HOME—About the Website
Principles & Beliefs. Our website and our troop support the fundamental principle of free speech. Recognizing that some free speech can be offensive, we also want to assure our visitors that this is a family-friendly website. We believe the content is appropriate for children of Scout age, and our site is free of foul language, nudity or sex, violence, and gambling, drugs, and alcohol.
Purpose of Site. This web site has three aims:
Youth Protection. Because of the open nature of the World Wide Web, we must regrettably have a policy not to disclose family names, addresses, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses of our Scouts or leaders, except the Scoutmaster's name and troop e-mail address.
Page Editor. Our web pages are created and maintained using TopStyle 5.0. While "WYSIWIG" editors (like Microsoft FrontPage) typically hide the underlying code (and usually limit your ability to control the code effectively), TopStyle offers full control over page code. (Previously, we've used FrontPage, Hot Dog, Homesite, and even the MS DOS editor back in the early days). Dreamweaver is also nice, but it's much more expensive.
Browser Compatibility. We pre-test all pages on the latest version of the most popular browsers, currently Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge; and also check them from time to time on Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
W3C Compliance. All page code has been validated as fully meeting the newest W3C standard for HTML5, as shown by the two icons displayed at the bottom of this (and every) page. [W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium, the international group that coordinates Internet standards. Their website provides free and automated validation of page code and style sheets. HTML5 (released in 2014) is the current standard for HTML code. By validating our pages to W3C standards, we ensure that our pages will display correctly (we hope) on your browser.]
Design Principles. We have tried to make navigation simple and understandable, by using a comprehensive yet simple left-side menu (which is the same on every page). In addition, we provide a full sitemap and alphabetical index. All pages use the same template for consistent appearance, and we use a single master style sheet (which ensures that all pages use the same fonts and other styles, and which also make it quick and easy to change style elements across the entire website).
Volunteers/Approvals. This is the official web site of Troop 97 BSA (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA). All contents are copyright Troop 97 unless otherwise stated. The site is the creation of the volunteer webmaster (Scoutmaster Jeff Snowden) and other volunteer Scouts and Scouters associated with Troop 97. Our site conforms to the BSA's Social Media Guidelines.
Accuracy. We believe the contents of this website to be factually accurate, but we cannot guarantee accuracy or up-to-date information. If you think that something is not accurate, please e-mail us (with the correct information, if you know it), and be sure to tell us which page you believe is in error.
Language and Measurement Standards. With an international audience, we try to conform to accepted international standards for the English language. Spelling and grammar follow US practices, as recommended by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and the Chicago Manual of Style. Measurements are displayed in both the international metric system (SI) and the US-customary system. If you find a typo, please e-mail us so it can be corrected.
Linked Sites. This website links only to other Scouting-related websites, and does not link to personal websites (which is not allowed by the website policies of the Longs Peak Council BSA). All links are checked from time to time for appropriateness, and we will remove any inappropriate link. If you become aware of an inappropriate link, please let us know right away.
Advertising. You won't find ads on any of our web pages. We do not accept advertising, and we believe that the ads found on many Scouting websites (placed by their "free" hosts) are intrusive and often inappropriate for a Scouting audience.
Website Statistics. We've been using the free statistics provided via Google Analytics since 2009. This gives us an accurate count of unique visitors regardless of where they enter our website (and since most visitors find us via a search engine, they generally don't enter via our homepage). We get anywhere from 3000 to 12 000 unique visitors/month. For example, in the month of May, 2018, 59% of our visitors used a desktop/laptop computer, 32% used a mobile device, and 9% used a tablet. Direct visitors (those who typed in our web address, such as our Scouts) represented 21% of our visitors, while Google searches brought in 56%, Bing 7%, Yahoo 5%, and all other sources 11%. In a typical month, about 80% of our visitors come from all 50 US states, and the rest from a couple dozen to as many as a 100 other countries.
Here are the three broad areas that we believe contribute toward a quality website, listed in order of importance.
Content—This is what people come for (and return for). If your content is inadequate, having a great looking page won't matter, because few will visit, and no one will return. And people also come back because you add new or updated content regularly. This requires a dedicated webmaster—too many troops start a website, then let it die by rarely updating it.
Functionality—The page has to work. To look right on any browser. To load quickly.
Appearance—Note that this is listed last, not first. After you have great content, and after you have pages that function perfectly, then make them look attractive and interesting.
While there are dozens and dozens of awards on the Web, we are especially pleased and honored by the three special awards below (and unfortunately all three no longer exist).
Last Revision to This Page: 16 December 2020
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