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CyberChip links broken

Webelos CyberChip (4-5) requirement #2 says to visit NetSmartz.org/scouting to watch the Password Rap video. No such video at that link, or on the site, AFAICT. Please fix the link to go to the video.

Requirement #4 says to visit NetSmartz.org/scouting to “use the Teachable Recipes to demonstrate Internet safety rules to…” but there is no reference to the Intenet safety rules nor Teachable Recipes" at that link. Please fix.

That link, http://netsmartz.org/scouting, seems to always redirect to the main site. I have the same problem of never being able to find the resources named in scoutbook or the handbook. For my tiger cubs I had to scour the site to find links to the proper videos, etc.

It’s a huge waste of time. I never did find the pledge card, or the certificate. The BSA needs to find a new partner, or handle that in house.

Try going to the BSA Cyber Chip website, instead:


Cyber Chip Requirements for Grades 1-3

Cyber Chip Requirements for Grades 4-5

The Internet Safety Pledge card is on the back of the Cyber Chip pocket certificate (pocket card). The Scout signs on the back of the Cyber Chip card.

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Isn’t the pocket card presented after they earn the Cyber chip award, or renew it, normally. Perhaps I’m misreading that, but it seems like having to purchase and present the cards in order for them to make the pledge to complete the requirements is putting the cart before the horse.

Edit: Perhaps I have misread a bit. In think case it would be best to have the kids complete theb online requirements, get the cards, and have them do the pledge and sign, then m this completing all the requirements on the spot?

It is requirement #1, but it does not necessarily have to be done first. However, if it is done first, you can have them read and sign the cards, but you hold on to the cards until after the other requirements are completed.

Thanks, Jennifer. I was able to find those on my own.

My purpose in opening this bug was to get it fixed for new leaders and parents. I’m sure we can all agree that this broken link will be visited by thousands of new parents and leaders leading to confusion and a bad impression of the scouting organization. That is really a shame when this is such an easy fix.

I don’t think it’s in the BSA’s power to fix. Netsmartz is part of the center for missing and exploited children, as I understand it, hence the redirects to missingchildren.org. The BSA is working with them, but doesn’t manage those websites, and has no power over there content there.

The fix, though not so easy, is for the BSA to handle this in house, and not direct it to a third party, where things may change without their knowledge or control.

The Fix is for BSA to STOP using third party items - it is always a mess

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I think that there are several things occurring at once.

  1. BSA requirements (as printed in the various handbooks and 20XX Requirements books explicitly reference NetSmartz.org/Scouting as the location for the scouts to find and execute the requirements.
  2. NCMEC changed their website layout, and the BSA didn’t adapt to this quickly.
  3. It was noted on these discussion boards shortly afterward that the change had occurred, and the various volunteers pulled together to sort out where to find all of the required parts (or at least as many as we could locate).
  4. The BSA has not yet updated the requirements test to adapt to the new situation.

Item 2 generated the immediate issue, in that the change occurred while the BSA was relying on the content and layout of a non-BSA site to remain static.

Items 1 and 4 mean that the folks at Scoutbook can’t change what the requirements text says until the BSA changes the text of the requirements in the official sources.

Item 3 (together with some work by the BSA revising theirin-house website for CyberChip) provided a work-around so that scouts can continue to execute the requirements without having to go to NetSmartz.

One potential interim approach would be for the BSA to put out a Bryan on Scouting article or national announcement addressing the changes so that unit leaders become aware and can make their scouts and parents aware of the changes to the location of the information. That’s not something the folks at this site can actually do anything about.

A longer-term approach would be for the BSA to avoid reliance on third-party properties for advancement. While this is good in theory, in practice it becomes expensive (in money, time or both) to maintain duplicative programs, and has the potential to infringe on others’ copyrights/trademarks.

For example, consider the BSA’s Outdoor Ethics program. The BSA uses the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace, which are copyrighted by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, under an MOU with the center. Such cooperation advances the goals of both organizations, without the added expense to the BSA of developing and maintaining its own full program. In addition, since the Center’s mission is narrowly focused on promoting outdoor ethics, particularly with programs based on science and field-tested practices, it is likely more able than the BSA to maintain the latest information in that particular field.

Similarly, the BSA was relying on materials developed by the NCMEC for online child-protection training, since NCMEC has the personnel and mission to keep that type of material updated on a more frequent basis than the BSA is likely to be able to maintain.

I don’t disagree that it would be ideal if the BSA could develop and maintain all of this program material in-house, but, at the same time, I look at it as similar to the various requests for the BSA to provide file and web hosting as part of Scoutbook. Those are services better provided by outside vendors that would otherwise increase costs of operation for the BSA to provide. Is it worth the added costs of bringing the program elements in-house? I’m not sure, since I don’t know what those numbers are. I’m pretty happy with how the Outdoor Ethics program relationship with the Leave No Trace Center is working, at least for my area. I’ve never liked the Cyber Chip in this incarnation, so the fact the NetSmartz website isn’t working hasn’t changed my opinion.

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I’m sorry, Charley, but that is a lot of finger-pointing instead of taking responsibility and fixing the problem.

There is NO excuse to have a link in ScoutBook pointing to the wrong place once the situation has been brought to your attention. Fix the link in ScoutBook to help scouts and parents find whatever resources it was supposed to. Period. It really can be that easy. If it doesn’t match with the card/handbook, WHO CARES? At least ONE OF THEM would be right. At least half of our parents don’t read the book - they use ScoutBook.

If the problem is that they were pointing at a list of resources and that list page no longer exists, then write a blog post explaining / listing the resources and point ScoutBook at that.

Just do it. Do you really think someone is going to come down and say, hey, Scoutbook Programmer, you’re in trouble for fixing a broken link so that scouts can complete their advancement?

A Scout is Helpful.


I have reported the requirement mismatch between Scoutbook and https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/cyber-chip/. Hopefully, the requirements can be fixed quickly.


Frankly, if the BSA warrants to keep the source material with the NCMEC, and that keeps it more up to date, and is more cost effective, great. However, that means they really can’t manage specific videos, activities, pledges, etc. They need to just defer to whatever current standard Netsmartz.org has up, and accept that as good enough.

You can’t have it both way. Either you can mandate specific requirements, and handle them in house; or you outsource the requirements, and take what you get. It’s not fare to scouts or parents to try and have their cake and eat it too.

A Scout is friendly, as well. Please check your tone, Chris.

I don’t know if that’s a reasonable position for us to take as volunteers, though. There are specific references to outside things everywhere in the BSA documents, and for good reason. For example, the Cooking MB pamphlet referred to the UDSA food pyramid for quite a while, which was eventually replaced by references to MyPlate.gov. Should the BSA be establishing its own criteria for healthy eating? I recognize that there’s more than a bit of hyperbole in the example, but realistically, the BSA can’t develop and maintain everything in-house, particularly as a topic becomes more complicated/technical.

I guess what I was trying to get at in my earlier post is that there are trade-offs to be made, and we (the folks in the trenches) are not the ones making those decisions. As volunteer leaders we either have to adapt to the fact that some of the decisions made by the BSA go sideways (e.g. CyberChip requirements suddenly becoming unavailable at the original site), make reasonable efforts on our side to keep the scouts/parents up-to-date on those changes (the cooperative efforts I noted above), and bring them to the BSA’s attention (also something that happened as part of the cooperative efforts), or we wait for the BSA to figure it out and do something about it on their own.

I was also making s point about that trade off. Please reread my message, as I didn’t say they shouldn’t have outside resources. Rather that if they’re going to rely on outside resources they need to just to defer to them. They can’t rely on outside resources, and simultaneously mandate specifics, because the specifics are so prone to change. I think it is a reasonable position for volunteers to take, especially because we’re volunteers. We wouldn’t be expected to have to hunt the resources down. I’m perfectly happy to execute the resources provided, but I haven’t got the time or energy, as a volunteer, to do the legwork too. The BSA needs to have that bit together.

I understood that part of your response. I just disagreed about the conclusion that the BSA can’t mandate specific requirements while relying on outside sources.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point then.

Why re-invent the wheel if there’s already a good program out there? I think the NetSmartz one is pretty good, especially for Cub-aged kids. Even the videos for the Scouts BSA hit the right issues with the right tone.

So why switch just because the links change? Why not make our links point to the top-level of NetSmartz and give good navigation info?



So what is the answer? How do we recharge?watch a couple of videos from the Netzsmart website?

That seems to be the guidance at https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/cyber-chip/.