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SeattlePioneer

Cub Scout E-Mail Birthday Cards

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I routinely include the birthday of Cub Scouts and adult leaders from applications in a Hotmail record to keep track of memberships. Birthdays pop up on my e-mail list as a matter of routine.

 

 

I'm thinking it might be nice to have a Cub Scout birthday greeting that can be sent to Cub Scouts and perhaps leaders.

 

 

Does anyone do that, or have a sample greeting that might be used? I'm thinking that something like that could be made up on "Word" and then sent as a PDF file or something.

 

How would parents likely react to receiving that kind of greeting?

 

 

 

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I agree w/ Basement, except that if you were the Cub Master or Den Leader, you would have ample opportunity to wish the kid happy birthday in person. Here's my standard: if you wouldn't dream of baking the kid cupcakes, DON'T send them some standard fill-in-the-blank birthday wishes. And if you WOULD dream of making them cupcakes, heck, just make them cupcakes! [Only if the parents aren't going to assume you're some creepy adult who is trying to lure the kid into their van with sweets or something, though. You have to have a real connection first.]

 

Kids are already the targets of too much advertizing (increasingly done online) and use of their birthdays as reasons for some only semi-connected adult who the parents may barely know to contact the kid, would set off my alarm bells.

 

(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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Keep in mind that the e-mail address this would be sent to is that of the parent, and the parent is going to decide whether and under what conditions the Cub Scout sees the birthday greeting, if at all.

 

 

When I send out notices on pack activities, I generally use an opening of

 

"Hello Cub Scouts and Cub Scout parents..."

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Nope, still creepy.

 

Honestly, the more I think about this, the less it makes much sense. You don't really know these kids because you're the UC and district membership chair - not a regular feature in their lives. Most importantly, THEY don't really know YOU. Sending them emails - even via their parents - is spammy, at best.

 

The parents may or may not make the connection that the guy sending their kid birthday wishes is Mr. UC/ Mr. District Membership who comes to pack meetings from time to time and who collected the pack's pile of new cub applications. I can pretty much guarantee, some parents are going to have a serious problem with the notion that an adult they don't really know has somehow collected and stored their child's personal data (Birthday, email) and now is sending them stuff. Ick. Some parent is going to start wondering whether you're also sending their kid stuff directly somehow, or even how you got the parent's email in the first place.

 

As a former pack leader myself, I can just imagine being on the receiving end of the phone call from an unhappy parent wanting to know who the heck I'm sharing their/their child's info with, and why. I can also imagine that parent becoming MUCH more reluctant to provide me with personal info about their kid in the future (email addresses they'll actually check? accurate med forms?). As a pack leader, I really don't need that hassle being created by my UC or by some district guy.

 

Bottom line for me:

I am sure your motives are good, and yes I know that info is on the membership forms (and you are the district membership chair so you have legit access to it). But the parents aren't going to know that, and the kids aren't likely going to have a clue who you are. So: creepy.

 

 

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Am I naive to think that my sons' information is held only by the unit, charter org and council as indicated by the application I completed for each of them, and not by any and every volunteer who thinks he/she needs a copy for themselves? I guess so. Personal information is just that, and I guess I think it is inappropriate for someone to have their own database of personal information about my children without my permission and without a clear need to do so.

 

Creepy, indeed.

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No, you are not naive to think that your sons' information is held only by the unit, charter org and council, but you are naive if you think that is different from a copy being made for every volunteer who thinks he needs a copy. I am a den leader, and I don't have a copy of everyone's personal information, but I have been heavily involved in recruiting, and I run the pack website, so I enter the personal information into the parent and scout profiles before I pass it along the committee chairman, and she gives the carbon copy to the pack treasurer. (We really need a secretary.) The pack website is password protected, so it can only be viewed by other members of the pack, and parents can log in and edit their profiles to add or remove any information they wish, but I have seen little evidence of such activity. The thing that is NOT supposed to happen is the selling or sharing of personal information with people outside of scouting, such as Disney or other commercial enterprises that pay for such information as part of their direct marketing schemes.

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I would highly limit the information as to where it is located. Keep it in the records and off a website. Packmaster is really the only place we keep ours besides the paper files. There again, it's password protected and I limit who gets to see everything. We do not even put in the SSN# in.

 

Back to the real question. I know it's a digital world out there and a lot of kids are on the Internet. My kids do not have email. They want it, but I have yet to find a secure service that I like and trust. (Webelos II & Brownie ages).

 

If you want to say Happy Birthday to a Scout, do it at a Den or Pack Meeting. Sing a Song and/or give a Birthday Card to them.

 

Overall, this is not School or a playdate. It's Scouting. I do not bring in Birthday's into a Meeting. It detracts from it. I have had a couple of times where a Scout tells me it's his Birthday during a Meeting. I congratulate him and we sing. Done and over. I do not ignore if the Scout brings it up.

 

As to the Youth Protection thing....yeah, emailing ecards to them if they have an address, is creepy. I would copy the Parents as part of Two-Deep Leadership.

 

Here is info that helps guide me. http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/Marketing/Resources/SocialMedia.aspx

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When I get a new youth or adult application, I establish a new record in my hotmail account that includes most of the information on the application.

 

I also include information on what leadership positions and activities adults have done --- such as leading the popcorn sale or planning food for a pack campout.

 

This is Cub Scouts, so all e-mail addresses are those of parents.

 

These records are organized by den, which allows e-mails to be sent out to dens or to the whole pack easily.

 

I send copies of the records of each den to the den leaders, and copies of the records for those in the pack to pack leaders as needed.

 

That hasn't been an issue at pack meetings thus far. If parents want to restrict information in other ways, I would be delighted to have someone take on the responsibility of maintaining pack records.

 

 

Frankly, I'm surprised at the negative reaction to sending out birthday greetings. But it's easy not to do something, so that's another bright idea that wont be put into practice.

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Just curious, are you collecting applications, putting youth, and adult, information into your personal email account, and disseminating that information to others, in your capacity as Unit Commissioner to the Pack, or in some other capacity?

 

Also, just a note, email accounts are not secure storage. They are regularly hacked, and used to spread spam, and viruses.

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I sub teach. Every elementary school room I have been in has a list on the wall of every kids birthday, and when that day comes up, that kid (or kids) are the "special person" or some such.

The room mmom and parents make cupcakes for the day. Often, the other kids make "cards" for the bday kid.

Cub Scouts: Yes, we have access to records. I would not do this, as a commisher because: There are waaaay too many Cubs to be fair to everyone. And what happens if I forget one? Email is not for broadcast to sorta strangers. I introduce myself to my units, but they are other people's units too. I would let the DenLeaders and Cubmaster do the Bdays.

Hey, which is more special: an email or a REAL birthday card you can save and handle and maybe play with and look at in daylight without a battery or plug?

I am on good terms with my ex-wife's parents and they send my family bday and anniversary (!) cards. 'Tis sweet to be remembered (see the country western song) by them and some others.

If you KNOW the Cub, send the card. Let's see, 44cents postage, a couple bucks for a card and envelope, email is almost free.... Which shows concern and care? A real signature. Someone handled the card. Anyone might have hit "send".

 

Send a card, or don't. Not an email.

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I'm currently the Troop Treasurer. I maintain Pack records since I haven't found anyone else willing to do the job.

 

Yes, my e-mail account was hacked. The apparent goal was to send offensive emails to everyone on my e-mail list.

 

I appreciate the comments that suggested that an e-mailed birthday greeting was a waste of time.

 

Those suggesting it is "creepy" to e-mail a greeting directed to a parent's e-mail address for their child is just warped, in my opinion.

 

But since the prevailing opinion is that this is a worthless thing to do --- I'm not going to do it.

 

I appreciate the opinions other than those from creepy people.

 

 

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BasementDweller: Why would it be creepy or weird for the Committee Chair to do it on behalf of the pack, as opposed to the Cubmaster or a Den Leader doing it?

 

I'm assuming we are talking about an involved Committee Chair that the boys and their parents know, not one of those "on paper only" types.

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