About Scout Unit Web Sites

(Unofficial Guidance)

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New  Earn the Scatacook District Quality Unit Web Site Designation  New

Scatacook District does not host Unit web sites.

While there are lots of "free" sites, avoid those that include advertising on each page. They are not as good for your audience to read and the advertising is constantly changing and could include objectionable materials.

Here are some important issues and guidelines that your Unit Committee and Chartered Organization should consider before establishing your Unit web site.

Know your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Screen the ISP for the type of customers they provide space to. It would not be good to knowingly host your Unit's site on an ISP that also provides space for questionable or non-Scouting like activities or subjects.

Appoint someone in your unit that will maintain and review all site content. Remember, as Scouting unit, your site needs to conform to the rules and policies of the Boy Scouts of America.

Have your Unit committee create a set of guidelines and policies on your site's content. These do not have to be extensive but should set a clear picture of what the site should include. It is easier to state what should be included than to try to cover everything that is not acceptable.

Define a complete set of goals for your site. A set of well defined goals makes creating and maintaining your site easier. Start with the web policies and guidelines of the National BSA. You can find the National BSA policies at:

http://marketing.scouting.org/Resources/CouncilWeb.aspx

Also review the guidance for unit web sites at:

http://marketing.scouting.org/Resources/UnitWeb.aspx

All pictures and personal references to leaders and scouts should have subject's approval. For leaders, all information posted should be approved first by the leader or adult. All youth information and pictures should be approved by their parent(s) first.

Do not post any youth phone numbers, addresses, and last names.

Use only first names. Remember, the entire world can view your web site. Would you want the same information on a billboard? Your web information is PUBLIC!!

Do a complete design layout of your site before you post single item for your site.

An adult leader should always be involved in the management and creation of the site. While it is fine to allow the Unit program to be a "boy run" operation, a web site has implications for the Unit and the Charter Organization and requires oversight. If youth members are creating web pages, make sure that all pages are reviewed before they are posted.

Comply with copyright laws. Copying of someone else's work without giving credit is wrong and not in keeping with the Scout Law. It is fine to use the work of others as a starting point, but do not simply copy and repost. You must create your own content.

Never directly link to someone else's graphics because they often move and are someone else's property. Ask if you can copy the graphic into your site.

Be careful of the amount of graphics that you use. While connections are getting faster, there are still limitations to the fastest dial-up service and high graphical content is slow. Your site should not be an "FTP service" for downloading graphics, either. Most ISP's put limits on the amount of web space and the bandwidth used. They may close a site for too much traffic or charge the owner for high traffic requirements.

Do not create chat rooms or mechanisms that would allow uncontrolled posting to your site. These are high-risk and not acceptable. If you would like a link from the Scatacook District web site, send an e-mail to: webmaster@scatacook.org.  We will review your site and will include a link to it and ask that you also provide a link to the Scatacook District web site at http://www.scatacook.org

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