The look of the website has been freshened up, and there are additional enhancements in the works. In the meantime, here’s a little help finding your favorite Cat Scout Hangouts:

The old sidebar is available from any screen by clicking the hamburger icon next to your avatar in the far upper right corner of the screen. That’s where you’ll find the calendar, the redemption form for your merit badges, etc.

If you click your avatar, it will pop open a menu for your profile and groups info:

You can close this menu by clicking the third icon in the upper right corner.

NEW FEATURE: GIFTS!

When you’re in your profile, take a look at the new “gifts” feature. If you’re familiar with Catster, this is kinda like “zealies.” You can send virtual gifts to any scout you like.

To send a gift, click a gift to select it, type a greeting, and enter the name of the recipient. Then click “Send.” Click “Received Gift” — the link on the right above the green bar — to see what gifts have been sent your way.

Group Calendar

If you’re a group admin, please use the calendar feature for any group events. This will obviate the need to get in touch with the Denmaster or Denmother to request that events be posted on the calendar. Events will then appear automagically in the sidebar. Each Scout will see all of the events in all of the groups to which s/he belongs.

To get to the calendar, click “Calendar” in the Groups submenu:

Then fill out the form for the event:

Once posted, the event will appear in the sidebar with a link to the group:

 

Featured Scout

We now a Featured Scout feature on the homepage. If you’d like to be a featured scout, click the CLICK HERE link at the bottom of the section and fill out the form. We will feature two or three scouts each month. Send a photo to TheDenmaster@catscouts.com to have a purrsonalized portrait for the feature.

Face in Hole

There’s a new activity called “Face in Hole.” You may have seen something similar at carnivals and fairs. For this activity, you print the graphics, glue them together on a piece of cardboard, cut a hole, then stick your face through it! The first Face in Hole activity gives you a chance to be on the cover of The Cat Scout Handbook. Here’s Scout Homer demonstrating how it works:

There’s a link on the homepage to the current Face-in-Hole opportunities.

Also included in “Fun and Games” are the weekly jigsaw puzzles, and a new game: Scavenger Hunt. With the Scavenger Hunt, you need to find the item somewhere on the Cat Scouts website. Winners get fabulous (well, at least “pretty good”) prizes.

Report Bugs

If there’s something on the site not working quite the way you think it should, report it in the Bugs Group.

Watch the Video

Mr Denmaster was pretty proud of the welcome video he purrduced for the home page, so please take a minute (2-1/2, actually) to watch it.

Activity Leaders

You’ll notice at the bottom of the sidebar (the one you hit the 3-bar icon to pop out) there is a leaderboard of Activity Leaders. This is part of what will be the new achievement system. The system will have two separate parts: 1) Earning merit/service badges and ranks, and 2) participation on the site. The latter feeds the Activity Leaders leaderboard. This is still in development. When it’s finished, you’ll be able to earn lots of points for referring scout signups, and a few points every time you log in, comment, watch videos, etc. Once you have enough points, you will be able to redeem them for merchandise from The Cat Scouts Superstore. Some of your karma points will carry over to this point system — we’re still working on the math.

There are more groovy things in store, and within the next week or so we will be switching over to a dedicated server which should be blazingly fast. That should not be much of a disruption; we’ll post info on that before we make the switch.

There’s one thing I have been unable to resolve: making the text in the groups bigger. Still working on that one.

That covers most of the changes. Leave a comment below if there’s something that leaves you completely lost and I’ll respond pronto! If something’s not working right, leave a comment in the Bugs Group.