Virtual Meetings

As Scouting moves to virtual and online platforms, we offer the following reminders to help keep kids safe. Virtual scout meetings provide an opportunity to connect with other scouts and scout leaders during our COVID-19 SIP (shelter in place).  These meetings can provide a sense of normalcy and structure during this challenging times.  MDSC has some suggestions for virtual meetings for Scouting.  The below guidance applies to all online Scouting activities and meetings.


  • Follow BSA Youth Protection guidelines when conducting all meeting and all online communications.
  • Use business-oriented conference platforms instead of platforms with other primary purposes (such as gaming).
  • Examples of business-oriented conference platforms: Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting.
  • Do not record online activities/meetings.
  • Safeguard personal information.
  • Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended.

For more details on BSA’s Recommendations for Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities, click HERE.

For Scouts

  1. Do not misbehave.  What constitutes misbehavior? Cyber bullying, being disruptive, not respecting others including your peers, and chatting inappropriately are all intolerable.
  2. Be mindful and thoughtful. Your online actions are permanent and remember, if you’ve published something in the chat window or online it, it’s traceable. It doesn’t matter whether or not you delete the message or text. It is permanent!”
  3. Please respect your fellow scouts and leaders.
  4. Do not be disruptive. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
  5. When connecting using Zoom, please use a plain background
  6. Use your camera so that we can see you.
  7. Do not share links with anyone. Practice Cybersafety.
  8. When emailing scout leaders or other adults, always include a copy to your scout leader or parent.
  9. Renew your Cyber Chip annually, but more importantly, practice what you have learned.
    1. Cyber Chip Requirements

Recharging Your Cyber Chip
All Cyber Chips will expire annually. Each Scout will need to go to Netsmartz  and complete 2 new resources to recommit to net safety and netiquette. Then, with the unit leader, the Scout can add the new date to the Cyber Chip card or certificate.

For details on all the above information for Scouts, click HERE.

For Scout Leaders

A Reminder about Youth Protection
  • The BSA requires that for all meetings/outings we use the Two Deep Leadership method.
  • For meetings including online scout meetings
    • Two (2) BSA registered leaders must be involved
  • For merit badge classes/meetings
    • A parent, guardian or other adult leader must be present when a scout meets with a merit badge counselor.
  • Notify parents of meetings involving youth
  • More info in the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting
When creating/running the meeting
  • Become familiar with the features of your platform of choice
  • Add a strong unique password (be careful with calendars)
  • Enable a waiting room feature (if available)
  • Disable “join before host”
  • Add an alternate host (in case you are unavailable or late)
  • Assign a facilitator for the meeting
  • Assign a co-host
    • Monitors all attendees, chats, etc. and can override any unacceptable behavior
  • Limit/Disable Screen Sharing and Annotation
  • Learn how to remove a participant (if needed)
  • Now is a great time to review BSA Cyber Chip with your unit

Virtual Meeting Platforms

  • BlueJeans
  • FreeConferenceCall
  • Google Meet
  • GoToMeeting
  • Skype
  • Webex
  • Zoom
  • Other platforms

For details on all the Scout Leader information, click HERE.

For a BSA Cyber Safety Moment document to share with your scouts and scouting units, click HERE.

How to verify an out of Council Merit Badge Counselor.

First, try to connect the Scout and counselor in Scoutbook. If that is successful, the counselor is registered and qualified. If unsuccessful, go to the counselor’s home council and search for their Advancement Administrators. Most will have an email address for either the Council Advancement Committee or Professional Advisor. Send an email asking if the counselor has been registered and qualified for the merit badge(s) in question and the status of their Youth Protection Training. Ask California councils if the counselor has completed AB506 training and LiveScan. The unit leader’s “blue card” signature verifies their counselor credentials verification.


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