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Scoutbook Acquired By Bsa


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#1 fred johnson

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 04:03 PM

http://blog.scouting...or-a-quick-chat

 

BSA is about to start pushing ScoutBook.  So far from what I see, it will be a long time before I'd suggest any of my scouting units use it.  

 

What do you think?  

 

 


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#2 Gone

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 04:20 PM

http://blog.scouting...or-a-quick-chat

 

BSA is about to start pushing ScoutBook.  So far from what I see, it will be a long time before I'd suggest any of my scouting units use it.  

 

What do you think?  

 

Test drove it for a while. No where near what Troopmaster coupled with the mytroop websites by SOAR can do. Better graphics than TM/SOAR but the functionality is weak. Would agree with your assessment.


Edited by Bad Wolf, 27 May 2015 - 04:20 PM.

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#3 fred johnson

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 05:21 PM

Bad Wolf ... Agreed.  We use SOAR.  It's great.  We stopped using Troopmaster as no one really needed the data.  We enter the merit badges and ranks directly in ScoutNet.  It produces a nice pick sheet PDF file for shopping at the scout shop.  There are a few key roster and advancement reports from ScoutNet we can run on demand.  Plus, it's the official source.  Nothing like getting the key data from the horses mouth.  

 

We've been doing this for years and it's really all we need.  The rest just seemed like busy work ... so we stopped.  IMHO, I think we are better off this way.  

 

Of course, without SOAR we'd be hosed ... and no ... I do not work for SOAR.  


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#4 JoeBob

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:22 AM

I have to ding Troopmaster.  Their messaging app had a hiccough last year, and it's never recovered.  Mysterious dropping of some eMails to some people.  We have to use spreadsheets to be sure that everyone gets troop communications.

 

New advancement chair taking over.  He'll get to decide if we switch.


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#5 Gone

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:29 AM

I have to ding Troopmaster.  Their messaging app had a hiccough last year, and it's never recovered.  Mysterious dropping of some eMails to some people.  We have to use spreadsheets to be sure that everyone gets troop communications.

 

New advancement chair taking over.  He'll get to decide if we switch.

 

Ours is working fine. We found that if everyone who has TM did not update their software the problem remained.

 

All fixed now. Has been since about two weeks after it happened.


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#6 perdidochas

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:29 AM

We finally have gotten our records in TroopWebHost in the shape we need them (after moving from Troopmaster).  I hope we aren't forced to Scoutbooks.  I can't take another move of that much data. 


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#7 Gone

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:30 AM

We finally have gotten our records in TroopWebHost in the shape we need them (after moving from Troopmaster).  I hope we aren't forced to Scoutbooks.  I can't take another move of that much data. 

 

Forced? Who would force you? BSA has enough problems.


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#8 perdidochas

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:22 AM

Forced? Who would force you? BSA has enough problems.

 

Well, we could be forced to enter records into Scoutbook before buying advancement patches......


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#9 Gone

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:27 AM

Well, we could be forced to enter records into Scoutbook before buying advancement patches......

 

Well we have to do that with Internet Advancement now....if we want the free ranks. Thanks to TM that's a simply file to import.

 

Thanks to technical people, the various systems can export data for import in to BSA systems. If BSA starts to get preachy on what we can/can't buy it will be yet another "change" they are trying to force on units. I don't think they have the time or inclination to push something like this.


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#10 fred johnson

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:31 PM

Has anyone beside Bad Wolf and myself looked at ScoutBook.com ???
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#11 fred johnson

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 07:46 AM

Anyone used ScoutBook.com ?   Anyone ?


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#12 SlowDerbyRacer

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 08:10 AM

Anyone used ScoutBook.com ?   Anyone ?

I've used it, but only individually and not for pack or den purposes.  Been trialing it in case we consider moving to it.  I like it a lot.


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#13 blw2

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 09:26 AM

I looked at a bit a long while back... looked at all of those tools I could find.... although I don't recall it well specifically so it didn't shine.. but that was probably because I was looking from the perspective of cubs

Determined they were all nearly worthless at the cub level.  No real need to track anything, and that seems to be a major focus

We do need communications and calendar tools, which it seems to do ok.

 

I'm looking forward to see what BSA does or doesn't do with it....


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#14 fred johnson

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 06:05 PM

Bump.  Just looking for other people and their experiences.


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#15 MattR

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 09:30 PM

We use TroopMaster and SOAR. They're both a hack using archaic technology. However, the reason we've been asked to use scoutbook is because it will help the council. That doesn't seem to imply it will help us, so we're not interested.

 

Scoutbook doesn't have a website part, costs twice as much as TroopMaster (for us), and doesn't integrate with SOAR. So we have no reason to use it.


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#16 5yearscouter

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 09:37 PM

I took a look at the user forums and wish reports and report of errors yesterday.

From what I see the biggest hang up is that you can't enter anyone in your roster unless they have a unique email address.  we have whole families that use one email address, and no I do not want to make dummy email addresses for the other 4 people in the family in order to have the whole family on the roster of 3 scouts and 2 adult leaders.  So many people are moving away from email except as stuff to get and read and then delete.  if they even read it.  And it appears that parents have to do most of everything to enter and track their scouts, and we have difficulty getting parents to actually log into anything, but they really like to receive an email or txt notification of events.  We made the parents all log into troop web host to verify their email, phone number for themselves and their scouts for recharter last fall and it was like pulling teeth. 

 

I like the idea of submitting to scoutnet and receiving reports out of scout net, two way communication would be great.  I figure it won't get to be that great for another year or two though when they get kinks worked out. and if it's like myscouting, or my.scouting the kinks will be worked out in about a dozen years.


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#17 Gone

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Posted 30 May 2015 - 08:57 AM

We use TroopMaster and SOAR. They're both a hack using archaic technology. However, the reason we've been asked to use scoutbook is because it will help the council. That doesn't seem to imply it will help us, so we're not interested.
 
Scoutbook doesn't have a website part, costs twice as much as TroopMaster (for us), and doesn't integrate with SOAR. So we have no reason to use it.


Who has asked you to use it? Council? How does a unit using it help council? I'm curious as I have not heard anything from my council on this and they are very tech friendly. Thanks!
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#18 fred johnson

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Posted 30 May 2015 - 12:31 PM

We use TroopMaster and SOAR. They're both a hack using archaic technology. However, the reason we've been asked to use scoutbook is because it will help the council. That doesn't seem to imply it will help us, so we're not interested.

 

Scoutbook doesn't have a website part, costs twice as much as TroopMaster (for us), and doesn't integrate with SOAR. So we have no reason to use it.

 

TroopMaster is archaic, fully agreed.  

 

SOAR is not archaic at all.  It's more a minimalist web interface ... which turns out to be faster and more flexible when moving between many different platforms.  


Edited by fred johnson, 30 May 2015 - 12:50 PM.

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#19 MattR

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Posted 30 May 2015 - 12:58 PM

Bad Wolf, yes, Council has asked us to use it. It helps the council because all the advancement, service hours, and JTE numbers are automatically uploaded. TroopMaster already loads the advancement info.

 

fred, well, okay, SOAR isn't exactly archaic but the fact that it's tied to TroopMaster makes it rather clunky compared to what could be done. Their email solution to the yahoo mess makes searching through emails a nuisance. Scouts can't update their contact info because info can't flow back to troopmaster, where that info all comes from. It would be really nice to create email aliases based on who is signed up for an event, but there's the troopmaster event and the soar event. That's the kind of thing I'm whining about. It's not horrible and it is the best we can find, but, well, you get what you pay for.

 

On the other hand, from what I saw about scoutbook, it is very glitzy with cute graphics, but I'm not sure it has the functionality of troopmaster. I kind of cringe when I read about how parents can find out about "schedule advancement and home assignments"


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#20 Gone

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Posted 30 May 2015 - 01:01 PM

TroopMaster is archaic, fully agreed.  

 

SOAR is not archaic at all.  It's more a minimalist web interface ... which turns out to be faster and more flexible when moving between many different platforms.  

 

The TM web platform overcomes many data sharing issues. You can assign numerous access roles for your adult leaders. Makes checking and confirming things like attendance, sign offs, etc., much easier and does not require the client software. Replicates with the master DB via a merge performed by the DBA...essentially a few clicks and you are done.

 

SOAR is pretty simple but very robust. When used in concert with TM it GREATLY alleviates a great many communication and information sharing processes we used to do manually. The PLs can send out emails and announcements to their patrols, target communications and events the same way. Troop roster, patrol roster, scout advancement status is all online. We update weekly so that scouts can take charge and manage their own scout careers.

 

Combined with other media we are able to direct scouts and parents to the website to get all the information they need. Our standard answer to most questions is, "Have you checked the website?"

 

Simple is good...and works.


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