SOAR Subscribers: Welcome to TroopWebHost!
We are sorry to see SOAR shutting down
For nearly two decades, SOAR has provided their customers with a simple, easy way to communicate with their scouting units.
Their decision to discontinue operations is a significant loss for the scouting community.
TroopWebHost has offered to help by providing a way to quickly get a new site up and running.
TroopWebHost is not the same as SOAR
TroopWebHost provides many of the same capabilities of SOAR, and more. In addition to providing a website, roster, calendar, and email communications, TroopWebHost also offers:
You can learn more about TroopWebHost capabilities here.
While TroopWebHost offers many of the features that were available in SOAR, some of those features work differently than they did in SOAR. For example, TroopWebHost has a feature similar to – but not exactly like - the SOAR email aliases. We call it email relay addresses. There are several big differences with the SOAR email aliases. First of all, our email relay addresses do not use your vanity URL. Instead, they are all tied to our “twh.email” domain. Another difference is that they can only be used by members of your troop, and then only from an email account that is registered on that member’s membership record. This is to prevent these addresses from being hijacked by spammers. Finally, we do not have the ability to limit the use of email relay addresses to specific members of your troop. Any member of your troop can use an email relay address if they are authorized to send email from the website.
Another big difference is vanity URLs. With SOAR, if you purchased a URL like www.Troop999Rocks.com, that would be the URL that appeared in your browser's URL line. With TroopWebHost, your vanity URL (which we refer to as a "custom URL") simply serves as a shortcut to your TroopWebHost site, which will have an address that begins with https://www.TroopWebHost.org/... The TroopWebHost.org address is what will appear in your browser's URL line.
TroopWebHost is more complicated than SOAR
TroopWebHost can do a lot more than SOAR.
The trade-off is that it is more complicated, and thus takes more work to get a site up and running.
This is also true for TroopMaster, which has a similar breadth and scope.
One thing that was so great about SOAR is that it was so easy to understand and quick to implement.
TroopWebHost (and Troopmaster, for that matter) will take more effort to learn and implement. The pay-off is that it will make running your unit a lot easier in the long run.
TroopWebHost has excellent customer service
We pride ourselves on responding to every question within 24 hours, and usually less.
Support is baked into our software, with a built-in support ticket system
that you can access from your own site.
We also provide a comprehensive User Guide that lets you find many answers yourself. Each page of your site has a link to the User Guide article that describes that page.
Our monthly newsletter documents our latest enhancements, many of which are selected from an enhancement request list that you can review and vote for your favorites.
We know there is a learning curve for TroopWebHost, but we will do everything we can to help you succeed.
We have a cool mobile app!
Free of charge, available for iOS and Android devices!
The TroopWebHost mobile app makes it easy for scouts and parents to access the functions they need the most. Scouts or their parents can sign up for events and parents can grant permission to attend. Scouts can view their advancement status and submit request for sign off on individual requirements.
Leaders can use the app while on campouts, even when there is no cell phone service. They can take attendance and sign off on requirements earned while out in the field. This information will get automatically uploaded as soon as you're back in civilization.
This is a great way for most of your members to access TroopWebHost without navigating the more complicated website.
A subscription to TroopWebHost costs $109 per year.
We have agreed to provide a $50 rebate to each SOAR customer who signs up for a TroopWebHost site before June 1, 2023.
To receive the rebate, you must first purchase a subscription to TroopWebHost and pay for it by credit card, by placing your order here. You will be asked to pay the entire $109 subscription fee.
Your site will be available within seconds. Log on to the site and open a support ticket requesting your $50 rebate; please include your SOAR ID. Once we verify your SOAR ID, we will issue a $50 refund to the credit card which you used to purchase the site.
For Cub Scout packs, it's even easier! Cub Scout packs should order a free trial site to TroopWebHostCS, our special service for the Cub Scout program. You will have 45 days to decide whether TroopWebHost is a good fit for your pack. When you are ready to convert to a paid subscription, pay the first year subscription fee of $109 using the Renew Subscription page. Then open a support ticket requesting your $50 rebate and give us your SOAR ID. We will verify that you are a former SOAR subscriber, and issue a $50 refund to the credit card used to renew the subscription.
Terms and conditions. TroopWebHost is not assuming responsibility for existing SOAR subscriptions. Our standard 60 day refund policy will not apply to units that receive a $50 rebate.
Moving your data to TroopWebHost
You should have already received copies of your data from SOAR.
You can upload several of these files into TroopWebHost to populate your roster and calendar.
You will do the upload yourself, by selecting the appropriate upload function from a menu in your TroopWebHost site. Do not send us your files unless you run into problems. This should be a self-service operation.
The first file to upload is the SOAR members file. You'll find the Upload SOAR Members function on the "Membership Hub", under "Upload Members". This will load your membership roster, optionally including former members. It will generate user IDs and temporary passwords for all of your active members, but it will not distribute this information to your members.
Use the Upload SOAR Family page to upload the Family file. This will create relationships between scouts and their parents.
The Upload SOAR Events page will populate your TroopWebHost calendar with all past and future events from SOAR.
Use Upload SOAR Event-Registration to complete the upload process, adding the participants to the events on your TroopWebHost calendar.
You can also copy your SOAR web page content into your new Home page or other custom pages. Click here for instructions.
SOAR distributed several other files which could also potentially be imported into TroopWebHost. Please let us know - preferably on a support ticket - if any of these would be especially useful to your unit.
Tell Your Troop How To Log On
When you loaded your Members file, the system automatically generated User IDs for each adult and each scout.
It did not automatically send this information to your members.
When you are ready to let people log on to the site, use the Send User IDs and Passwords function to send them their user ID's and a temporary password. Do not send this information to yourself or anyone else who is already using the site. When it generates a temporary password, this overwrites any existing password. So if you send it to yourself, your current password won't work anymore.
Let Other Leaders Help You Set Up The Site
TroopWebHost is too big for one person to implement alone. Once you get the Members file loaded, you can start
getting other leaders involved.
But first you need to authorize them for additional User Roles. User roles determine what functions each person can access on the site. By default, each scout is authorized for the "Scout" user role and each adult is authorized for the "Adult" user role. This lets them update their own information, but not manage the troop's information.
Leaders need more access! To authorize your leaders to help you manage the site, please open the main menu to Administration → Users & Passwords. Update a leader's user ID. This will display a list of User Roles. Put a checkmark in front of each role appropriate for that person, then click Save & Exit. Do this for all of your leaders.
Give at least one other leader the "Site Administrator" role. This will allow the troop to continue managing the site if you leave the troop unexpectedly.
Then get together and figure out who is going to do what.
Web Page Content
You should find a file named "soar-export-pages.zip" in your SOAR directory.
This contains one file for each web page that you had created on your SOAR site.
You may be able to incorporate some of this content into your new TroopWebHost site.
We haven't seen any samples of these files yet, but we understand that they will contain the raw HTML code that defined each page. This can be copied into a section of a TroopWebHost page, as long as you are in "Source" mode. Allow me to explain.
This page of the User Guide shows how to edit your Home page, or any custom page. Once you're in "edit mode", you'll see each section displayed on the page with buttons scattered all around:
Click one of "+" buttons to add a section in that location. This will pop up a new window:
Leave the Section Type set to "My Content".
You may want to select a higher Maximum Width, depending on the content you're copying over. The default setting of 640 will only take about a third of the width of a standard 1080p monitor. For a full width, select 1920 pixels.
Click OK to continue. This will take you to our standard editor, as shown below. This is NOT where you will copy your SOAR content. Instead, just enter something lame, like "My new section!". You'll copy over this soon. Then click Save.
Your new section will look like this. Click on the Source button, as circled below.
Now you're ready for the SOAR content! Open the SOAR file in a simple text editor, like Notepad. Then copy and paste that HTML into this window, overwriting anything you entered there before.
Click the Save button to save this section. You should now see the formatted page from SOAR!
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