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Pack/Troop tracking software


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#1 MichScouter

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

What do most people use? I was thinking of trying scout manager 30 day free trial. Which work well which don't? Is there a free version? Thanks for any help
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#2 Basementdweller

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

our Pack uses scouttracks The Troop uses troopwebhost.....I love it, the only thing it doesn't do that I would like for it to do is Permission slips. Some other folks complain that it doesn't print merit badge cards........But I contend that the boys are supposed to fill them out for themselves and I just need to sign it. We switched from Troopmaster to this......
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#3 beaver1onit

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:35 PM

Why did you switch from Troopmaster? Our troop committee has decided to go with Troopmaster. Would like to know before we commit. If anyone has comments about it good or bad please post. Thanks!
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#4 Basementdweller

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

Reasons we left troop master were many.....The biggest is the lack of any real innovation. The main database must reside on one PC or laptop, unless you want to spend more money. No web access with out more money. Troopmaster one year license is $44 dotnet option $25 Web $60 Troop ledger $69 Even with all that you must still sync it to a database on someones PC....... So it was roughly $100 per year......and still isn't a true cloud application. ours is $99 per year for all that plus it hosts an unlimited data photo album, Troop ledger, Troop inventory, Advancement, Calendar and it has an Auto newsletter and email feature. Plus it feels like it was written in this century...
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#5 fred8033

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

I'm amazed how many new web solutions exist for scouting and how quick those tools are evolving. - troopwebhost looks promising, but sort of klunky on the interface. It feels like a web version of TroopMaster. - ScoutManager looks promising, but in it's early stages. Not necessarily fully featured. - Our troop uses SOAR (www.soarol.com) and Troopmaster. We don't renew the licence every year as it's not required. - Our pack uses SOAR and ScoutTracks. ScoutTracks has a klunky interface, but is very good at tracking details. But of course, I'm not sure unit leaders need much more then Excel for tracking cub advancement.
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#6 anderle

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:52 AM

Checked out scout manager. Nice try but lacking so many features that it's worthless. Inability to set dates of when requirements, merit badges, etc done - defaults to current date. Didn't find anywhere to list POR. Can't even say what leadership position the adults are in. Many other glaring deficiencies.
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#7 kari_cardi

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

My unit is in our second year of ScoutManage. I'm no a fan. The way it is organized isn't intuitive, it is missing features that would make it MUCH easier to use, and the support keeps changing. Right now it seems the best way to get questions answered is the FB page. Pretty lame for a paid service. The best features are the graphics and that parents can log in with Facebook. They don't seem to know what to do once they log in, though. manderle, I haven't had a problem with two of the things you mentioned. I can set dates for advancements and set positions for adult leaders and scouts. Perhaps you've run into the problem I've found, the program isn't transparent. We are considering switching over to Google sites and spreadsheets as a more straightforward way to manage unit communication and advancement tracking. At least then we wouldn't be paying for the frustration.
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#8 Second Class

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

We use Troopmaster, and that's all I know. The cost as I recall isn't near what was listed. A three year with server hosted files was less than $100.00. That's what I recall from a committee meeting when it was approved. The web version allows multiple users to load it on their computer, and use the common/cloud database. Only one user at a time. It has done everything we have asked it to do, and more. With this and yahoo for group emails, we're covered. Some folks complain that we don't have a web site. I offer them that job, and they stop complaining.
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#9 Basementdweller

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:22 AM

Well second class you need to compare apples to apples. Troopmaster has been the defacto standard for years, Not anymore. Troop website, Calendar, email, sms/txt, Troop inventory, Troop Finances, Event Planning and finance, Online event sign up, Event advancement Planning, Cloud storage, Mobile Access, Multiple users, Online Photo Albums, Auto Email Newsletter, accept paypal for event payment, Advancement and award tracking youth and adult. Troopmaster does not offer the functionality for the same $$$$. it is the pricing I posted..... In one package it does not share data with multiple users......It does not allow multiple users to access the data at the same time. Still requires one PC to act as the master database. you need the Traveler TM package which is priced per user for mobile access. You need to first purchase troop master, then dot.net then web, then ledger to get near the functionality of what we use. And it still won't generate an automated news letter and email it the membership. Looked at troopmaster......Functionality/connectivity is just too limited for our needs. I need to be able to access it from work, home, troop meeting and outings with out being forced to lug a laptop around. I can do that with troopwebhost and not with troopmaster. (This message has been edited by Basementdweller)
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#10 King Ding Dong

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:32 PM

I like the entire integrated approach of troopwebhost and have sent about 12 inquires to troops using it. 90% glowing responses. However, there seem to be limitations on the advancement module. TM seems to handle some automatic functions better in regards to special awards. Such as automatically awarding world conservation award when requirements met. I am not sure how big a deal this is, but my advancement chair is not going to accept anything less than TM so if TWH falls short in that area I am hosed. The TM to TWH data transfer from what I am told does not transfer incomplete MB data. Not good. I certainly don't want to run two systems and without the advancement data TWH loses a significant amount of its punch. It is like a review on amazon with 150 5 star reviews and 5 1 stars, but the 1 stars have a valid point. Does the greater good of having better transparency with the troop outweigh the robust functions of TM. I feel it does but selling that to the committee is hard.
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#11 fred8033

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:58 AM

Ya know ... I'm pretty happy with our solution. ---- SOAROL.COM - for web site, email, calendar, sign-up, auto-payment, automatic newsletter, etc ---- TroopMaster (PC version with data backup on internet) for general records and tracking "IN WORK" (i.e. to be awarded) advancements - We've really gotten away from recording that much in Troopmaster anymore. - We just don't see the purpose. ---- Boy Scout Handbook for real advancement tracking with the scout. ---- BSA ScoutNET for official tracking
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#12 perdidochas

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:46 AM

I'm the Advancement Chair for the troop. We used to use Troopmaster, but have just moved over to Troopwebhost. For purely tracking advancement/activities and use by the Advancement Coordinator, Troopmaster is a much better program. It has the ability to print rank/merit badge cards (need an add on to do this with troopwebhost), and has a much better selection of reports (including permission slips). Troopwebhost is a great overall program. It not only tracks advancement sufficiently (not as good as TM, but ok), it also tracks finances, gives a web portal to troop information, and has the ability to send out emails/newsletters, etc. Troopwebhost allows scouts (and parents) to log in and check their recorded advancement, and camp account information. Basically I see the TM/TWH comparison as lockblade vs. multi-tool. TM is the lockblade (an excellent knife). TWH is a multitool--as a knife, it's sufficient, but it's also a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.
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#13 SSScout

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:22 AM

Test test Pack.
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#14 Gone

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:23 AM

Just checked the various websites of the two products listed. I saw: 1) Troopwebhost: $99/year + $15/year for own URL 2) Troopmaster: $41/year (based on a three year license with TM and DotNet access making it "cloud" based and multiuser) We add SOAR on to that (@$89/year) and we get the full features of that site + TM which is a bit more robust than Troopwebhost for us $15 more a year. While both products likely meet the needs of troops just a bit differently, I would suggest that the gap between the two is not so great. In fact, Tm being the more robust for advancement mgmt., if you are willing to spend $15 more a year the TM+SOAR option is very, very nice.
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#15 fred8033

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:22 PM

I'm generally a fan of SOAR because of the strong and stable user interface. Rich email capabilities. Good calendaring. .... I contacted the owner recently and he indicated a lot of good features coming. I'm not involved with the company. Just interested in it's success as I've got about 15 local units to adopt it for their packs & troops. Good package. I tried TroopWebHost recently, and had trouble with buttons that were invisible on some browsers and menus that did not immediately expand. The web interface is flaky.
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#16 Basementdweller

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:44 PM

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......
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#17 Basementdweller

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:03 PM

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.
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#18 Basementdweller

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:06 PM

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.
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#19 Gone

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:25 PM

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.

@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.
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#20 Scoutbook

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:44 PM

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.

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