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WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Let ’Em Hear You

Ideas from the field: How to use technology to improve troop communications.

Scouter D.C.’s troop is exploring non- traditional ways to communicate with Scouts. He asked for tips on managing technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and mass-calling systems.

A TWOFER SYSTEM

We have a dual system: a Google group the adults run and a Facebook page the Scouts put together. Permission slips, blank health forms, and the like are on the adult site; the Scout site is a bit more free ranging and is a useful barometer of Scout sentiment. Both use privacy controls so they’re not com- pletely public; users have to be approved. We monitor the sites for inappropriate pictures

NEXT QUESTION

HANDLING PHYSICAL FIGHTS BETWEEN SCOUTS

During free time on a recent troop camp-out, a Scout from the Fox patrol thought it would be fun to steal the Rattlesnake patrol’s flag. One boy punched the other, and the fisticuffs continued for several minutes. In the aftermath, I want to know how other troops handle physical fights. How do they prevent them,

and what actions do they take if one occurs?

ScoutmasterD.S.

CHICAGO, ILL.

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and comments, but this has not been an issue. Scouts communicate

natively through sites like Facebook, so it seems a natural extension of the “gang” nature of Scouting to use the technology. What old fogies like me did with the telephone is now done online.

Committee Chairman R.W.H.

ATLANTA, GA.

TEXT TO THEMASSES

There are mass-text solu- tions out there. Do an Internet search for “mass texting” or creating a “text group” on your phone.

Scoutmaster S.C.

GREEN BAY, WIS.

THREE SIMPLE RULES

Our troop uses both Facebook and Twitter, and we are learning as we go. Guidelines are relatively

simple: Configure settings to limit access to approved individuals, do not publish personal information, and never post anything that you would not want to physically pin to a community bulletin board or write in a letter to your grandparents.

Scoutmaster C.G.

KENNETT SQUARE, PA.

KEEP PRIVACY INMIND

The most important thing is to make sure that you use something the Scouts will use. Facebook is big today, but tomorrow? An important issue is

youth protection. I like texting since just about every Scout has a phone, and texting is private. Second is Twitter;

with Twitter, you can control who follows you. You really don’t want to enable a preda- tor to contact your Scouts. While I haven’t used them

for Scouting, there are many utilities that allow you to send a single message through Twitter, text, e-mail, and Facebook all with one click. That is a huge time saver and helps ensure you can contact everyone by any method they prefer.

Unit Commissioner J.H.

MIDDLESEX, VT.

PREPARE YOUR THUMBS

Our crew uses texting as its primary tool for commu- nication. We have a Yahoo group as well. We’ve had limited success with Twitter.

MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 0 ¿ S COUT ING

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