Boy Scouts of America

Holding Virtual Meetings with

The challenge with holding virtual meetings is that they need to provide a way for scouts and leaders to interact but must do so in a way that adheres to our Youth Protection guidelines. 

Recommendation for compliance 

The use of a Zoom account for conferencing with Scouts and Scouters. A description of services and support can be found here – 

Zoom allows for users in K-12 programs and is broadly approved for use in schools. 

Services like Skype and Google Hangouts do not allow users under the age of 13. 

All youth members should only use services with the knowledge of their parent or guardian and parental supervision is suggested. 

Free or Paid Account 

The Free account is compliant with needed youth protection policies but is limited to 40-minute meetings which would then need to be restarted. 

If a longer meeting is needed, the Pro plan at $14.99 per month is the best option. 

A unit can create one plan with a single host for its activities, provided that only one meeting at a time is scheduled. Be mindful of sharing usernames and passwords for the account and consider using a new email account tied to the troop committee or leader that is not used for other accounts. 

For example, setting up a new GMAIL account for the service and then sharing the login information to schedule and host meetings with the appropriate adults. 

Recording your meeting 

BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities, including video and audio conferencing. As a result, BSA issued a Local Council Advisory on Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity and made it clear recording online meetings is not authorized when Scouts are present. 

Electronic Communication 

Additionally, electronic communication, such as texting and e-mailing between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. 

Adult Supervision 

Online meetings require the presence of adults that are in compliance with BSA Policy. Be sure to review the Guide to Safe Scouting for adult Supervision requirements — 

Personal Information 

The BSA advises against collecting personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA does not restrict the collection of personal information about a youth from his or her parent or guardian. 2 

If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone else except that youths’ parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for recording advancements. 

Recommended Meeting Options 

  • Meeting Password – Require meeting password so the meeting is secure. Impress on Scouts the need to not share the password. 
  • Audio – Use of computer audio is best, so you have a clear record of who is speaking and listening as they are required to login. 
  • Enable join before host – disable so early callers cannot access before required adult supervision is present 
  • Mute participants upon entry – to keep the noise down, unmute speakers as it is their turn to talk per the agenda
  • Enable waiting room – To keep early arrivals in a queue. You can then add everyone when the adult supervision requirement is met 
  • Record the meeting automatically on the local computer – Save a copy of the call. If using a paid plan you may also have cloud storage  

Additional Settings 

For further compliance please adjust these settings here – 

  • Host video — ENABLE 
  • Participants video — DISABLE 
  • Join before host — DISABLE 
  • Embed password in meeting link for one-click join — ENABLE 
  • Require password for participants joining by phone — ENABLE 
  • Mute participants upon entry — ENABLE 
  • Chat — ENABLE 
  • Prevent participants from saving chat — DISABLE 
  • Private chat — DISABLE 
  • Autosaving chats — DISABLE 
  • Automatically save all in-meeting chats so that hosts do not need to manually save the text of File transfer — ENABLE 
  • Allow host to put attendee on hold — ENABLE 
  • Allow hosts to temporarily remove an attendee from the meeting — ENABLE 
  • Screen sharing — ENABLE 
  • Remote control — DISABLE 
  • Breakout room – ENABLE if Enough adults present for patrol or den meetings (or set up separate online meetings for this) 
  • Far end camera control — DISABLE 
  • Identify guest participants in the meeting/webinar 
  • Waiting room — ENABLE 
  • Show a “Join from your browser” link — ENABLE 
  • Mask phone number in the participant list — ENABLE 

Online Help 

Useful video quick tutorials are provided here — 

Full support is here —