The internet, I think you all agree is a great thing. Right? It has opened up the Scouting World literally. I mean, think about it, when I was a Scout I can remember thinking how great it was to participate in Jamboree on the Air. Going to our meeting hall where one of our Assistant Scoutmasters had set up his HAM Radio. We dialed in and talked to Scouts from about 6 other country’s that day. It was the coolest.
But now we just hop online and open up Skype or a chat window, and our Scouting world closes in and through our head phones or speakers we are talking with Scouters all over the place.
I spent the better part of an hour last night chatting with a Scoutmaster in Wisconsin.. I am sure you know who that is.
The other day while we taught our Social Media class we stressed the point that the internet and social media is here to stay, we don’t what form it is going to take next year, but right now we have Blogs, Podcasts, Google +, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few. In our units we use combinations of some or all of these tools to communicate within and outside of our unit. The important thing to remember, especially when we are talking about our Scouts using these outlets, is to monitor it.
Set up permissions. Only allow your unit to access some things on the Troop web site.
Restrict passwords. Give them out, but change them as large groups of people rotate in and out of the unit.
Keep your eye out for spam, rude comments, and un solicited visitors. This is important. It’s ok to shut out some ones opinion on YOUR site.
Be honest and transparent in your communications. Tell Scouting’s Story in a positive light. Leave your negative comments in a journal under your bed. You may have had a bad experience, but don’t share it with the rest of the world… it’s not good for Scouting.
Watch the youth of your unit and how they use the media. They are good at it and they use it a lot more than us. That’s a good thing, but monitor it. The Scouting stuff should always reinforce the values of the Scout Oath and Law and should never be taken out of the context of Scouting.
The internet is a great thing, but like everything, needs to be watched.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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