View Full Version : POR and scout websites

16-01-2003, 12:50 PM
Has anyone found any info on what we shouldn't put on a scout web site?, it seems a bit silly that there isn't any

16-01-2003, 02:47 PM
The 10 Figure Grid Reference for the website factsheet is:



16-01-2003, 03:10 PM
I'll have to get my map and compass out and fill in the route card

16-01-2003, 03:25 PM
Last I heard that is only a guide to be followed. Most of it common sense, dont put meeting times/places online, dont put names with photos, or any way to directly contact members, but I am sure it depends largely on the age of the members.

Of course with things like forums (which are valuable resources) some of this is quite hard to keep private...

16-01-2003, 04:00 PM
The guidlines from scoutbase are just that, guidlines and there is nothing to make you follow them. To be honest a lot of the stuff is crap (like dont put dates of meetings on the site in case you get mugged and raped on the way home) and the rest is common sense.

When we first started the site we followed <b><i>everything</i></b> in those guidlines but soon realised that to have a site of any use at all they would have to not be followed as tightly. I think that for Scouts and younger its a bit more serious, but if you're looking at explorers upwards then you can more or less do what you like.

ps chris can i have a copy of the route card, as everytime i go to scoutbase i seem to get lost in a maze of useless information and poorly designed web pages - i'll be your emergency contact if you need one!

16-01-2003, 06:26 PM
The difficulty with ignoring the guidelines is when the wheels fall off... What about leaders viewing the activity authorisatin scheme as "just a guideline". We wouldn't expect the Scout Association to put their excellent support system in motion for them. Would ignoring the guidelines be the same here?

I wonder if some of the differences are the speed with which technology changes?

17-01-2003, 06:00 PM
I think that the basis of the problem for the guidlines is that for most sites it is not realistic to follow them throughout as they are <i>too</i> restrictive, especially for those of us with messageboards and forums. We have had all read the guidlines in our unit and I dont really think any of us could say that they are of any real benefit, as they assume that basically you know nothing and only want a static site with very little content. A very heavily revised version maybe of much more use, as I think something is needed to control what goes on, especially for younger members, but looking seriously at the guidlines I dont think these are the ones,


17-01-2003, 06:19 PM
I guess one problem is in making rules which suit 6-25 year olds :(

17-01-2003, 06:30 PM
Yeah, I think thats the underlyimg problem.

Really I think that a set of rules for Cubs and Beavers, another set of rules for Scouts and Explorers and then another for Network (or something like that) would really be needed if it was expected that everyone should adhere.

Also making the rules less than impossible to get hold of would help enforce the scheme.

17-01-2003, 06:33 PM
Why do we not draw up a POR type guideline doc and submit it to Scoutbase and see what they think about it. They could advise on things they deem inapproprite or disapprove of. Then they could use it to modify the current Scout site guidlines.


17-01-2003, 07:14 PM
Well volunteered that man!! 8)

17-01-2003, 09:38 PM
Umm, nice idea but, as I think I implied before, I am against any sort of formal enforcement that polices scouting websites to make sure that they comply. All our websites do (or at least should) say that

The views expressed within this website are not necessarily those of The Scout Association.

and as such I do not see a problem the way things are. A voluntary list of suggestions could be drawn up, and obviously serious breaches of common sense need to be looked into. However, when signing up for an escouts account everyone had to agree to the terms and conditions, which included:

Pornography and sex-related merchandising is prohibited on The Escouts Team servers. This includes sites that may infer sexual content, or links to adult content elsewhere. The Escouts Team will be the sole arbiter in determining violations of this provision.

Also prohibited are sites that promote any illegal activity or present content that may be damaging to The Escouts Team servers or any other server on the internet. Links to such materials are also prohibited.

Examples of unacceptable content or links -
- Pirated software
- Hacker programs or archives
- Warez sites

Any illegal activity, including adult content, links to adult content web sites, spamming or hacking will result in your site being shut down and all your files deleted without warning.

The Escouts Team will be the sole arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of this provision.

I dont think that rules are really needed, just use your common sense - if in doubt then dont do it! I think its a bit sad if we can't trust members to make suitable websites,

17-01-2003, 10:49 PM
Your point is totally true. You must have the common sense not to post names with pictures, meeting times (etc) and all of the other basic text, that could harm a Scout/Cub etc. or a Leader.


17-01-2003, 11:12 PM
What I always find quite interesting is that do not post meeting times/dates bit. I decided to look to see what I could find on non-scouting websites for my county (GLMW). Having looked at the LA websites for the county, I could identify over 75% of the sections and their meeting times....

As somebody once said, why do we not allow names/photos to be allowed together on a website (fair point), but the local newspaper's online edition is allowed to do both with our permission...


18-01-2003, 06:37 AM
What I always find quite interesting is that do not post meeting times/dates bit. I decided to look to see what I could find on non-scouting websites for my county (GLMW). Having looked at the LA websites for the county, I could identify over 75% of the sections and their meeting times....

As somebody once said, why do we not allow names/photos to be allowed together on a website (fair point), but the local newspaper's online edition is allowed to do both with our permission...


Good point Mike,
Our local Parish Mags (The Explorer Uit covers three Parishes) details all the local Scout and Guide Sections with their respective leaders and meeting times and places.

03-03-2003, 03:29 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm glad I found this topic.

I'm having trouble getting to grips with both the "Scouting Website" and "Data Protection Act" factsheets.

The question is "do we have to get parental permission before publishing images of children?". If you read both these fact sheets - they seem to almost contradict each other - that is if you consider a photo as something that can identify someone.

The "don't put meeting times" advice is safe advice - but, what are the alternatives ? - offer a phone number or email address - and give the info out from that ? -- it wouldn't actually prevent someone with evil intentions from getting the info - they could pose as a parent of a potential new member.

I've emailed the factsheet editor at scoutbase asking for clarification re. the Data Protection Act - but have not received a reply (not even an ack for the email) so far (nearly 3 weeks!).

We won't be naming names with the photos - and will be putting the photo gallery in basic auth protected directories. But I think we will still need to get parental permission. The fun comes when some parents say "no" - and then we have to make sure that we don't have these kids in the photos. [[ Will I have to keep a mugshot of these kids, so that I can identify them :-) ]]

The website isn't live yet - I want to get some sort of policy laid down first.


03-03-2003, 06:18 PM
In my other life my employer has decded that it is best to get parental consent. To be honest I think the media, frightened by the power of the internet like to whip up a frenzy about the evil of the internet.

With respect to the Data Protection Act and so forth, it might be worth contacting the legal team (who have moved??) I've found them helpful in the past. Also, I think the factsheet about Scout websites is slightly out of date, but common sense will mostly prevail - be careful about chat rooms, moderate forums closely, use generic emails etc.

Meeting times - contact phone or email. I seem to recall the thinking being that by taking details etc you might prevent it. In my town and in my previous group it was no secret about meeting times and places - perverts could well get the information without the internet. To my mind, the fact remains that most abusers are family members or friends seems the biggest problem.

Bit of a rant, but that's my views.

03-03-2003, 09:26 PM
im pretty sure that the data protection act is not relevant in this case, at least as far as i understand it. Also the guidelines on scoutbase are just that, guidelines, and as such i dont think you are under any obligation to follow them (which is good as you will possibly have noticed that many parts are hopelessly out of date and IMO pathetic).

On our site we dont put meeting times, although dates are on there and we have no intentions of changing this. To get consent for every photo is frankly ridiculous, and something which, unless absolutely forced to, we would never be able to implement and i would expect most other sites to be in this situation. If this was made a 'rule' then we would possibly just pull all images off the site - all we do at the moments not include full names, and everyone who has a photo on the site will have been aware that it could be online. We have never had a problem with anyone not wanting to appear on the site (we have had other complaints but we won't mention them :D ) and if you aren't posting names at all then this is perfectly acceptable I think.

Think about it, the worst that will happen is you'll get a complaint and will have to take the pictures off, which is no big deal and saves on loads of hassle!


07-03-2003, 08:56 PM
im pretty sure that the data protection act is not relevant in this case, at least as far as i understand it.

I didn't until I got a form from my kid's school that said "to comply eith the Data Protection Act, we need your permission before we can photograph your child ...blah blah" - this was for use on websites and other things like prospectus, etc. So I re-read the scoutbase data protection fact-sheet and I reckon that a photo would well be personal data that can identify a subject - and if it is, then you need permission before you give this data to anyone else.

I suspect they too have been bitten with the internet-paranoa bug.

I was always planning a "if you don't like the picture, we'll take it off" policy - and of course won't be naming names.

What worries me with asking for permission, is what do we do when one parent says "no"!

Anyway - just as Johnathan IIRC said, you have to use your common sense. And I agree that it's just internet paranoa. I'm sure the people with "evil intent" know how old beavers, cubs and scouts are and if we say that our group meets on Wednesday nights, it's not rocket science to work out what sorts of times the groups will be meeting. As for giving an email address or phone number instead of meeting times, etc -- this still doesn't prevent someone from getting the same information via these methods!

OK - we have to do all we can to protect the safety of all of our group members and leaders - but if we get too carried-away with security and not publishing information, then we'd might as well give up with websites, advertising fliers, advertising public fund-raising events .... We must asses the benefit of publishing information against any risk of having it abused.


Ewan Scott
17-04-2003, 07:58 AM
I think the whole issue of identifying meeting times and places is daft. We need to publicise who we are and what we do. Any half-witted eedjit could easily track down the location and times of meeting of any local Scout Group if they wanted. Parents and those interested in joining may find it easier if we tell them where we are and when we meet. But hey-ho, it isn't approved of.

The issue of images is easy. Try to avoid using images which clearly identify a face. It is usually quite easy to do if illustrating activities. General overview shots at 72dpi will have a definition so low that only those present at the time will be able to identify anyone. It is relatively easy to take activity shots that highlight the fun without identifying people. We have perhaps three images on our site with identifiable faces, but even then, probably only if you knew them anyway.

People are running scared of paedophiles and abusers. I believe it is one of the main reasons that we are having adult recruitment problems - it is illogical, but if we don't fight it where possible everyone loses.

Ewan Scott

18-04-2003, 04:05 PM
During Gilwell Reunion I spoke to one of the crew from Scoutbase. He said that as long as pictures were not easily identifyable (ie. names) and they , didin't have anything like swimming (or other things with few clothes on) on them then they should be fine.

19-04-2003, 12:12 PM
If I were u I would stick to what the factsheet at:

says, then u cant really go wrong.