The website for the Girl Scout troops of The Orchard School was one of Cardinal Acres Web Development’s first projects. It was functional but lacked any way of allowing for troop parent or troop leader input; all content was created and maintained by the webmaster. The troop leaders wanted a way to facilitate better communication among the troop parents and leader.
The solution was to redesign the website around BuddyPress which allowed for more a “social media” style of website. Troop parents and leaders have their own accounts to access the website as before, but the difference is that they can now post news and comments to the BuddyPress activity streams allowing for conversations to be created. Some additional plugins for Buddypress allow uploading of photos and videos (BuddyPress Activity Plus), shared documents (BuddyPress Docs) and email notification of new posts to the group activity streams (BuddyPress Group Email Subscription).
Troop events are still managed by the Events Manager plugin which integrates with BuddyPress to allow associating an event with a BuddyPress group. Each troop is it’s own BuddyPress group, making it easy to access all the events for any given troop. Finally, Private Community for BP prevents access to any website content except for registered users.
The redesign allows for greater communication within the troops and will hopefully lead to a more satisfying experience for the scouts, parents and leaders.