Jump to content
sbscouter

Adult Supervision for Online Communications

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, shortridge said:

Keep online conversations with everyone in public places, not in email.”

If this is really the rule, then I think National has sailed right off the deep end.  You know, @RichardB, adults can harass and verbally abuse other adults, and it unfortunately happens in workplaces all the time, and it can sometimes lead to liability for the employer.  In BSA National Headquarters, and in councils, are employees allowed to email each other?  (That's a rhetorical question, I'm sure they are.)  If so, how do you know that some nefarious activity is not taking place by email.  By the logic of not permitting troop communications by email, then people at BSA National should not be emailing each other.  Ridiculous, you say?  I agree!

We all want the Scouts to be safe.  But whether we want to admit it or not, we do not do "everything" we can do to keep the Scouts safe, because "everything" would mean there are no activities or communications at all, and therefore no program.  There has to be a balance.  Nobody would die in auto accidents if there were no cars and no driving, but yet we drive cars and try to make the drivers and the cars as safe as they can reasonably be.  

Edited by NJCubScouter
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see national follow there own rules. 

@RichardB

What about all those closed "invite only "Facebook  and Scoutbook pages  that i am not allowed to view? 

Seems a little hypocritical

"Nothing to see here Citizen (Scouter) move along"

Edited by Kryten
update

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, shortridge said:

It’s more what you’d call “guidelines” than an actual rule.

https://scoutingwire.org/marketing-and-membership-hub/social-media/social-media-guidelines/

I'm guessing this will be updated:

Quote

Abiding by the “two deep” leadership policy that governs all Scouting activities also applies to use of social media. Two-deep leadership means two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips and outings.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am going to stand by my quote, which paraphrases my kid's non-BSA youth leaders ...

21 hours ago, qwazse said:

... my kids were strongly encouraged by their youth leaders to set up their social media accounts in such a way that adults who they could trust were in the loop.

You all are going way of the rails in taking the concept of "public" communication to extreme. I interpret "public" quite narrowly.

  • I don't want internet trolls, strangers from national, our DE, or even our UC, to be privy to the machinations of our PLC.
  • I do want my SM, ASMs, and the PLC's parents to be able to follow them without contributing to them.
  • If there's an issue, it goes through the SM to the boys.

That is public enough to keep my scouts safe.

It is roughly the equivalent of the PLC of my childhood posting a hand-written (maybe typed) calendar or memorandum on a cork board in the scout house for anyone who cared to copy the information into their memory, notebook, or permission slip.

In fact, I'd heartily endorse the paper and cork-board model for today, but it too is not safe from the prying eyes of some janitor with ill intent toward my scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, shortridge said:

It’s more what you’d call “guidelines” than an actual rule.

https://scoutingwire.org/marketing-and-membership-hub/social-media/social-media-guidelines/

Yes, Captain Jack Sparrow, but what are the consequences of not following the "guideline"?  (That is an actual question, I do not know the answer in this context.)  If the consequences of not following a "guideline" are the same as the consequences of not following a "rule", then it really doesn't matter what they call it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently had a Scout email me (copied to his parents !) asking me to counsel him for a faith award. Since I was not of his faith, I emailed back, including the District Religious Awards  Co-ordinator,  the District Chair, and my faith committee's clerk. (more than two deep !) to suggest he should consult with his local minister/priest. We went back and forth a few more times, much multiple addresses included....

  

Edited by SSScout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Note that most of the YPT intent is directed at and intended for Adults to setup barriers for abuse to youth.  Some is there youth to youth, but it is YOUTH Protection

The original post was about chat groups used by youth to youth.  As has been noted, nothing really different than boys talking to boys, just in a new format.  We as leaders cannot be expected to monitor and observe all conversations youth to youth whether they be in person, in notes, on text, PM's, phone calls, conference calls, etc.  Yes it is about the PLC and if the conversation involved bullying or other topics that needed to be addressed, then same as if the conversation was in person, in notes, on text, PM's, phone calls, conference calls, the leaders could address the issue.

If the unit sets up a communication medium (say instagram) then yes that should be moderated, all comments public, etc

 

17 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Please don't shoot the messenger, but I think this is the section that requires adults to monitor it.  From: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a

To help ensure that all communication on social media channels remains positive and safe, these channels must be public, and all communication on or through them must be public. This enables administrators to monitor all communication and help ensure there is no inappropriate communication between adult leaders and Scouts or between Scouts themselves. Therefore, no private channels (e.g., private Facebook groups or invite-only YouTube channels) are acceptable in helping to administer the Scouting program. Private channels and private communication put both the youth and you at risk. If you feel the information you seek to share via social media channels should not be shared in public, you should not share that information via social media.

 

What is social media?  This is not clear cut.  It's a general rule to apply based on intent.  

Our scouts have a large group text message "chat".  We don't monitor it.  Heck if we tried, another communication channel would creep in and relatively soon grow to encompass all the scouts again.  IMHO, damage would be done by our trying to insert ourselves too much.  We'd lose the scout's trust and they would start fearing and hiding things from us.

Plus for our troop, I'm not exactly sure what technology they use, but I think it's basically very similar to texting.  Maybe a bit more persistent, but texting is relatively persistent too.  But, I just don't consider it "social media" any more than I consider a phone call or an email as social media.  

I consider "Social media" as facebook, instagram, youtube, etc.   Tools that help form a community.  I don't consider email or texting or basic message relay as "social media".  

Funny comment ... I've listened in on our scouts at times.  Several use snapchat to talk with their girl friends.  It's not because of trying to hide things.  It's because they don't want their girlfriends to have long term records of what they said.  They don't want their past communication over analyzed, relayed or being used against them in the future.  So they use snapchat to avoid a long term trail.  I find that funny that the boys were already thinking about that.   

I flip back and forth whether snapchat is a social media channel.  

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather amusing that the one form of communication that's a huge no-no, is making a phone call (it's one-one). And yet we all managed to deal with those as kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope they're beta testing the rules and supporting language with real units.  I can deal with rules like "have adults copied".  It's just when the rules try to get specific but end up being vague that we seem to run into issues.  Stuff like "is email a form of social media?" and "what does public mean?" .  These issues seem easily avoidable if they were to roll the rules out for comments and then incorporated comments into the final version.

Beyond that though, this all just saddens me for the BSA and the scouts.  I'm 100% behind protecting youth - but there has to be another way.  The premier youth development organization in the USA is seems headed down this increasingly protective path.  The BSA has lots of high power people on the board and must have lots of friends in Washington.  Seems that more could be done such that we didn't have to keep adding more and more restrictions.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This underscores the younger generations' point that us older adults really do not understand digital communication and are scared of it. 

Imagine this scenario, on a campout a group of boys are in their tent having a conversation. BSA HQ changes guidelines to require that an adult stand outside the tent to monitor their conversation. What do you think? The word "ridicululous" comes to mind. 

In the current teen generation, a group chat on their phone is no different. 

Monitoring kids conversations whether in person or digitally is ridiculous. The mere fact the rules require the "public" (even with the most gracious interpretation of the word) demonstrates this generation is correct about the digital divide. Heck, the digital chat (even private) is better since a digital record exists. 

The rule is stupid. And I am being gracious here.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Beyond that though, this all just saddens me for the BSA and the scouts.  I'm 100% behind protecting youth - but there has to be another way.  The premier youth development organization in the USA is seems headed down this increasingly protective path.  The BSA has lots of high power people on the board and must have lots of friends in Washington.  Seems that more could be done such that we didn't have to keep adding more and more restrictions.

 

It's not just a BSA problem, it's a societal problem.  Our over arching desire to protect children is actually damaging them, mentally and physically.  Lukianoff and Haidt talk about it in their article, and now book, "The  Coddling of the American Mind."  It's the basis of Leonore Skenazy's Free Range Kids movement. 

You're right, the BSA should absolutely be fighting against the trend.  But, it's risky business to say "Let your kid join our movement!  They're going to be challenged emotionally and physically.  They'll hear things they disagree with.  They'll get into arguments.  They'll take risks and they might get hurt.  One weekend a month you'll say goodbye on Friday night and not hear from your child again until Sunday morning!"  It's a lot easier to say Family Scouting and give in to the zeitgeist.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

It's not just a BSA problem, it's a societal problem.  Our over arching desire to protect children is actually damaging them, mentally and physically.  Lukianoff and Haidt talk about it in their article, and now book, "The  Coddling of the American Mind."  It's the basis of Leonore Skenazy's Free Range Kids movement. 

You're right, the BSA should absolutely be fighting against the trend.  But, it's risky business to say "Let your kid join our movement!  They're going to be challenged emotionally and physically.  They'll hear things they disagree with.  They'll get into arguments.  They'll take risks and they might get hurt.  One weekend a month you'll say goodbye on Friday night and not hear from your child again until Sunday morning!"  It's a lot easier to say Family Scouting and give in to the zeitgeist.

I share your sentiment and agree.  The BSA is doing this things because it's the obvious path given the rest of our society. 

As a Scout leader, what I've seen is that relatively few folks actually want us to coddle their kids.  It's just it's what parents think is the right way to do things because it's what they see everywhere else.  However, when we present them with another way and explain why, they generally agree. 

Setting up a tent is the classic, albeit simplistic, example.  Parents will often go on the first campout with their son after crossing over.  They'll see their son struggle to setup a tent and start to go help.  I'll pull them aside and explain that he will learn more and have a stronger sense of accomplishment by going through the steps to learn how to solve the problem himself.  They'll think about it for a minute and may agree or not.  But in almost all cases they'll come back later and say "you're right".  I just think the BSA needs to take this principle and apply it in a more structured way across the program.  In the process, they need to train the local troop leader to really understand and be able to explain why.  This is important so that when adults who don't understand start showing up at Troop Committee meetings pushing for family campouts - the troop leaders are equipped to deal with it.

The same is true with the silly G2SS rules.  We can train scouts responsible use of knives, guns, and fire but we cannot teach how to use a wheel barrow?  We're a values based organizatoin, but yet we can't have squirt guns because we can't figure out how to teach Scouts they shouldn't shoot at people?  These things seem contradictory.  

To me it feels like the BSA has one heck of an opportunity here to be a leading voice in youth development.  I don't know why we're not doing that.

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I gaze on the small pack of grandsons that I have, what I view is their access to media and interactions with others in more ways and much greater freedom than my generation even dreamed of. This is, to some extent, affected by rapidly-changing technology and I seriously doubt that even the best-intended 'rules' or 'guidelines' or whatever you want to call them, can keep with with those rapid changes. That doesn't mean that we should 'throw in the towel' (I can dig even deeper into the collection of cliches if needed) but rather that we perhaps should spend more time and attention on just what all these new abilities mean in the context of 'old' concepts like family and community. This is a rapidly-evolving system and I'm not sure that any rule, by the time it's established by an authority, is going to be even applicable, much less effective, at addressing a problem. 

That said, the small pack of grandsons continue their entry into society and the world...acting pretty much like children always do...in our hearts, we're all just a bunch of monkeys, my grandsons provide ample evidence.

Edited by packsaddle
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


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

×