Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Ok, as many of you have seen, I am a webdesigner for fun. I have thought about creating a website for the troop, but have possibly run into a few problems.


1. Does the BSA have a permission slip type form to be filled out by the parents before their son's picture can be placed on a website? I know the the Girl Scouts have one that has to be filled out before the girl's picture can be put in any publication.


2. Colors- what colors would you suggest?


3. Information- what kind of information would appeal to you? From a general person perpective and as a troop member?


Thanks guys and gals:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hops, this is a link that was sent to me when I had similar questions:




It is geared toward council sites, but it does address district and unit sites as well. It appears as though you would need to clear this with the council.


I have not been told no by council, so I went ahead and put our site up. In doing so, I followed much of the council site suggestions. I would never use a photograph without written permission, so I had a form that I made up that each parent signed allowing me to use their son's photos in any medium, to use first names only--though not with the photos, and that sort of thing. No parent objected; all signed.


On the Good Turn For America site, there is a form you might find helpful. As we take part in each new activity, I'll carry my digital camera and a folder filled with blank "Talent Release Forms". They can be found here:




Choose "News Stories" then "Talent Release Form". I hope this helps some; it's not as clear an answer as I personally would like, but if you get the ok to go for it, just have permission slips handy. That never hurts anyway.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Me again :)


I like the "cute" Cub colors. My husband likes either the black pages or the very subtle "clean" look for Scouts. I think it's a matter of personal preference, BUT it needs to be easy to read and quick to load.


Info: I like to visit a site related to Scouting that tells me something about the unit/council hosting the site. A little history is always interested. Some photos, so long as they load quickly, are neat too. Most importantly, ease of use. A user friendly site is one I will look through; if I can't navigate with ease, I get frustrated and move on.


You'll do fine :) By the way, the site I developed is here (and the disclaimers -- a new thing I learned about in reading the link I gave to you -- are coming soon):




Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link Laurie, I'll never ceased to be amazed at what is on the national site, sure wish they had an amazing menu to help locate the info :(


Hops, if you haven't done so already, check out the council's website guidelines. Although they don't address photos, there are many other rules to follow. Don't worry though, they're not burdensome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Hops, I forgot to answer your other 2 questions:


Color is tricky. I used to favor a program-related color scheme (e.g. Blue & yellow for Cubs; tan & red for Scouts), but my tastes have changed and I now favor a simpler look a.k.a. white pages. That doesn't mean devoid of color. I like to have colored borders or menus on pages I have built, but I like to keep the middle portion of the screen white to make it easier to read the text. I also favor white because most of the graphics you'll find on the web have a white background. If your page is white you can avoid those annoying white "boxes" around your graphics. Yes, there are transparent images, but they're usually a little too ragged for my liking.


As for what kind of info to include, my answer is to first decide who your target audience is. Is the site going to be an advertisement for the troop or will it be a communication and reference tool for the troop members. I believe most people would say both, but it's a personal preference. Once you determine who your focus group is that will help you define your content.


I taught a class at University of Scouting for the past 2 years titled "How to Build a Unit Website". It didn't tell you how to acutally build it per se, just the factors to consider and methods that can be used when designing/constructing a Scouting website. If you have PowerPoint I can send you the slides I used in class.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use free hosting provided right here--just look over to the menu at the right for the Scouter.com free web hosting link. We had web space donated to us by a Scouter's business website, and since it's kid-friendly, that worked out great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A good practice for all organizations that work with Youth is to have a release form signed by parents so you can use the youth's images in print and other media. We do this for both our Pack and Troop. This allows us to use their pictures in newspapers, brochures and the web. Our release form states that full names and other identifying information (address, phone numbers, etc). will not be given without specific permission.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our Troop web site is primarily meant for communication and providing resources for unit members and their families. We do get some external hits, but not many.


It's fairly small in terms of byte size. It's on my ISP's free web space, meant for me to have a family site, and I'm the webmaster. I wasn't aware of the BSA guidelines on the national site, but will definitely check them out.


For colors, I used a template that was available from my ISP in their "Web Sites for Morons" section -- it's a patriotic theme. My recommendation is that whatever color scheme you use, make sure the information is still easy to read, and prints legibly. The last thing you want is a page that looks like one of those "throw your eyes out of focus and stare until the words show up" puzzles from a few years back -- I've seen sites like that and they make my head hurt.


We have a page for contact info, a calendar page, a member's page with forms, references, etc., recent events with photos, and a SM page. I don't have signed releases for the photos, but they're small in size, all group photos, and we don't use any names. I may have to change that, I don't know.


I have Adobe Acrobat (not the reader), so I scan all our Troop Meeting Plans into Adobe and stick 'em on the site for the Green Bars and others to download. Same with other paperwork -- saves me a lot of trouble copying/hauling. Adobe files are much smaller than Word .docs, too, so they save bytes.


Our committee wants to put our TroopMaster on the Web, too, so we're in the process of migrating our site to a server that's giving us more space. I don't know if that's something you want to consider -- we haven't done it yet, so I don't know how well it works.


Good luck



Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, that is correct. But it does address districts and units:


"Guidelines for district and unit sites, and the decision as to whether districts and/or units may maintain officially representative sites at all, are completely at the discretion of the council. If these sites are permitted, and especially if the council site provides links to them, it is highly recommended the council provide guidelines for these sites and to recognize and link only to those sites that meet the council's guidelines. Guidelines and advice provided in this document may be appropriate for districts and units as well, so councils may consider passing this information along with any additional council guidelines."


"Unit Sites. It is not recommended that councils acknowledge "official" sites for units. There are currently tens of thousands of unit Web sites on the Internet, and it would be difficult for a council to allocate sufficient resources to monitor all the various sites developed by units in its area. Furthermore, since most units lack adequate resources to develop respectable and safe Web sites, a vast majority of unit sites are wrought with safety and liability issues that could become problems for the council were the sites endorsed as officially representative."


Two very important considerations that kind of leaped at me: first, run it by council to see if they will approve the site. Second, it is recommended that unit sites not even be acknowledged though--for reasons listed on that page. Kind of a catch 22, but if we put up sites, and if council isn't saying no to it, then we should at least know what the national guidelines are. This is just my opinion.





Link to post
Share on other sites

My take is to 1st see if your council has any guidelines. I would hazard to guess most don't. And if they don't you are pretty much on your own. Common sense should prevail! And once again remember - these are guidelines, not hard & fast rules!


Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...