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Website for the Pack?


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#1 ALCubmom

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 01:50 PM

Do you use a website to keep your pack up to date with calendars and events and pictures and what not through a website page or facebook? I have noticed there is pack and troop web pages out there that are private and have to have member login information to access. What is your opinion on that?
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#2 JasonG172

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:33 PM

We use scout manage (now called youth manage) if you can get your parents to use it !!! I also use Facebook and I use Calling Post. What I refuse to allow is someone NOT be informed. I also text
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#3 ALCubmom

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:53 PM

We use Facebook, I have been starting to text more, and email as well. However through google I have seen other use websites? I had a Den Leader suggest using a website, but wasn't sure if it was worth it..I will look into those 2 you mentioned. Thank you.
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#4 King Ding Dong

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:59 PM

The problem I run into is getting the parents to actually read an email. If they won't do that they are not going to go to a website.
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#5 scoutergipper

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:44 PM

In this day and age, it's almost "expected" that you're going to have a website. They make a great marketing tool for your unit. Please be aware of security issues - don't post Scout names along with any pictures, etc. The home page should be publicly available as a marketing device, but everything else should be password protected for members of your unit only.
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#6 JasonG172

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:05 AM

The problem I run into is getting the parents to actually read an email. If they won't do that they are not going to go to a website.



YEAP, exactly right !!!! Texting is right there in their FACES ! I have a couple of parent that asked if I just text them the information but I told them some some of my emails are a little long. So for some of my parents I have to TEXT them to let them know I emailed them !! UGH
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#7 mattman578

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

I have used Many different methods to communicate with my den. My Pack does have a Face-book page and that works great we also use a a program scouttrack and I have used cubscout tracker they are both great programs and have a calender function that will email your everybody involved and has calendar attachments. One thing that works great also is sending email messages to text messages it is really easy to do you add there phone number and service provider
you can to to this web sight and find how to send the message
http://www.emailtextmessages.com/
and if the parent wont give you there cell phone provider you can look it up here
https://www.carrierlookup.com/

Then you can be really annoying and blast there email and phone at the same time LOL but at least they will know
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#8 Loomans

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:30 AM

Yep, websites are becoming almost obsolete. People expect information to come to them, not to have to go to the information. Websites are good for basic information about a unit and about scouting, not so much for events and other time-sensitive information. The issue we've run into is in keeping all the information streams synchronized. It's the main reason we dropped our pack website.
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#9 ParkMan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

We have a fairly developed pack website. It serves three purposes: - marketing - a central spot with our most current calendar - a repository for frequently asked questions like - how should I pack for a campout? what patches do I need for my son's uniform We do not use it as a mechanism for sending out pack info. We use email for that.
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#10 jc2008

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:42 AM

We use facebook and scoutlander. We have a pack page on facebook where we post all our pictures and announce/advertise our upcoming events. This is nice because relatives of the scouts who live far away are often looking and commenting on what their grandchildren/neices/nephews are up to! Along with the parents able to communicate through facebook with each other. Scoutlander we use for the Email Broadcast where you can email the leaders, a specific den or entire pack. It is easier than everyone being expected to keep an updated list of who is still active in the pack or new members. I just add/subtract people from the list and the leaders who want to send out an email just go through scoutlander to send it. Also parents know to watch for emails that come through scoutlander to their email accounts. Also on scoutlander they have a calendar which I put all of our activities/meetings into and it automatically sends out a reminder email 2 days before an event. That way I don't have to!
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#11 anotherguy

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:41 AM

We've found great success using the widely available google-based Cub Scout template. (Google to find it) It's customizable to each unit's needs. We also send brief emails with links to info posted on the pack's website. By far, our most effective tool is our online subscribable calendar. Google hosts these for free. We have a pack calendar and one for each den. That way our families only get the info they need. Tigers don't need to know when the Webelos campout is, etc... This calendar integrates well with the template based website I mentioned previously. Families can sync these calendars with their home computers, mobile devices, phones, etc. If a new meeting is scheduled or a location or time changes to an existing meeting, it's automatically updated at each pack subscriber's electronic device. Works amazingly well. We also use Facebook, but not nearly to the same extent.
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#12 fred johnson

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:43 PM

Been using SOAR ... reasonable cost and a nice set of features. :)

http://www.mypack.us/

Best part is you don't need to invest a lot of time to have a really good site, mailing list, e-blast, roster, etc etc. Easily worth the $99 per year.
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#13 Sidney Porter

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:32 AM

A website is helpful for marketing and recruiting. We moved and switched packs between wolf and bear. Our initial evaluation was to look for websites. Most did not do a great job keeping them up to date but it gave us a general idea. For tracking achievements, notification and the calendar. I have used scout manager and youth manage (FKA scout manage)
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#14 smurfica5

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 02:41 PM

We use a public website www.pack106.org
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#15 blw2

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 10:21 AM

Old thread, but I agree with earlier posts. Most parents won't read email, & I'm not convinced that any of them ever look at the web site. I used to maintain the web site and blast out email announcements and such when acting as ACM.... now I have a new parent that is taking the web site. I'm not encouraging it much any more, but I do ask her to post links for upcoming stuff, just so that when I make an announcement at the pack meeting I can just say check the pack's site, instead of printing 50 copies of which 40 or so I'll be cleaning up after the meeting. And the biggest problem I see for these commercial scouting package sites (SOAR and the like) is the big focus on tracking awards. After much analysis, I've concluded that this is a lot of work for nothing..... for Cub Scouts anyway. Likely more useful at the troop level.
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#16 SM bob

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 10:18 AM

We use Facebook and Cubscouttracker.com Facebook is for the committee and parents to post. cubscouttracker.com is for rank advancement tracking, emails, and the den/pack Calender.
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#17 fred johnson

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 03:34 PM

Old thread, but I agree with earlier posts.
Most parents won't read email, & I'm not convinced that any of them ever look at the web site.

I used to maintain the web site and blast out email announcements and such when acting as ACM.... now I have a new parent that is taking the web site. I'm not encouraging it much any more, but I do ask her to post links for upcoming stuff, just so that when I make an announcement at the pack meeting I can just say check the pack's site, instead of printing 50 copies of which 40 or so I'll be cleaning up after the meeting.

And the biggest problem I see for these commercial scouting package sites (SOAR and the like) is the big focus on tracking awards. After much analysis, I've concluded that this is a lot of work for nothing..... for Cub Scouts anyway. Likely more useful at the troop level.


blw2 is right.

....

Ummm.... edited the rest. I think I was grumpy when I wrote it. It hit a button.
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#18 fred johnson

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 10:12 PM

Okay. Calmer day now ... I find SOAR extremely useful for calendar, roster and managing events and communication. I agree though with blw2. I don't see much use for web based advancement tools. Only exception is to help the advancement person coordinate purchases. But then, web based solutions only move the problem from getting emails to entering data. Not a big difference. I see no value for troops. Official records are the merit badge cards, the Boy Scout Handbook and BSA ScoutNet. Troopmaster ... packmaster ... and other electronic systems are just redundant and at best match the official records. At worst, they are inaccurate and out of date. Especially now that troops can sign into BSA ScoutNet and get nice reports out of it.
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#19 MattR

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 11:07 PM

fred, official records as far as the council is concerned is what gets loaded into their computer and troopmaster will generate an advancement report that will do just that. It also tracks things like adult training, service hours, things for JTE, and who is going on what events. When a scout has an Eagle COH I like to print out a report of everything the scout has done to help me remember good stories stories. Once scouts don't need any more campouts they won't keep track of them. As for scouts and parents not reading email or listening to announcements, yep. Then they complain to you that you didn't tell them something. No IT solution in the world will solve that problem.
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#20 fred johnson

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:42 PM

MattR ... If your group finds it useful, go for it.

I get the scout's advancement record for ScoutNet (aka the council resource). I get the training report from either our council custom site or now the new http://my.scouting.org. Service hours are easy to compute as we know who attended through the SOAR attendee list for each event. I just want to minimize the data entry.

Years ago, we used to keep TroopMaster records up to date religiously. We'd print out a stack of paper before each meeting. Now, we can quickly get into the official systems and it is less work in the long run.

....

I tried to attach images of what BSA and SOAR gives you but I can't. This web site won't allow it.
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