Website Creation + Blog
When I started this project, we did not have an active website. Something was started a long time ago but it was outdated and did not have relevant information. Polish Scouting is a worldwide organization, however, our branch here in Seattle is small but aspires to grow. We needed a website to create an information hub for potential new members. It needed to show we were active and immediately give the impression that we have a lot of fun as well!
I took into account that we are a small group and it would be hard to maintain a more traditional home page when we all have many roles that we take on. I settled on creating a home page in a blog format. The blog immediately has content going back a few years and shares in detail the games and activities that occurred during scout meetings and camps as well as events that we took part in. There's no pressure to constantly add content but it still gives the impression that a lot is going on.
The main banner is a collage of photos that show the friendships created in our group! I also made sure to use photos that show our community and bonds throughout the site. The overall light green color scheme was chosen since we are in the Pacific Northwest and a lot of our activities take place outdoors among the greenery of our state.
Scout uniform diagrams
One of the main pain points of our group is that we were constantly having to repeat to the parents where all the badges go on the uniforms. Existing scout diagrams online were very unclear (think black and white clipart from the early 2000's) so new updated diagrams were needed.
One of our scout leaders did the research for how the scout uniforms were supposed to look and created the base pencil sketch. I took that and created colorful, clear diagrams in illustrator which can now be found on our information page. There is also a link that opens up a PDF that has the diagram along with zoomed in images of each badge.
Updating Group Symbols
Similarly to the scout uniforms above, there were no clean high quality versions of existing symbols of the different groups and I wanted some to highlight the group descriptions on our information page. I created the images below in Illustrator. The Fleur-de-Lis I mostly left alone but the other symbols were updated for our site.
I also digitized our existing main symbols representing the girls and the boys branch. These are worn on the sleeves of our scout uniforms.
Another pain point I addressed was that previously our organization only sent emails with all the relevant dates we needed to remember. What we encountered is that parents would constantly forget or they would often contact us for information since they would lose the original email.
I decided to create a main Google calendar for our organization and embed it in the site. This way, in addition to our emails, parents had a place they could quickly reference to check for upcoming events. They could add the calendar as well! This significantly reduced the unnecessary contacting.
An additional benefit of the google calendar is that it can be quickly updated as needed from calendar apps on a mobile phone. There's no need to constantly get on the website to update it.
The main calendar shows up in the "Agenda" format since when I edited the HTML to make the calendar responsive, the calendar would get cut off in the mobile view.
In addition to the Google calendar, I implemented the Remind app within our organization. Remind is a texting service designed for teachers but works perfectly for our scout meeting reminder needs. We had parents register on it but I also created a section on the site where parents can follow instructions on how to subscribe.
I think it goes without saying that every organization needs an information page! Potential new members would want to know what we are all about before joining. We highlight the basics: a history of our branch, a quote that translates to "Strive to leave the world better than you found it" by the founder of the worldwide scouting movement, and descriptions of each age group that we lead.
Each group also links to the main scouting websites should parents want to read more about a particular group. At the bottom of the page, parents can find costs, links to the registration form, scout uniform diagrams, and more.
Regarding the quote, I put it in because it was a subtle way to reference the scouting movement's long history and I felt that the quote really encompasses the point of scouting. Which is learning to be better people for the world through our activities and friendships.
Image Gallery + Contact Page
Something that often entices parents to enroll their kids is the photos we post. They showcase the adventures and friends to be made in scouts. I created a photo gallery page with some highlights but also link to our main photo hub on our Facebook page. That's where we prioritize our photo posting since we can easily reach parents there.
Our final page is our contact form. We list the members and what part of the organization they are in charge of and provide a form where parents can reach out to us.
I've been involved in the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association since I was a little kid. I started when I was about 6 years old! This organization made me who I am today. I saw the world through many adventures, made life long friends that I still see regularly to this day, and connected with my Polish heritage. Becoming a Scout leader was one way I felt called to give back but being a Web Designer for our branch was another. It's an amazing feeling to be able to contribute with my design skills and this project is the start of fulfilling one of my dreams to help local organizations through UX/Web Design. I always enjoy working on this website since I'm so connected to it and feel a personal drive to have it succeed.