Virtual Scout Meeting Tools

We are all working to get used to holding meetings online. For many of us it’s not just Scout meetings, its work meetings, church, and school. While digital meetings are not a true replacement for face to face events and activities these meetings are vital not only for the confutation of the Scouting program but for many Scouts personal development and well being as they NEED that social connection. Scouting can be a crucial part of many young peoples life, we owe it to all Scouts to try and keep those connections alive.

VIRTUAL MEETING GUIDELINES

BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. 

All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines (https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/) and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines (https://scoutingwire.org/social-media-guidelines/). Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch).

Recording online meetings is not authorized.
As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a) prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings.

PACK/TROOP MEETING RESOURCES

  • Conduct virtual Patrol Leaders Council meetings via teleconference or web video conferencing. Ensure to maintain two-deep leadership throughout the virtual meeting.
  • Encourage Patrol Leaders to communicate digitally with their patrol members.

FREE OR LOW COST WEB MEETING RESOURCES

The CDC is recommending to be careful with meetings and travel and use teleconferencing when possible. Here are some free or low-cost online communication tools:

Free Conference Call
Webex
Go To Meeting
Join Me
Google Hangouts