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Allow all Parents in unit to send messages to all Scouts

Scouting is a volunteer organization and as such it should support volunteers at all levels. If a non-leader parent volunteers to head up an activity, they should be able to send messages all Scouts (which automatically includes their Parents). Not all parents are leaders and they shouldn’t need View Profile privileges for every Scout in order to send messages to the unit. A large part of messaging via Scoutbook is to ensure 2 deep communications while still providing a level of privacy for Scouts profile information.

Limiting access to this feature encourages the use of non-compliant messaging solutions and defeats one of the core purposes of Scoutbook.

Item #3 and quote from the Scoutbook homepage:

Send messages to leaders, Scouts, and parents
“Combining communications and youth protection in the digital age used to be a huge burden. Now with Scoutbook, all of our unit’s communication automatically follows electronic youth protection without us even worrying about it!” - Scott Fisher, Washington Crossing Council

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Although it’s IMHO kludgy to set it up this way, parents can email other parents and leaders (and scouts, if the scouts have been invited to connect to their accounts by their parents) if View Profile privileges are provided to all of the parents in the unit for all of the scouts in the unit. I suspect this mechanism is due entirely to the way that the permissions structure was originally architected, but I haven’t seen the code, so I don’t know.

In addition to everything @CharleyHamilton said, there are people, myself included, who like it the way it is because it gives the unit some control over who can send messages to the entire unit.

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Yep… We’ve had parents in the past that I didn’t feel comfortable with sending email blasts out to the troop. It’s not OK to let it look like the unit is supporting someone’s MLM scams…

The ask is for an easier way not a kludgy one which I know how to do. It could still be permissioned and that would be preferable. What I’d like to avoid is giving a non-leader (without a bg check or need to know) view access to a youths sensitive information (full name, dob, address). I checked using a regular parent account and despite the name “View Profile”, I see that a non-admin has a very limited view of the Scouts profile.

First I’d say that scoutobok.com is a record-keeping tool and not necessarily a communication center.

Second, I would argue that other parents as a general rule have no business contacting scouts in general in the unit. Any such communication should go through a trained leader.

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@PaulMcDonald makes a really good point. Parents aren’t automatically YPT certified, nor are they necessarily aware of the rules in the GTA and the GTSS. They should not be running an event without appropriate support and guidance from the CubMaster/ScoutMaster or another trained leader.

We just ran into this last night – the a parent at one of our local Packs was ready to set up a “Ninja Warrior” night, without knowing that this is a specifically prohibited activity per the GTSS…

I agree that there could be easier ways to manage those permissions… and also keep them updated as new scouts enter the unit.

Steve, what part of the GTSS prohibits a “Ninja Warrior” obstacle course? I can’t find any mention of “ninja” or “warrior” in the current online pdf.

The latest online version prohibits parkour activities, so I’m guessing that ANW-style activities would be excluded under that heading:


(Snapshot from 2020-01-28)

ETA: It also looks like martial arts have now all been excluded (Excepting tai chi. I’m not sure I consider tai chi a martial art, per se, although it “looks” like one.)

From the GTSS Prohibited Activities FAQ’s.

Q. You say “no Parkour.” Are Ninja Warrior events OK?

A. No. This program does not meet the aims of Scouting.

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interestingly wrestling is still considered legit for the sport’s merit badge. Sort of contradictory and very biased against anything with an asian slant.

I dunno. Boxing is also excluded under the “no hitting people rule”, so I assume that the theory behind wrestling being OK (at least for the moment?) may be wrestling doesn’t permit (in theory) intentionally striking your opponent. I don’t know that excluding all activities simply because they can involve striking or throwing something at an opponent is reasonable, but I think a lot of these policies are coming from the insurance side of the house. Thrown snowballs are pretty safe, but one knucklehead decides to start throwing ice instead of snowballs, and people start getting hurt. It seems to fall under the heading of “This! This is why we can’t have nice things!”

We’re wandering afield of the OP’s question, although this is probably good discussion to be having. Maybe fork the thread, mods?

ETA: I nearly fell out of my chair seeing LARP listed as a re-enactment activity. None of the LARPing I did as an undergrad involved re-enacting things. SCA fits that classification, but it seems like someone who’s never seen LARP wrote the guidelines there.

Yeah but if you are worried about injuries, I’ve seen more cauliflower ears and broken arms/legs from wrestling than ever seen from in all my years of traditional japanese martial arts training. If you are really worried about preventing injury or death you need to ban american football.

but yes, the lawyers are just pontificating from on high.

Thank you, Jennifer.

For those looking to find this FAQ, go to the Scouting Safely page, then choose Safety Moments, then Prohibited Activities, then Prohibited Activities FAQ. I was not able to find a direct link from the GTSS.

Looks like “Ninja Warrior” events are not okay due to the program concept, not the obstacle course. Trade mark/copyright issues may also apply.

So, an obstacle course is okay as long as it meets the GTSS for particulars and don’t call it “Ninja Warrior.”

There’s also a link to the FAQ @JenniferOlinger referenced from the Activity Planning and Risk Assessment page from the G2SS that was linked in my post. It is immediately below the list of prohibited activities.

Thanks, Charley. 17,20

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A unit should have the ability to limit who can email the Scouts. I have multiple times had well intending parents send inappropriate emails to the SPL critiquing their leadership. If an adult has not already earned the email all status, they can send an email to the SM or CC who can forward it on their behalf them. Adults work through the Scoutmaster and ASMs when they need to interact with youth as a matter of YPT and chain of command.

We use it as the communication center as it hold the calendar, RSVP reminders, RSVP response. Etc. it works pretty well that way.

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