This set of policies has been developed to guide the development and evolution of the Longs Peak Council Web site, and the WWW sites of Districts, Units, and other organizations within the Council.
These policies are intended to be based on common sense, committed to maintaining Scouting’s positive image, and to upholding the BSA’s high standards for youth protection and member privacy.
BSA Requirements for Council Pages
- The council must have direct control over the content of its official Web site.
- The content of the site must be appropriate to the Scouting movement.
- The site cannot contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements.
- The site cannot engage in the electronic sale of BSA Supply Division merchandise or competing products.
- The site cannot contain links to any sites that contain material that is not appropriate to the Scouting movement.
- The site cannot replicate any BSA publication currently for sale through the Supply Division.
- Sites must abide by all laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property.
- Sites must consider the safety and privacy of their participants by obtaining the necessary permissions to release information about or images of any individual.
BSA Guidance for Unit Web Sites
Advice for personal and unit Web sites
While units and members act as private individuals when communicating with the public, the National Council provides the following advice for those who use the Internet to promote and support their units or to communicate to the public about Scouting:
Scouters should exercise propriety and good taste. Remember that the Internet (including Web sites, chat rooms, bulletin boards, and even e-mail messages) is a public medium. Your conduct reflects not only on yourself and your unit, but also on the entire Scouting movement whenever the audience knows you are a Scouter.
While most Internet users are honest, there is a criminal element that seeks information as a way to gain access to victims. For that reason, be especially careful about providing any personal information—names, images, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. Always ask permission before posting personal information about adult volunteers, and never publish personal information about youth members.
Myriad federal and state laws govern publishing in any medium, including the Internet—copyright infringement, privacy of information, defamation, etc. You should familiarize yourself with these laws so you can ensure that the information you publish doesn’t create any legal problems for you or your chartered organization. Key among these legal issues are that (1) you should never collect personal information about youth members over the Internet, and (2) you should never reproduce or display on your Web sites content from some other source without written permission.
BSA Policies and Procedures
All policies and procedures that apply to any activity are still in effect when that activity is conducted on the Internet. For example, any online recruiting must be done in accordance with policies and procedures that govern offline recruiting.
In addition to these general guidelines, local councils may develop their own more detailed guidelines for unit Web sites. Local councils may require units to meet council guidelines for their sites to be recognized (linked) from the local council’s own Web site.
Longs Peak Council Policies
General Member Privacy
No Home Addresses
The home address of Youth or Adult members should never be used.
Pictures showing Youth and/or Adults involved in Scouting activities may be used as long as no names or other personal information are associated with the picture.
Youth Member Names
Full names of youth members may not be used. First name and last initial is permissible.
No Youth Contact Info
Contact information for youth (phone, email or address) may not be listed.
Adult Contact Information
District and Council sites may list the names and (business) email or phone number of Council employees who are key contacts for the public.
(Adult) Unit Leaders
- Prospective members must be able to contact Units.
- As this is a responsibility of the Unit Leader, “Implied Consent” is given to disclose the leader’s name and phone number to persons seeking info about that specific unit.
- Any Unit Leader who prefers alternate contact info (email or other phone number), or does not want to be listed must notify the
No Leader Lists
While an individual can be shown as a unit contact, lists of leaders will not be publicly available.
Other Adult Contacts
Written permission must be obtained from other Adults before publicly listing their names and contact info.
Is it necessary for this to be PUBLIC?
Where Public contact information is not necessary – names and contact info should be kept private to the Scouting community or units
(see Private Information below).
To elaborate on “The site cannot contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements” BSA rule above:
No Third-Party Ads
Do NOT use a host for your pages which requires 3rd-party advertisements. These are commercial endorsements, and often contain material which is inappropriate to a Scouting site.
If your site’s web hosting company is donating the hosting – at the bottom of your home page, you may include their small logo, a link back to their home page, and a note stating “Thanks to XXXX for hosting our site”.
- Sites may contain links to other sites dedicated to scouting or other helpful information.
- Sites may not contain links to individual’s home page.
Adherence to Guidelines
All Unit WWW sites are expected/required to follow these Policies
Committee and Chartered Organization Approval
Pages must be approved by the Unit’s Committee and Chartered Organization
Registered Adult Supervision
Unit Pages may be developed by Scouts, but must be under the supervision of a registered adult.
- District Pages will link to Unit website only if the Unit website meets these policies.
- Contact your District Webmaster to request that your pages be reviewed and linked.
Council and District WWW sites will contain additional adult contact information which is not publicly available. This information will be kept private through the use of password-protected access. A wide range of options are possible, but for simplicity, three levels have been identified:
- Scouter – Information to be shared within the Council’s Scouting community, but not with the public
- Unit Leader – Info for Leaders of particular units, or particular types of units
- Administrative – Information available only to specific District or Council Positions.
- The Scouter password might be required for a Webelos Leader to get the list of the Scoutmasters in his area.
- The Scouter password might be required to view certain parts of the online Council newsletter.
- A Unit Leader password is required to get a list of District Merit Badge Counselors.
- The Troop’s specific Unit Leader password would be required to enter or edit that Troop’s online Camporee registration.
- The (Administrative) Camporee Registrar’s or DE’s password would be required to see the list of all the Units’ Camporee
Appropriate mechanisms must be used to ensure reasonable security for any private information on your site.