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MichScouter

Pack/Troop tracking software

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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?

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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?

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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If a counselor says tough luck' date=' 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. [/quote']

 

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.

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has anyone found anything capable of sending SMS alerts out to Scouts? Scouts, as most of you know, don't read e-mail but they will look at texts. We also want something that parents can use to import into their personal calendars (e.g. Google).

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We've been using etrailtoeagle.com. Most of our scouts are young and the parents really like the report subscriptions that shows them which requirements are needed for the next rank. It's pretty cheap (~$20/year) and doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a lot of the others, but it does the job for our small troop.

 

May have to look troopwebhost -- haven't heard of that but sounds similar...

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We have troop web host that we just started up.

But some parents don't like it due to privacy issues.

Basically if you use itas your main database of info about all the youth and adults, by default that would mean you'd put in full names, addresses, email addresses, seveal phone numbers, etc. right?

Well on all the reports, that any member can pull up, not just leaders, they get to see a lot of that personal info.

 

since we have over 50 youth, that means there are about 100 adult who have the basic level of access. some of the adults don't want all the youth and all the adults to see all their addresses and phone numbers. We uploaded automatically from troopmaster, so it entered employer and work numbers which also show on some of the reports.

 

Leaders can see even more data--date of birth and driver's license numbers and medical insurance numbers all as nice little reports and some people take issue with how easy it is to get that info. So right now all adults are just listed as regular parents, except a handful of people rather than giving access to those reports to the huge number of people our troop has listed as committee and leaders.

 

so to make themselves feel better about their safey--parents are going thru and deleting things in their profiles to protect their privacy, which is ok--except now we have to keep a separate database of home addresses(to update at recharter to get those boy's life subscriptions etc), and email addresses elsewhere for communication cause if you remove your email we can't send you the auto newsletters and stuff from within troop web host.

 

The default is that everyone in the system has an acct. some parents are a bit concerned that their youth can log in and add back in all the info the parents have deleted. or that since we have some youth who are only 10, some of the parents are a bit more concerned about the level of unattended communication that can occur between their young one and any of the adults. I mean realistically there are adult parents who now have accts on the system that I have never met and I'm membership chair. so I might not like that the adult I don't know could private message my 10 year old scout by sending a txt thru the system and I would never know about it. It could get oogly woogly.

 

With a small troop in a small town, it might not be as big of a potential issue, as everyone tends to know everyone else and where they live and where they work.

 

 

If we are going to use TWHost, We have to rewrite the troop's website policy to address some issues. We have to figure out if youth under age 13 will have accts or not. Right now we deleted all youth accounts that troop web host made automatically because we do have some incrediby young scouts who have not shown good use of common sense in other areas, so we are unsure about automatcially giving them access. We aren't positve what would apply from the Children's Online Privacy and Protection act (the main reason why Facebook doesn't allow youth under 14); there is a provision that no-profits don't have to follow COPPA, but that seems like a cop out.

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Interesting.....

 

I would email support......I imagine it would take him less than an hour to change the permission on the reports so only leaders or a new designated position can run reports..........It does log all emails.......

 

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Just played with the reports as a Parent with adult only permissions.

 

There is no information such as DL numbers or Insurance info available to the average parent in any of the reports I ran.

 

All though, you can print rosters with addresses and phone numbers and emergency contact info......

 

I did email John and ask him to limit access to the reports to Adult and youth leaders only.

 

I don't really see the need of the average parent to have access to our troops roster.

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Yeah that's why almost everyone is listed as just parents, so they can't see quite as much stuff as people listed as leaders can see. One parent that is also a leader freaked out that they could print a birthday list of everyone adult and scout's birthdays. someone else freaked that in the contact list it showed their employer's name and phone number. they My CC has talked with TWHost and I believe its on a to do list somewhere. But there is a bit of disagreement as to who should see which reports.

 

What our parents would like is to be able to click next to which info of theirs can be listed on a troop roster for everyone to see-- so they could choose which phone number they want listed but be able to leave all of their numbers in the system for say the emergency contact report to be printed for the SM for an outing. Or if they don't want their address on any of the reports they don't have to delete the address, they can leave it so we can have the address as membership chair working thru recharter. I guess we have a couple people in the witness protection program ;)

 

Would like it so that the youth can't edit all of their own info. or admin click if a youth can update their info or if their parents have to do it or something like that. I know it seems if they have an acct they should be trustworthy enough that they aren't going to change everything. but my 13 year old really wanted to change his nickname to something obnoxious and put the school phone number down as his cell phone number for some reason.... ;)

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