you're joking or not, but I've looked into it. Next I'll work on having it run your den meetings and handing out awards at pack meeting. (This message has been edited by Cubtrails)
  11. I've sent a few requests in through the site and haven't heard anything back for a few days. Is anybody home? Or what's the turnaround time for responses? Also, is it just me or are all the links broken in the NetCompass section?
  12. One other thought... I didn't give credit to texas' argument: The point about being able to just say you did 10 electives and get a bead is a completely valid one. I agree with you on that one. But there are areas where it matters to track the individual achievements as well. You kinda need it both ways.
  13. This is one of the beautiful things about an online system. The case that texas provided doesn't ever happen. Instead, this is what happens: Parent: Bobby, you just completed elective 10 for your Tiger! Here, let me check it off in CubTrails on my phone. ... 10 electives later ... Electronic Leader logs in: Oh, cool. Bobby earned a bead! And I can see that three of them were completed in den meeting, and 7 of them were at home! Let me queue this up on a shopping list for our awards person. Awards person logs in: OK, I need to get 5 beads: 2 for Johnny, 1 for Bobby, and 2 for Billy That's the power of an online system...
  14. Thank you! After four years, I've finally seen the elusive "Internet Advancement" site (though it was only in screenshots) I went through the ppt - this has to be the closest a local unit can get to running reports from the national system. Probably very nice to be able to print off exactly what national "thinks" you have, even if it's wrong.
  15. @dcaver - You've been very helpful - sorry if I come across as overly assuming... And congrats on being Cubmaster. I did that for a couple of years and loved it! Look forward to hearing how it goes. @5yearscouter - I've never logged into the online advancement system. During the time I was Cubmaster, I never had a computer with Internet Explorer (required to access the site). Plus, only one person for the unit has the access code. I have some contacts through my work on scoutinghub, and I'm going to try to work on getting ScoutNET certified.
  16. Love the GOOD, FAST, CHEAP reference. Probably the most true saying in software development. @5yearscouter I've actually had several meetings with Virgil Clark (San Tan's MB Coordinator) about integrating Merit Badge counselors into scoutinghub - it's a great fit and would be a very nice addition. Unfortunatly, I've gotten busy working on CubTrails and my "other job" and haven't had time to get to it yet. But it's coming! Glad to meet another GCCer. Where is Firebird? And have you guys adopted scoutinghub yet? Eric
  17. @dcaver I really appreciate you taking a look at CubTrails. I always knew that Packmaster would be the product to beat - it's been around for a long time and has an established user base. Here are a few comments on your post: >> "If that is true then Packmaster basically holds a monopoly on that feature which is pretty huge IMO. Completely unfair if that is true." The "ScoutNET Certification" is definitely a sore spot for me... I won't even go into a rant on it here (but I'm sure I will at some point). That said, most packs I'm associated with don't use the online advancement system anyway, and the collective benefits of an online system like CubTrails outweigh that one particular advantage of Packmaster. Again, this is my experience. Is it different where you're at? >> "Another thing that Packmaster can do is allows you to download a local copy of the database." My counterpoint to this is that CubTrails works 100% from your mobile phone, so you can update without even having your computer. I know this isn't a 100% answer to "offline" mode, but I'm banking on the fact that the world is going mobile, and everyone is getting more connected. >> "For the Cubtrails developer....a suggestion would be to purchase a year of Packmaster with the web add on." This is a great suggestion. I've already gone over Packmaster, ScoutTrack, ScoutManage, TroopTrack, and a slew of others in great detail. I will admit that I did not purchase the web add-on for Packmaster, which is something I should do. Also, I've probably been overly dismissive of Packmaster because I think it's built on a dying platform, and they don't seem to have the knowledge or expertise to bring it current. Having looked around CubTrails a little, in what areas would you say Packmaster is better? I'd be really curious to hear your feedback... Thanks, Eric
  18. Sports Video games Laziness Being LDS, we kinda have built-in recruiting, yet I've noticed a decline in interest among many youth. Some of it is definitely sports, but many kids also live a very coddled lifestyle, so the idea of "roughing it" just doesn't sound enticing on the weekends. When I was younger, my alternative to camping on the weekends was doing yardwork for several hours. If I had the option to play Mike Tyson's Punch-out all day instead, I might have wanted to stay home too.
  19. It's a fair question - hopefully I can answer it: Web-based software has perpetual fixed costs for the provider (hosting, bandwidth, power, backups, security). When you buy packaged software with a single up-front fee, you are responsible for backups, disaster recovery, security, etc. You also pay for the convenience of being able to run the software anywhere. You can use the internet advancement system (as long as you run Windows of course), or you could download the free ScoutTrax spreadsheets (the better of the "free" options, in my opinion) for free. But neither of those programs will do what a well-built internet-based tracking system can do. So, the short list of why people should pay for an online tracking system: * Your data is secure, backed up, and redundant * There is no software to install on any computer * Everyone in your pack can access and update data, including parents * Pack leaders are constantly in touch with the progress of each boy and each den * It runs on any computer or device, including Windows, Mac, iPhone or iPad * Shopping for and giving out awards requires no hand-off and is greatly simplified * You can easily communicate with your packs, den, parents, and leaders If those things aren't issues for your pack, then I definitely wouldn't shell out the money for a tracking system. In my experience, though, pack leaders and parents are already busy and stressed, and $5-$10 per month to take the hassle out of tracking awards is a no-brainer.
  20. "Facebook is free for Most of What The programs do..." For a lot of stuff, yes. That's why I probably won't add features like pack websites, photo albums, or file storage. People can get that stuff for free or cheap elsewhere. Now, tracking cub scout advancements - that's another story...
  21. Copied from another post: We are entering into a "beta" phase of our release of CubTrails. We started this at the beginning of May and will go for 6 months (end of September). Customers that join during the beta phase will get a lower pricing (for life) because I'm hoping they'll provide feedback and help work some of the rough edges off: Monthly: $6.99 ($83.88/year) One-year subscription: $69.95/year Three-year subscription: $54.95/year ---- I can see what you are saying with changing meetings in general (like Pack Meetings). In CubTrails currently, though, the den meetings aren't planned out, but rather are used to record what has already happened. This also will likely change (at least if my local committee chair has her way)...
  22. Sorry, one other thing in response to a some of the comments in this thread: I think of the BSA as the government: there's no competition, and therefore little innovation. But I'm sorta okay with that - because part of what makes scouts great is that it's not a bleeding edge progressive organization. I would much rather see the BSA stay away from any software development, especially if it's "optional", like websites, calendaring, photos, etc, and ESPECIALLY if it means we're all gonna have to pay more for it. Let private companies handle that stuff - you're much more likely to get a better product anyway. If troops and packs want it, they can pony up the money for it. Of course I'm pretty biased that direction...
  23. Sorry to dig up a slightly old thread, but this is something that drives me crazy too... True story: My local district staged a sort of coup with our council over adult leader training data. National wants everyone trained, but then can't provide any reliable reports as to who's been trained with what: * People have multiple myscouting.org records, with different training associated with each one * People hold multiple positions with different units (something ScoutNET can't handle: again requires multiple BSA Ids) * National reports are broken, so you can't get a report even when you ask for it. The frustration hit a sort of boiling point, and the district decided to create their own training data application, where local units could log in to see and update *their own* data. That way, a leader could login, find the five BSA Ids that match his profile, aggregate all the training data, and then update it with his latest records. It's a sort of on-your-honor system, but it does have an audit trail, so you can see who entered what training data and where. Our council (to their credit) has been pretty supportive of the project. It's been rolled out to the three largest districts with plans to roll it out council wide in the next year. We were able to get the council to provide us the best training data they have, then we merge the data on our end and give them back something that's cleaned up (okay, we're working on the last part). So far, everybody LOVES it. Now, everybody from the UDC to the COR can log in to see exactly what training has and hasn't been completed for their respective areas. So, there are a few points that come from this: * BSA is not a software development company * There are a ton of scouting volunteers that will volunteer A LOT of time to see improvements in scouting IT systems * There is a huge power to giving local leaders at every rung of the scouting organization the data they need to do their job, without begging their local councils for printouts * There are districts that are pushing the envelope, with very good results
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