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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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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