Scouting Software

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Scouting Software

Postby dparker » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:40 pm

Our Troop currently uses TroopMaster ME to help manage things. So far, it has been extremely useful and versatile. The author is also pretty easy to contact with questions and suggestions. Updates are frequent and timely.

That being said, I have heard some reports of other software products out there, but nothing specific. If your troop uses software, what is it and would you recommend it? What is its approximate cost (other than TM)?
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Postby optimist » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:00 pm

On the Merit Badge Resource Links page, there is a list of links for advancement software. There are four free programs. There are also over a dozen commericial packages, four of which are ScoutNet Certified. Sorry but I haven't compiled a price list recently.
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Postby dparker » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:44 pm

optimist wrote:On the Merit Badge Resource Links page, there is a list of links for advancement software. There are four free programs. There are also over a dozen commericial packages, four of which are ScoutNet Certified. Sorry but I haven't compiled a price list recently.
Thanks for the links. I would really like to hear from the people that use the various programs and see what their real world experience has been.
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Postby optimist » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:55 am

I was having a conversation with a fellow Scoutmaster the other day and this topic came up and I thought I would share his thoughts on this subject. (I don't currently use advancement software but I want to which is why it came up.)

He has used several program over the years, he even wrote one. However, he always ends up coming back to TroopMaster. For him, it's simply better, does everything he wants, and does it well.

His only concern is the price. Not only is TroopMaster the most expensive product up front ($75 compared to $50 for most other products) but it has a substantial number of add-ons that get into some serious money. The total cost for the main program plus all the add-ons can run as much as $300 for a single troop. Of course, you may not want or need any of the add-ons since the main program does a very good job on its own.

The old saying "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. My friend thinks TroopMaster is worth the difference. As for me, I'm currently testing both TroopMaster and another program called Scoutmate (which is probably TroopMaster's biggest competition).
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Postby Lynda J » Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:11 pm

Until this year our council furnished each unit with Scoutmate. I like the program. Of course it is the only one I have used. They are no longer giving it to us since they want us to all recharter online.
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We use Troopmaster!

Postby jftscout » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:15 am

For the last 2 years we have used Troopmaster ME and I recently purchased Troopmaster Traveler. Having my Palm Pilot at meetings is a big help and the scouts love having the information at thier fingertips.

Sam of Troopmaster is easy to contact and gets back to you very quickly.

Yours in Scouting,

Jeremy Jacobowitz
Troop 787 - Flushing, NY
Please visit us at
www.troop787.us
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Postby Chief J » Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:07 pm

We have used Troopmaster in our unit and are very satisfied.

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Postby BM_Crawford » Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:34 pm

same :)
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Re: Scouting Software

Postby USMA_Eagle » Thu May 19, 2011 5:49 pm

So, since 2004...

What are your units using now, if anything?

Troopmaster is still the recognizable name, but in the course of doing some interning at a local non-profit, I've run across a number of different packages, named and summarized here:

http://www.scoutspirit.com/competition

Not all of these are Scouting software packages, but depending on what you need, there's probably something listed that will work for you, from unit web pages to event planning.

Full disclosure: I'm part of the team working ScoutSpirit (and am hence officially biased), but am curious to see what other unit are actually using. From what I could tell, Troopmaster has a lot of functionality in personnel records and advancement and so is a good solution for unit administration. There seem to be a lot of other packages that will do similar things, but come web-based and will also do other planning and communications-type functions (texting, emailing, event registration, and etc.), and are cheaper besides--see the earlier comments about all of Troopmaster's Add-ons.
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Re: Scouting Software

Postby agdparker » Fri May 20, 2011 11:17 am

Holy thread necro, Batman! :lol:

I guess I had a different login at the time, but this was me.

So, we ended up going with TroopMaster in that unit and later PackMaster for the Cubs. I love the programs. When we moved a couple of years ago, our new units were using TroopMaster, but not PackMaster. I recently convinced them to use Packmaster for the Cubs and I was glad because shortly thereafter I was asked to be the CubMaster and it has been invaluable.

We don't use the online version, but I'm hoping to get there one day. Both programs have many features. The Boy Scout unit we're in wasn't really using TroopMaster to its full potential, but after working with the Advancement Chair, we are really harnessing the power of the software. The information we provide to the leaders is timely and useful in their positions. We also found many discrepancies between what council showed and what we showed for the boys' advancement records. That took a while to sort out and would have been a nightmare to sort out with paper documentation only.

Rechartering is a breeze if you have your leaders set up correctly in the programs and that is one of the chief benefits in my mind. Generating advancement files for submission to the online advancement site also is a huge help. Another helpful part is its tracking of camping nights as the boys had varying levels of paper records that always seemed to be missing something. Books were lost, nights not recorded. Using TroopMaster is a great way to ensure that boys get all the credit they deserve.

Overall, I'm very pleased and the cost is reasonable. We don't really use the money management part of it.

/end soapbox
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Re: Scouting Software

Postby scoutaholic » Tue May 24, 2011 12:39 pm

I looked at all the available packages I could find years ago when I was deciding what to use in my troop.

I settled on TroopMaster, and have been very pleased with it. I'm not sure it is possible to be a great scoutmaster without it. There are features I've never used, or found need for, but have been very happy with those I use. They even added/improved some features over the years that I suggested. (I can't say for sure if my suggestion was the one that mattered, but it must have helped.)

I looked at the comparison chart, and noted that your bias is included there. Some of the red Xs and *s are innacurate. Some of the 'features' are things that I have purposely avoided with my scouting software, and will not be likely selling points to get me enrolled with the new software.
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Re: Scouting Software

Postby mt_goodrich » Thu May 26, 2011 7:38 pm

TroopMaster has worked well for us too.
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