Welcome to Troop 266’s new website

Our change to a new website format and style has been quite a journey.   Those of us who worked on the committee (listed below) to design and create the new website hope that you will find it more visually appealing, easier to navigate and filled with important and up to date information.  Here is a bit of the story behind this undertaking…

Why an upgrade of the website?

The most driving reason for the change was the challenges that arose with prior website editor program.  It frequently dropped posts, required multiple browsers to add content and make edits and had a two column format that cramped pictures, videos and prose.   Forms, checklists and documents  were difficult to locate and spread across multiple menus.  Finally, the appearance was out dated.  It was not like the more eye appealing sites we are accustomed to seeing on the web today.  Though Troop 266 is 75, it can still have a fresh face.

Who was on the design committee?

Karen Mokaddem, Grant Meikle, Surya Ramakrishnan, Matt Ryan, John Cheek and Mike Sparkman made up the committee to revamp the website.  They realized early that a professional design/build firm would be needed to create the new look.  After finding and hiring one, the team worked with the a lead designer over several sessions to create the best theme and format for the site.  Matt was the one who early realized that the Troop’s 75th anniversary was coming up and made that an underlying theme to the site’s design, as shown by the new troop logo featuring the “est. 1943” wording.  Surya, who is a skilled web builder himself, provided the scout view.  John authorized funds.  Karen wrote the checks.  Grant will pick up the administration of the site going forward.  Mike will have more free time on Saturdays.

What are some of the new features?

  • Fewer menus. The last web page required a slew of menus down the left side column which took up needed real estate (space) on every page and were confusing as to the content behind them.  There are now less and more clearly defined menus.  For most documents or links you can click on the Resources tab to find what you are looking for.
  • A More robust Calendar. The calendar function can be accessed through the calendar menu  or the icon at the top of  Events section.  The calendar can be formatted by week, day, month or list views.  It also allows for Google maps, photos and other media
  • A Parallax Scroll.  A what what?  This is the feature you see in the banner where the underlying photo remains in place as you scroll the home page sections over it.  You see the whole picture as the home site moves up and down over it.  This is a feature that you will see on most modern websites today.  Cool stuff!
  • BSA Approved Colors and Formats.  BSA has website standards, though few troop websites follow them.  We incorporated official colors and color schemes throughout the theme of the site as our appreciation of the BSA organization.
  • Consistent View on any Device. An important requirement was that all pages look the same on a desktop, laptop, ipad, iphone, android or other devices.  The slight exception is a phone.  You will see the same components on a page but they will be shown one after the other as you scroll down.  The advantage is that the whole page is not scrunched and shrunken into one view.  Each item is larger and more viewable.
  • Easier to maintain. A blessing.   No more lost text and calendars, mashed up postings or use of multiple browsers to edit different content.  And, a good and responsive support team behind us if more complex changes are needed.

Other thanks go out to Mary Farley and Moria Bell with the West University United Methodist Church who provided the photos from 1943 for our 75th anniversary.  And, a very special thanks to Nancy Elliot, the former web administrator,  who first made a website a vital form of communication across the troop.

Thank you to everyone in Troop 266 for joining us in the final stage this new addition to the Troop 266 legacy.  Please feel free to contact Grant or Mike if you have any problems or suggestions.