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beaglelover

Do you use any pack software?

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Been researching, but wanted some opinions.  What does you pack do for an online presence for your pack.  I know there are several advancement software options (e.g. Scoutbook) but I am less concerned about tracking advancement and more interested in a one-stop shop for parents to see the schedule, contact the leadership, find forms, and maybe even pay online.  Communication and organization were a huge issue last year, and we are wondering if some online site might work better than what we have been doing.  

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How large is your pack?

 

"Communication and organization were a huge issue last year" - my experience this is usually a people issue not a tech issue. We have phones (land and wireless), texting, email, faxes, FB, a website, apps, FTF meetings, XBox Live, ....and our communication and organization was still bad. :blink:

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Last year it was about 30.  Our only official communication from the pack was a once a month email newsletter.  Pretty much nothing else other than the occasional right before the event email with details.  Led to a lot of confused parents asking what was going on, esp. if they accidentally deleted the email.  Further more, the pack did not have a dedicated email list serve or similar for the parents or leadership, so people were frequently left off emails.  It was disorganized enough the one den was actually left behind when we went on a pack field trip b/c no one told them the pack was going on a field trip.  They showed up to have their meeting to an empty building.  

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Last year it was about 30.  Our only official communication from the pack was a once a month email newsletter.  Pretty much nothing else other than the occasional right before the event email with details.  Led to a lot of confused parents asking what was going on, esp. if they accidentally deleted the email.  Further more, the pack did not have a dedicated email list serve or similar for the parents or leadership, so people were frequently left off emails.  It was disorganized enough the one den was actually left behind when we went on a pack field trip b/c no one told them the pack was going on a field trip.  They showed up to have their meeting to an empty building.

 

MyPack/SOAR has a ton of communications and automated features for managing your Pack.

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Hi - our pack is another MyPack/SOAR user here. Email mailing lists are a breeze to setup and maintain, members could be marked as 'inactive' should they drop out but can be also easily re-activated. We have a password-protected site where photos are shared, announcements are made, and even events can be paid for by a linked PayPal account. Support has been outstanding, very responsive to requests.

 

Last summer when I did due diligence on the alternatives (including - yikes - a mashup of Google Groups, Signup Genius, Facebook and Google Docs) I wrote up a review of the three leading contenders. PM me with your email and I'll be happy to send it to you.

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MyPack/SOAR has a ton of communications and automated features for managing your Pack.

 

Also using SOAR in multiple units.  Great tool for managing weekly emails, email lists, calendar, roster, sign-ups, etc.  It's not an advancement tracking tool, but it's really well setup for a unit committee to have the right infrastructure.

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We use Packmaster for record keeping.  Primarily for me as the Cubmaster.  For communications, we use a free website called Scoutlander.  Here are the key area's I like about this site.

 

1.  It is secure.

2.  You can match parents up with youth

3.  You can add a picture of the individual with their profile.  It works great matching names to faces.

4.  It has a calendar

5.  It sends out E-mail notices 48 hours prior to an event as a reminder

 

Here is a link to set it up.

 

http://www.scoutlander.com/PublicSite/home.aspx

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We are another user of the SOAR / Packmaster  combination.  We used the same set up for the Troop.  Our Pack is huge +/- 100 scouts so we needed a very good communication tool as well as advancement tracking.  We tried multiple products and did not find anything that served us as well.  We tried Scoutbook and found it to be lacking in pretty much everything we need when it cam to the Pack.

 

In SOAR we us a weekly eBlast to keep everyone informed, we use the RSVP feature w/ PayPal for events.  The Den leaders and Cubmaster (no longer me WooWhoo!) use the email lists to get information out.  We recently added Packmaster Web to the mix which allows the Packmaster App.  Packmaster/Packmaster-Web gas many of the feature that SOAR has but not there yet so we still use both.

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It goes back a few years no for me...so things have changed

but We did a hodgpodge of stuff.

I heavily researched options back in the day.  Most of those sites for cubs had a huge focus on advancement tracking and record keeping.  I eventually decided that all of that was a bunch of work and effort for nothing.  At the cub level, it seems more important to just have the scouts' track their own in their handbooks and focus on instant recognition.  The only exception i can imagine is the huge pack with multiple dens at each level, where it might be good to have some sort of system to help streamline the job of the person buying all the patches.

I played around with the trax spreadsheet templates...don't know if those are still out there and supported....but honestly it wasn't a huge help

and we used emaildodo to set up email groups for each den, for the scouters, and for the full unit

 

With the troop, we use troopwebhost.  Pretty sure he has a pack version now.

Excellent tools for group emails, for the troop calendar, and for the treasurer to keep all the money logged and visible.  I would not be doing the treasurer job , personally, without the transparency it offers.

My opinion is ignore the advancement tracking for cubs.  It's not that important.

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My opinion is ignore the advancement tracking for cubs.  It's not that important.

 

LOL ... Funny, but probably correct.  Or use the new ScoutBook to get it recorded with BSA.

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My pack is looking into Team Snap, which I honestly know nothing about but those who have looked at it say it seems promising. The big perk I've been hearing about is that if we use it, we'll be able to get trip rosters and payments done through the Team Snap system. Instead of email trails of chasing down parents to find out who's going camping, who paid, getting someone to pick up or drop off cash/check, etc., it can all be done through the app. In theory at least. :)

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We use ScoutTrack.com. It works good for emails, but I think texts and a private FB group works well too. Honestly, I prefer getting a text.

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