2015 Camp Chawanakee Launch Day

Aerial view of Camp Chawanakee in Shaver Lake

Aerial view of Camp Chawanakee in Shaver Lake

Camp Chawanakee has been using the Online Merit Badge Signups for more years than any other camp. As a matter of fact they are the first camp to use our system and over the years have helped with great feedback on new features to improve it over the years. Today they had their first day of signups and proved to be the largest launch to date. Truth be told at 9AM when signups began there were 154 users using the site at the same time. With this many users simultaneously using the site there was for the first time a bit of lag. However we are pleased to say that the site did not crash at all though some people may have feared it did. Feedback from the users has been quite positive in the ease of the process and how the site was able to handle that many simultaneous users.

After the first 30 minutes it became obvious the site was under a lot less strain and continued to work. As of right now after 5PM there are still troops on right now continuing to sign up for classes and from what we can tell there hasn’t been any point during the day that there has not been multiple troops signing up scouts and leaders for classes.

So how does this break down? Well we pulled some quick statistics after one hour of signups and found that of the 210 troops that were signed up for camp 154 users were actively signing up for classes and 2242 scouts and 403 adults signed up for 5635 different classes. To put that in comparison last year after an hour there were 4800 signups after the first hour.

So what does this mean? The core architecture of our Online Merit Badge Signups system is to make signups simple, effective and fair. As anyone who has written such programs over time knows that making it work is just the first step. After that you need to make sure things are secure and continue to work even under increased use. Let’s face it there is a limit to what sites can handle before either the software or the hardware begins to break. We can now see that this is the point where things start to get strained and honestly I’m quite pleased. The site design has been like this for nearly a decade or more. Truth be told I was never sure how much the site could handle till recently as it is difficult to effectively stress test as a small start up.

So what does this mean? Now we have access to logs about what was happening where and can start working on improving the process. Sure we can order a larger server to handle increased load and it may come to that but first we’re going to review and see where things can be streamlined. We always try to keep our rates low and affordable because adding extra strain to the camp budget doesn’t make things easier.

We want to thank Camp Chawanakee, the Sequoia Council and all the users who use the site and continue to give us feedback.

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