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Bcc box in Messages

I know this topic was discussed briefly in September, but I would like to bring it up again hoping that Scoutbook will make a change. Please uncheck the Bcc box as the default for messages. When scouts send out messages, we cannot tell who received the messages. When a leader responds, the only the scout receives it. This does not follow the BSA’s 2-deep leadership protocol.

If parents are worried about their scout’s email addresses getting out, then perhaps they should not set an individual account for their scout, and use only the parent’s email address for correspondence.

It has been suggested that the scouts uncheck the box before sending a message. Sure, that would be an easy solution. But many scouts in their teens are not going to remember to uncheck the box each time. It is easier for adults, who don’t want the recipients of their messages known, to click Bcc.

Please reconsider this function and uncheck the box.

You are assuming that your leaders are going to “reply all” everytime. BSA Legal has approved this implementation. Perhaps one slight alteration would be to add the Parent email to not be BCC.

Here are some examples of recent cases we’ve had when scouts are using the messaging system.

Scout #1 messages MBC about a session he missed. Scout #1’s parent is automatically added to the list. He’s added SM (per troop agreement to add SM to all correspondence), and parent of scout #2 (who also missed the session) so he can get the information. Result: MBC replies, but only Scout #1 gets it. SM replies but only #1 gets it. Scout #2’s parent replies, and again only Scout #1 gets it. Scout #1’s parent does not automatically get the replies. Scout #1’s parent ends up going through scout’s emails and messaging all the adults with the information. 2-deep leadership is not maintained with the reply system. It would be if Bcc was unchecked, and reply all was selected.

Example 2: Scout sends a letter address to “Dear scouts”. Current SPL assumes that all scouts and SM (per troop agreement) have been included in the message, answers reply all, but only the initial sender gets it. We do not know who received the message, and cannot follow up appropriately.

Our scouts have been told to uncheck Bcc when sending messages. But, as I put in my initial message, Scouts are teens who are often rushed or careless. Parents don’t always check their scout’s email before the Send button is clicked. The parent registered for the scout might not be a registered leader, therefore 2-deep leadership is not established.

It just seems easier and safer to leave Bcc unchecked as the default, and adults and leaders who want the identity of people on the email hidden can do so easily by checking the box.

The problem here is that while it meets legal requirements, it easily sets up a leader for violation of the G2SS. This is yet one more reason for my troop to continue paying for another package. Quite simply, I don’t acknowledge any communication from a scout in which it is not manifestly clear that two deep leadership has been met.

For those using the tool, my advice would be to tell scouts that leaders will NOT interact with any message which doesn’t have clear indication that two deep leadership is met.

@KirkWood the issue with that is a Scout does NOT have to do 2 deep communication - Adults do. So a Scout sending email/message to just me is not a violation, I do write back to Scout and Parents and include a reminder to always include 2.

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I think that the BSA confuses matters a great deal in some ways:

From https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/ :

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. All parents and caregivers should understand that our leaders are to abide by these safeguards. Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to use these safeguards outside the Scouting program. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with all Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities.

[ Emphasis added ]


Leaders must ensure that all participating in Scouting activities abide by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Adult leaders and youth members share the responsibility for the safety of all participants in the program, including adherence to Youth Protection and health and safety policies.

[ Emphasis in the original ]

So, the first quote says it’s required that registered leaders comply, and recommended that youth and parents comply “outside the Scouting program”, whatever that’s intended to mean. The second quote says compliance is a shared responsibility between adult leaders and youth members “including adherence to Youth Protection and health and safety policies.”

For example, in the new YPT, they emphasize youth-on-youth hazards. That tends to support the phrasing of the second quote that compliance is a shared responsibility between youth and adults. I’m just not sure why there isn’t a clear statement one way or the other. My “remediation” for youth emailing me directly without an adult copied is similar to yours: a reply email copying a parent, with a response and a reminder to copy at least another adult leader or parent on communications with adult leaders.

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There have been topics in our troop where SPL sent emails that both my boys have missed. I was not CC’d or BCC’d on any of the communication and because we could not see who the email had been sent to, troop leadership assumed our family knew what was going on. I still don’t know what the communication was about. Surely, all communication should be open and BCC removed completely. Why do we need a “blind carbon copy” when the whole program needs to be transparent.

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While I realize that I have not violated any rules if a scout sends me communications without including another adult, because of the shared responsibility I have also chosen to simply ignore any emails or text from a scout that do not include another adult. My troop (and the parents) know this and comply. The only side effect is that I occasionally get a text that was meant to be between parent and child not meant for me. That hasn’t been a big deal so far.

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