We've used ScoutTrack, we've used ScoutManage. Looking at something new for this year. Anyone try Scout Spirit?
I like using a program to manage advancements and awards. I do most of the pack recordkeeping and am AC it helps me be more organized. I also like it as a scout parent, as I can see very easily and clearly what my scout needs to accomplish for awards. My den leaders also find that it is a source of ideas for new activities. We don't use a program for the troop and it's a constant question of who has earned what, whether it has been awarded,etc. I like online programs that everyone can access so there are no mysteries or surprises.
Getting everyone to use a program is a different issue. I've offered to teach the other leaders and for the leaders who are not at all computer-literate or who do not have computer access, I offer to enter the data for them. When they realize that their scouts are earning fewer awards than the other scouts, they generally come around. I also enter data for pack events, like achievements completed at family camp. I send out reminders of when data needs to be submitted, but I don't go chasing after it. It takes time to change a culture, I suggest patience.
I've not seen scoutspirit. I'll plan on taking a look today.
In the spirit of this thread, why are you getting away form scoutrack and scoutmanage?
ScoutTrack, at least when we used it, lacked the ability to add your own unit and local awards, didn't track well from year to year, and wasn't parent-friendly. We are fine with parents entering awards for Tiger-Bear years with understood limits on how many the pack will pay for. If I remember correctly, sending emails wasn't the easiest task either.
ScoutManage looked promising. It looks good. It has tutorials for the most common functions. Parents/leaders can sign in using Facebook, Google, Twitter or OpenID. Admins can add their own awards, easy peasy. It's easy to look at a rank badge or belt loop and see what the requirements are and what requirements are still needed. Achievements can be added in bulk or individually. Records are kept year to year, including belt loops. Scouts who leave can be archived and records retrieved if they return. There are functions for the treasurer and unit event planning. Lots of stuff done right.
BUT...from a function point of view, it requires parents and leaders to be defined as 'users' as well as parents and leaders. The admin sets up a user for everyone who needs access or emails from the unit, setting permissions for each. This duplicates the data entry already completed when the scout is added to the system, because the admin has to enter the email address for each parent in the scout's record and the 'user' records. The system sends an automated email to the user at setup requesting that the user create an account at ScoutManage. The vast majority of our parents did not do this even with encouragement. For those parents who did, I have no idea what email address they used. I cannot export the email addresses for the users, just for the scout records. If a parent updated their own email address, they naturally assume that I can see the update when I cannot. Archive a scout? Wait, you didn't delete the parents as users, they are still getting emails. The whole 'user' thing is clunky and confusing to parents and leaders. My leaders can use the program but it doesn't help them. They hate it. And while I think the advancement reports are good and there are other reports that are nice, the report macros have two limitations. First, I can't make a list of scouts without including dens, parents, emails, and phone numbers. And second, I can't get a total number of scouts in my unit without counting them one by one on my screen or a printed report. Kind of lame.
Furthermore, after we signed with ScoutManage, the support/help guy disappeared behind ANOTHER forum that we were all suppose to use for support that required registration complete with login and password, barely answered questions and basically left all the clients high and dry. He started a FB page and seldoms appears on it, either. Add to this the sudden appearance of merchandise ads from Amazon with a kickback to the site, and I'm not impressed.