Keep Scouting Programs Safe Online
Keeping Scouting Programs Safe Online
In this time of intense social media and online engagement, it is important for all leaders, parents and youth participants to understand the policies that Scouting has in place to keep both youth and adults as safe as possible while participating in an online or virtual environment. When participating in virtual Scouting, we ask that YOU….
Follow all youth protection policies
- All youth protection policies still apply in an online environment. Ensure you always have two-deep leadership for online activities and meetings. Our ban on one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth applies to all interactions – whether in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form.
- All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents, and the BSA suggests parents take part in online activities and meetings.
Use business-oriented conference platforms instead of platforms with other primary purposes (such as gaming)
- Examples of business-oriented conference platforms: Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting.
- Examples of platforms that are not recommended: Discord, Roblox, and Twitch.
- Please review the terms of service, safety and privacy features, and data collection policies of any platform you use, and review the BSA Digital Privacy and Social Media Guidelines linked below.
Do not record online activities/meetings
- Call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks, the BSA does not authorize the recording of online meetings/activities.
Safeguard personal information
- If you collect a person's personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English.
- Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth's personal information with anyone except that youth's parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for tracking advancements. For example, a merit badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise show a roster with personal information of Scouts the counselor has worked with.
- Do not collect personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA"). You should collect any data needed from the parent or legal guardian only.
Additional information on Digital Safety can be found by visiting: https://scoutingwire.org/social-media-guidelines/