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Oh, and Soar seems to have a pretty low data limit. Our pack likes to upload pictures from our events andI think we'd run out of space pretty quickly.

 

Do you think we could link to Shutterfly or something like that? Could we embed pics from Shutterfly so that it looks seamless I wonder?

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@@zgeist a few points I can offer:

 

- Pics we use Shutterfly. It allows us the ability to share pics and videos better. We link from mytroop.

- TM is good and has a web version too. Can't speak to make usage on Mac. The web version is not as user friendly as the desktop version. The app they just deployed is decent and a great way to give lite access to Scout leaders.

- Online based advancement tracking could be dangerous. Make sure the provider you choose provides constant back ups. In other words, find out how often they back up data AND where it gets backed up. Ideally any online system backs data up AT LEAST daily and does it to a secondary site far away from where the primary site is. This way the worst case scenario is you will lose one day's worth of data.

- The problem with building your own website is that you need someone technical to take over when you leave. That person may be hard to find.

- Mytroop by itself is just average so you may be better off with another program that offers the features you need.

 

Since use ability is the key, what I've always found is to present the options to a group,,have them play with it and give their opinion. That way you get all the stake holders to buy in. ;)

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After literally days of looking at and testing different online tools for our cub scout pack I had a realization: none of the parents would ever visit a website more than once, if they even bothered to do that. This hit home today when a group email was sent out about an event we have planned. One parent thanked me for the email, which was nice. But then, as an afterthought, I posted the details as an Event on our group's Facebook page - and within minutes several parents had RSVP'd!!! 

This really helped me realized what I was trying to accomplish. I want to 1) make it easier for our Pack to plan activities and 2) easier to keep parents informed. That's it - everything else is just gravy.
 
Keeping parents informed is key. None of them are going to look at any website we have more than once, and they are certainly not going to go back to look for updates. The announcements have to come to them.  Email is fine, but nowadays people skim or ignore that. Text messages might help - but they can be intrusive, so I'd want them to volunteer to get them. And publishing to Facebook apparently is great, I guess because people are already there for other things - things they find fun, like keeping up-to-date with family.

 

I have a spreadsheet a made with a detailed analysis of several of the software tools available. The analysis only covers the features I was interested in.

 

Is there some way I could attach that spread sheet here to help anyone else who is interested?
 
 

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A challenge with Facebook is planning and publishing a nice clean calendar for the year.  SOAR does that great.  

 

We use "Facebook" for pictures, promotion and social media.  Period.  

 

We manage events in SOAR.  You are right.  Fewer sign up than if it was in Facebook.  :(

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Troop just switched from troop master to etrailtoeagle. I like the change.

Pack has just started using storybook. Happy with it as well. Love the communication features.

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Troop just switched from troop master to etrailtoeagle. I like the change.

Pack has just started using storybook. Happy with it as well. Love the communication features.

 

Do you mean Scoutbook?  Lots of people say they love it, but every time I try to use I just get aggravated. For such an 'easy to use' program the navigation just takes you round' and round. And I find it inexplicable that their calendar has been in beta for over a year, with no signs of them actually fixing all the bugs that have been reported.  For example, when you add an event you have the option of selecting achievement you intend to work on during that event - a really cool idea - except that the new achievements are not in the list, they still show the old ones.  There are lots of little issues like this all over the place.

 

So, no way to attach a spreadsheet?

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Troop just switched from troop master to etrailtoeagle. I like the change.

Pack has just started using storybook. Happy with it as well. Love the communication features.

 

etrailtoeagle ... interesting look.  I like much of what I see.  I like that the "tour" came up quick and painless as I switched screens.  

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We use TroopMaster and Mytroop in one of my troops, Scout Track in another.  My previous pack used Packmaster, and Im still deciding what the pack I just started will use.  The more I look at the options, the more I feel that there isnt one cookie cutter solution out there, but rather many products that fill needs based on the dynamics of your unit.

 

I did just check the Scoutbook site, and I appears BSA has been busy rebranding them since the acquisition.

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I did just check the Scoutbook site, and I appears BSA has been busy rebranding them since the acquisition.

 

After the problem BSA had with losing over 10,000 accounts on myscouting recently, I don't think I'd give them any more data they could lose. ;)

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So, finally, after much research and comparison, our pack has decided to go with Shutterfly for our website and CubTrails for our official calendar and advancement tracking. 

 

Shutterfly does 90% of what we want a website to do for free. There was no paid site ( $100 or less) that did more as easily.

 

CubTrails does advancement tracking better (or at least easier) than anything else (especially Scoutbook!). There are some things it just doesn't do, but the things it does do it does very well.

 

If anyone wants more details I'd be happy to supply them. I spent so much time on this I'd like it to be as much benefit as possible! ;-)

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sorry, late to this one....

Cub Scout Pack

We have a web site, just something that was made using a template from one of the web host companies, pretty much basic stuff

not convinced that it was ever looked at all that much

 

I set up a google calendar, which is shared to the pack's web site, and folks can link to it on their computers and phones (I'm not convinced that anyone did, well except 1 or 2 folks) but it sure helped me keep on top of things

 

The previous CM set up email groups using emaildodo, forwarding through alises attached to our pack's domain.  the alias part glitched a few times, but dodo works great.  Sadly, I think it's being abandoned now.

 

oh & I used google drive heavily, with sheets for a roster that I could use for tracking stuff

 

and of course email

 

 

I spent many hours researching the package tools such as scoutbook, troopwebhost, and the like....

determined that they are somewhat of a waste for us since I can't even get parents to reply to an email.

they rarely update the books, or communicate to the leaders..... if it takes effort, they wait for the DL to put out the work.

and besides, it really seems like a waste to track advancement for cubs.  There's no need in it.

except I can maybe see it useful for a mega pack with 100 boys, just in making shopping lists for awards... but even then, it's a small enough bite for the DL to handle (assuming normal sized dens)

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