The Demise of SOAR
In 2005 the company owner's son joined Cub Scouts as a Tiger Cub. The owner was quickly "volunteered" to be Den Leader and became active in the Pack Committee. Through this experience the company owner found that the scouting experience was just as valuable as when he was a Cub and Boy Scout, but the challenges facing scouting units had changed drastically.
Communication was the first big issue. How do you co-ordinate and keep up-to-date a large number of members? Especially in today's world with both parents working and the kids participating in school and sporting events. Handouts at the Unit Meetings are great, but what about communication between these meetings or last minute changes? The traditional "phone tree" was certainly an option, but we all know how well that works.
Email seemed like an obvious choice! Surprisingly, not all members had an email account or checked their email on a regular basis. Not to mention the experience of sending an email to a large audience and having half the people "reply all" and filling up everyone's inbox. How do you make sure each leader has the up-to-date email list and doesn't accidentally miss someone?
Why not create a website for the unit where members could grab the information they needed as they needed it? An extensive search of the Internet found a few "offerings" that the owner could use, but none combined three key elements: reliability, required features, and affordability. Well silly... why not build your own website? While it would certainly be easy to build a simple website, a large number of questions arose.
Who would update the website? Probably just the creator.
Could all the leaders add content to the website? Probably not.
Could all the features be added? Sure, if the creator spent enough time. But isn't their time better spent with the scouts?
Who would take ownership of the site at a later date? Probably nobody
You get the idea...
It was clear that the idea of a unit website was good, but there were no good options available to create one. Thus the idea was born.
The company was started in 2005 while the owner kept his primary job. He found local scouting units were very interested in the idea of a turnkey hosted website service and were happy to describe their ideal website and its features as well as perform testing of the new service.
In early 2006, the owner left his regular paying day job to focus all his effort on bringing the myPack and myTroop hosted website service to market. The results of that effort are what you see today.
About the Company
SOAR is dedicated to providing scouting units such as Cub Scout Packs, and Boy Scout Troops with quality, reliable, and affordable online services to help address common issues facing scouting units today - communication, organization, and shared leadership.
We believe that scouting leaders should spend their precious time working with unit members and not struggling with technology. Technology should be a tool that scouting leaders can use just like the phone - it is reliable, you know how to use it, and when to use it.
SOAR is unique in that we focus solely on providing scouting units with online services and maintain a dedicated staff. If you search the Internet, you will find a number of other online offerings - mostly created by an individual after hours from their primary job or by an Internet consulting company whose primary focus is not scouting units.
That is the exact reason why SOAR was started and the myPack, myTroop, and myGirlScout hosted website services were created. The full story is a little longer (see Founding Story above).
At SOAR, our goal is to make technology easy for scouting units to use. We are full of ideas and at the same time welcome your thoughts on how to better our services as well as your ideas for new services. Let us know what you think.
In the meantime, we'll be off working on new features to keep you happy!
Michael C. Kabot
President - SOAR
Scouting Online - Affordable & Reliable
How it all started:
On Tuesday, March 28, at approximately 12 AM E.T. SOAR (Scouting Online - Affordable & Reliable) who owns and operates a number of Scouting web services including myTroop, myPack, myGroup, and EBlast underwent what they thought was a normal maintenance period to keep things running smoothly. Shortly after around 12:58 AM, SOAR completely went down despite their best efforts to restore service and rollback the updates.
On Friday, March 31, 7:05 PM, the Bee Cave District worked with the Bee Cave Chapter to use their Mailchimp Mailing list to get information out to units as quickly as possible as all email lists that the District had used in the past (Key3Troops, Key3District, Key3Crews, Key3Ships, etc.) no longer functioned as well as the website. As we closely watched soarol.com for updates and anxiously awaited to see if we could once again have access to our data to start our efforts of recovering, we started to develop a plan to make sure Units knew what was happening, where they could get information, who they could contact, and
Members of the Bee Cave District Communications Committee met in the late evening hours of Sunday, April 2, 2023 to create a recovery plan. From here, we decided to move and try out Google's Workspace offering which included the Sites web-app as well as the Google Groups web-app among a large number of other things that could come in handy. We planned to send out a District-wide email to notify everyone of the changes.
As of 4/3/23, 8 AM, the Bee Cave District website has been back up and running in a limited capacity as we work to transfer over all of our data to the new site.
SOAR on one hand, according to their latest publication as of 4/3/2023, explains that they're looking into pursuing future endeavors.
However, the Bee Cave District continues to evaluate its options as far as future proofing our communications tools such as our website and email lists. We work hard to make sure you, as members of the District, have fast, reliable information at the tap or click of a button. Thank you for sticking with us during this imposed transition and we wish SOAR the best of luck and were happy to be a customer of theirs for almost a decade.
Please be sure to check the website regularly for updates and more news!
Got questions? We have answers! Send us an email