Web site Questions & Answers

Who is the Tiwahe Lodge Webmaster?

The Tiwahe Lodge Webmaster is James Sisk. He is also the Web Site Committee Chair. You may contact James by clicking here.

Who can submit information for the Tiwahe Lodge Web site?

Anyone can submit information for the Web site, and everyone is encouraged to do so. Our Web Site Committee is continuously on the lookout for announcements, calendar items, interesting articles and stories, photographs, links and information relating to the Order of the Arrow, and especially to the Tiwahe Lodge and its Chapters and members. Our news pages, calendars, links, reference materials, and photo galleries are a key source of information for current, prospective, and past members of the Tiwahe Lodge.

Who is on the Web Site Committee?

The Web Site Committee includes the Webmaster, the Web Site Adviser, and Tiwahe Lodge members who are interested in helping to make the Tiwahe Lodge Web site the best it can be. Are you a scout or adult who would enjoy researching and composing articles, taking and editing photographs and videos of Scouting events, managing online information and keeping it current, and maintaining open lines of communications with our membership? Please contact our Webmaster by phone or email.

How do I join the Web Site Committee?

Send your name, contact information, and a brief description of your qualifications and aspirations to the Webmaster. Describe how you want to help the committee. You will be contacted right away.

Do I have to join the Web Site Committee to send in an article, news item, photograph, video, or link?

No. Send us what you have, and we will try to use it.

What is the process for publishing submissions?

Send your items to the Webmaster, to the Web Site Adviser, to the Lodge Adviser, or to the Lodge Staff Adviser. Any questions about suitability or appropriateness are ultimately resolved by our Lodge Adviser or by our Staff Adviser. Our Webmaster or someone on the Web Site Committee will prepare your item for publication on the Web site by editing, proofreading, formatting, determining where to put the item, and when to publish it. While this may sound like a lengthy process, most submissions are published within hours of being submitted.

I am not a good writer or photographer, but I have something for the Web site.

If you have information about an event that you think needs to be posted, send us the information. We will compose an announcement, and we will add the event to our calendars. If necessary, we will send someone to take a photo. Again, if you don't feel comfortable sending in a written article, then just send us the details of the event, and we will write it for you.

I would like to submit a regular column or article for the Tiwahe News page. What do I need to know or do?

That's great! Write your article the way you would like it to appear. If you want to have links in your article, include them. If you want to include a photo or a form, send them along, too. Send us a picture or graphic that you would like to use as a thumbnail beside your article. We will crop it and resize it to 125 pixels wide. Send all items to this email address, oa@sdicbsa.org. Keep in mind that your article and materials, like everything on the Web site, are subject to review and editing. By the way, if you are a good writer, why don't you join our Web Site Committee? We can use your talents!

Some of the Tiwahe Lodge forms are missing or out of date. What's up with that?

There are many events and activities swirling around the Tiwahe Lodge, Chapters, and membership. Troop Elections, numerous Ordeals and Ordeal Ceremonies, Brotherhood Ceremonies, Vigil Recruiting and Ceremonies, Registration, Dues, Awards, Campouts, Service Projects, Arrow of Light Ceremonies, and many other activities occur throughout the year. The Webmaster and the Web Site Committee are not responsible for these events and activities. We are reporters and photographers, and we notify members about the activities, events, and people of the Tiwahe Lodge (past, present, and future), when we are notified and informed about those people and events. We publish OA-related events and activities on our calendar. We post forms on the Web site, to make them easier to find and use. We do not originate or maintain the forms used at events, activities, registration, committees, etc. If a form on the Web site is out of date or has an error in it, please notify the person, Chapter, or Committee who is responsible for the event or activity the form relates to. Let them know that the online form needs attention. When they submit the updated form to us, we will publish it. Our goals are for the Web site to inform Arrowmen, to publicize and promote events and activities, to provide forms and other information that are needed, and to provide contact information at the Lodge, Chapter, Section, and National levels. We try to keep everything we post as accurate and up-to-date as possible. We need you to help us make that happen.

I am on the staff of the Tiwahe Lodge or a Chapter as an officer or committee member, but my name is not listed on the Contacts page.

Send your contact information (name, email address, and phone number) and your position to the Webmaster, and your information will be added right away. If you would like your last name listed, see the next item below.

I would like for you to list my last name, instead of my last initial. What do I have to do?

This is a privacy issue and a youth protection issue. The BSA has strict rules about publishing the names of youths and personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers. We will list your last name and contact information, but we need your written permission and the permission of your parents (or guardian) first. Please click Information Release Authorization form to open the form we need. Print out the form, fill it out, get the required signatures, and send the completed form to our Webmaster using this email address, oa@sdicbsa.org. We will then be able to publish your last name and contact information.

I tried to send an email to one of the Contacts, but there is no email address listed.

We use a special emailer program that protects our members' email addresses from parties who would exploit the information - primarily Internet spiders, spammers, and weirdo's. Our members' email addresses are stored in a secure database that is inaccessible to anyone, except the Webmaster and Web Site Committee. The emailer program is linked to the email addresses by specific codes. When you use the emailer, it sends your name, email address, and message to the desired recipient, without disclosing the recipient's email address. The recipient will then have your email address, because you have sent it to them, and if they choose to respond to you directly, you will have theirs.

What format do I use for documents that I submit for the Web site?

You may send event flyers, announcements, registration forms, etc. in almost any document format. We can handle documents created by Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Excel, Corel Word Perfect, Adobe Pagemaker, InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Macromedia Fireworks. We accept documents in Rich Text Format, Plain Text Format, and Portable Document Format (PDF). .Sometimes we receive documents that have been scanned as picture images. Unless a document needs to be edited by the end user, we usually convert the document to Adobe Acrobat PDF format (unless otherwise requested). The PDF preserves the format and fonts of the original document, and it is a universally accepted format, since most users have Adobe Reader installed. This avoids the problem that not everyone can open documents that are composed using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Excel, Corel Word Perfect, and other document editing programs.

I downloaded a .doc file, but I don't have Microsoft Word. What can I do?

Download and install Open Office. It is free, and it is completely compatible with Microsoft Office (Word, Power Point, and Excel).

What format do I use for submitting photographs and videos to you?

Most photos are submitted in jpg format, but we can handle any photo format. Most videos are submitted in avi, wmv, mov, mpg, or mp4 format, but we will accept any video format. As an alternative to sending your photos and videos, you may send links to the photos and videos in your online photo and video collections. We will post links to your photo(s), unless your photo site has inappropriate advertising or material. We prefer linking to sites with NO advertising, but advertising will not rule out our linking to your site. If the advertising is ever inappropriate for our audience, however, we will not publish a link. Most photos are emailed to us, and we post them on our site that has no advertising.

I need a real email address to send articles and photos to you.

Send your submissions to oa@sdicbsa.org. This is the Tiwahe Lodge general purpose email address.

What tools do you use to maintain the Web site?

The Tiwahe Web site is written in PHP and HTML. News articles and email addresses are stored in MySQL databases. Pages containing database information are maintained using homegrown Admin utilities. We edit photographs with Adobe Photoshop, IrfanView, JASC Paint Shop and Animation Shop. Our online photo albums are stored in Picasa web albums, but we can accomodate most other sources. Animated images are created using JASC Animation Shop. Our calendars are Google Calendars. Our maps are Google maps.

Who pays for Web site design, maintenance, and hosting?

All aspects of the Tiwahe Lodge Web site are provided free of charge. The Web site was designed and is being maintained and updated by James Sisk, Webmaster, with assistance from Mike Sisk, Web Site Adviser, and Gary Webb, Systems Manager at Alpha-American Programmable Signs.

The Tiwahe Lodge Web site uses a template created for the Torrey Pines District Web site by Mike Sisk as a Wood Badge ticket item in 2007. The PHP, HTML, and MySQL programs were written by Gary Webb. He modified the Web site to accommodate smartphones and iOS devices in August 2011.

The Tiwahe Lodge Web site content was created and is maintained by James Sisk, Webmaster, with assistance from Mike Sisk, Web Site Adviser.

Technical support and oversight are provided by Jerry Kalas, SDIC Webmaster. Database server maintenance and database technical support are provided by Danny Covell, Founder and President, The Covell Group LLC.

The Tiwahe Lodge Google calendar is maintained by James Sisk. SDIC Council Google calendars are maintained by a number of dedicated volunteers, including:

The SDIC Web Site Staff Partner is Karl Shelton. The Tiwahe Lodge Staff Adviser is James Lennon.

The Tiwahe Web site is hosted by the SDIC BSA at no charge on the SDIC server. The database server is provided and hosted by The Covell Group LLC at no charge.