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Re: Facebook


Having just taught a class this past weekend to scouters regarding this subject, I'll refer everyone to BSA's Social Media policy, which was published Fall 2011.






* Follow the Scout Oath and Law online

* Use two deep leadership Youth Protection online

* Adhere to the terms of service of the vendor

All personal profiles should be PRIVATE

All social media channels should be PUBLIC

For Facebook it should be a PUBLIC fan page


Problems with using Facebook for scouting include:

* It requires someone to create a FB profile, which they may not want to do.

* FB's stated terms are for 13 and older, which excludes many youth.

* Per the "public" requirement, you can't maintain membership or advancement records via a public page.


That said, you can use FB to SUPPLEMENT your unit's visibility, but do not use it as your only means of online communication. Yes, it requires some duplication, but many people are on FB frequently, so get them where you can. Create events on your FB page in order to publicize them, but request that scouts/adults actually sign up on the unit website in order to maintain youth information privacy.


When putting photos up, make sure you have 1) parental permission for publishing them, and 2) do NOT identify individual youth by name in photos put on a public page.


As a reminder, when dealing with youth via the internet, remember the two-deep rule. If someone instant messages you or emails you, ALWAYS include another adult in your reply. I suggest that you remind the scout in your reply to cc: someone else when contacting you or another leader - older scouts will understand YPT requirements.


Change happens fast, especially online.


* Radio: 37-38 years to have 50 million listeners

* TV: 13 years to have 50 million viewers

* Internet: 4 years to have 50 million surfers

* Facebook: 9 MONTHS to have 100 million users

* Charlie Sheen: 25 HOURS to get 1 million Twitter followers

* Kony Video: 1 WEEK to get 112 million YouTube views


CONTROL THE MESSAGE by being proactive. Good advice is to have anything posted on on a public or social media page approved prior by at least 3 committee members to ensure that the correct message is being put out. Once posted, it is virtually impossible to retract anything. Pics from years ago, supposedly deleted, are still available if people have the direct link (this was recently in the news).(This message has been edited by coppercarla)

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As advancement chair I could not live without packmaster. The thought of each den leader using their own spreadsheet and e-mailing to me each month for awards... *shudder*


PM keeps all the stuff together, I print out my report each month and off I go to the scout shop. Couldn't be better.

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When I revived this thread about facebook, I wasn't really even thinking about the youth accessing it. Seems to me taht cubs are too young for facebook, but I suppose maybe not the weblos 2.(??)

I was looking at this more from the perspective of leader to parent and parent to parent organization and communication.

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Okay. Not to speak heresy as Im often pushing the technology envelope BUT as a den leader I really like the simple $1.99 2x3 paper advancement charts sold by the scout stores. Cub scout advancement is very different than boy scout advancement. Pack Master isnt really needed. Tracking all the ugly little details wasnt really needed.


And it was nice to just have it up and visible during den meetings. It helped the parents see where their sons were with advancement. Then, I just emailed our advancement chair what was needed for the next pack meeting.


Boy Scouts is a very different situation though.


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The pack still has to be organized. When I was a den leader, we emailed the list of advancements to the person who purchased advancements. Now, we put it in scouttrack.com. SO your pack lets the advancement chair know what to put in PackMaster. then, that person prints a report from PackMaster. I don't see that much of a difference.


The reason I was okay with the paper chart as a den leader is that cub advancements are not critical to the future advancement path. Councils don't track belt loops or any of the lower cub advancements such as world conservation, etc. They only track rank advancements. Boy SCouts is very different in that Boy Scout advancement is cumulative. Seven years later you often need to show a clean path of advancement for the next advancement.

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We use TroopRecordBook.com. I couldn't justify the expense for Troopmaster, and we were able to customize trooprecordbook for our unit.

I agree with the annual audit...we give each scout a copy of his records, and ask him to compare them to his blue cards, and we compare the troop records with the council records.


The online advancement process has severely reduced the mistakes...and it makes it a lot easier to fix.


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