As Scouting moves to virtual and online platforms, we offer the following reminders to help keep kids safe. Virtual scout meetings provide an opportunity to connect with other scouts and scout leaders during our COVID-19 SIP (shelter in place). These meetings can provide a sense of normalcy and structure during this challenging times. MDSC has some suggestions for virtual meetings for Scouting. The below guidance applies to all online Scouting activities and meetings.
- Follow BSA Youth Protection guidelines when conducting all meeting and all online communications.
- Follow information provided in the BSA Safety Moment on Virtual 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.
- Do not record online activities/meetings.
- Safeguard personal information.
- Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended.
For more details on BSA’s Recommendations for Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities, click HERE.
- Do not misbehave. What constitutes misbehavior? Cyber bullying, being disruptive, not respecting others including your peers, and chatting inappropriately are all intolerable.
- Be mindful and thoughtful. Your online actions are permanent and remember, if you’ve published something in the chat window or online it, it’s traceable. It doesn’t matter whether or not you delete the message or text. It is permanent!”
- Please respect your fellow scouts and leaders.
- Do not be disruptive. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
- When connecting using Zoom, please use a plain background!
- Use your camera so that we can see you.
- Do not share links with anyone. Practice Cybersafety.
- When emailing scout leaders or other adults, always include a copy to your scout leader or parent.
- Renew your Cyber Chip annually, but more importantly, practice what you have learned.
For Scout Leaders
- The BSA requires that for all meetings/outings we use the Two Deep Leadership method.
- For meetings including online scout meetings
- Two (2) BSA registered leaders must be involved
- For merit badge classes/meetings
- A parent, guardian or other adult leader must be present when a scout meets with a merit badge counselor.
- Notify parents of meetings involving youth
- More info in the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting
For a BSA Cyber Safety Moment document to share with your scouts and scouting units, click HERE.
- Become familiar with the features of your platform of choice
- Add a strong unique password (be careful with calendars)
- Enable a waiting room feature (if available)
- Disable “join before host”
- Add an alternate host (in case you are unavailable or late)
- Assign a facilitator for the meeting
- Assign a co-host
- Monitors all attendees, chats, etc. and can override any unacceptable behavior
- Limit/Disable Screen Sharing and Annotation
- Learn how to remove a participant (if needed)
- Now is a great time to review BSA Cyber Chip with your unit
Virtual Meeting Platforms
- Google Meet
- Other platforms