Communication tools and plans

The plans on this page relate to our on-line communications, not to the operation of our Troop.

IMPORTANT: All Google services we use for Troop 4 are administered using a dedicate account not dependent on a particular individual.

The four primary communication tools discussed, being planned, or now implemented here are:

(1) Troop 4 web site, which is what you are viewing this on now.
Purposes for the site:
  • Share public information about our Troop, which will facilitate recruitment and sharing information with new families.
  • A private portion of the web site and other resources which is accessible only to Troop 4 families. These are great places for us to store documents and to collect and display information which often is less effectively done via email. This includes sharing our family roster, within Google Docs, which is our "roster of record".
  • A view to Troop 4's official calendar, hosted via Google calendar. See (2), below.
  • A hosted environment within which motivated Scouts and adults can learn transferable web communication skills.
(2) Troop 4's "calendar of record", which is a Google calendar. (Link on the left.)
Also, starting mid-March, we created additional calendars which will be maintained by the Troop of non-Troop events which we care about knowing about. Any of these calendars can be subscribed to by most mobile devices so changes are updated automatically on your device. These are publicly-viewable calendars so no need to log-in to see what's coming up! (Obviously, only a few Troop members are authorized to update the calendar data itself.)

(3) Troop 4's email list. (Link on the left.)
To send a message to Troop 4 members, you must be a member of this list.


Membership in our Group also automatically grants you access to members-only areas within all our Google services. Neat!

(4) Established an easy-to-use, Troop 4-specific URL for our new Google web site:


Thus, if the internet location (URL) of this site changes, our Troop 4 web site URL does not. This make is much safer to broadly distribute our URL for outreach and so on. Here are Oliver's notes on this idea, so far.
Still consider doing: Possibly also create role-specific email addresses (which also wouldn't change!), such as for Scoutmaster and Parent Cmt Chair. Those emails would get routed directly to the respective existing email addresses of the persons currently holding those positions.
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Calendar: Enable access to Bill Miller. Calendar can technically be maintained by Scoutmaster Bill Miller. Good if SPL also took on this responsibility.  
Calendar: Fill it in with currently distributed data Necessary condition if this is to be our "calendar of record". :-) Either do by cut-and-paste, or import from Bill Miller's iCal.  
Email list: Get new messages currently going to our Yahoo! group to also get added to our new Google group before we tranition over. Reduce chance of lossing older messages related to current discussions. Yahoo! group does not permit group email addresses to be added to its groups. So won't pursue further.  
Email list: Migrate from Troop 4's Yahoo! group to Google group. (1) Members in Troop 4's Google group can see this site's private pages, including our calendar. (2) Google group is hoped to be more effective than Yahoo!'s has been. Actively transition Feb. 2012.  
URL: Oliver is discussing options with DE. Give us a short, affordable, not too hard to remember URL. Oliver had District buy "tcscouts.org" and create service option for Troops to be prepended to it.  
Web site: Enable editing of our web site to (all?) adults and select Scouts. Posting info and documents at our web site is usually better than sending email attachments. This will be more a cultural and on-going effort, rather than a technological, accomplishment.  
Web site: Establish page-level permission. Keep as simple as possible. :-) Have a small publicly viewable portion of our site so prospective Scouts and families can learn about us and contact us. Restrict viewing of the private portion of our web site to Troop 4 family only.  Test this, but turned off again so members can preview full site before they are in new Google group.  
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