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Earning Cyber Chip vs Protect Yourself Rules

When will Cyber Chip “retire”? I am aware that Netsmartz no longer updates or provides certificates.Trying to decide which one to use. Current composition of the Pack - 2 Tigers, 5 Wolfs, 1 Bear, 4 Webelos & 3 AOL Scouts. We have been meeting virtually as multi-level - one large group with about 50-60% attendance. Cyber Chip is goofy, but we could do it as a virtual meeting - send the internet safety pledge & teachable recipes (4-5) to the parents ahead of time & show the videos using Zoom. during the meeting. With Protect Yourself Rules, the levels of the videos are quite different - more so than they were with Cyber Chip and the activities are also more age specific. Less amenable for a multi-level group.

Long ago, we were told there would be guidance on the final decision coming out of the National Annual Meeting, which was last month. I’m a Cubmaster, and I have two Scouts who have finished their grade in school and moved up. I’ll have two more on Friday and the rest next week, if they have finished their ranks. I don’t know what to tell the parents.

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There is hopeful thinking. I suspect it will happen the fifth of never. For one thing us leaders over on the Scouts BSA thing could no longer debate on if “… and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade.” would be met by a scout who did this in Cubs or do they have to earn it again?

My best advice is to do what works for your group. I suspect the more age broken down videos are better and yet if you can’t manage it I understand that as well. If you are using the paid version of Zoom you could use breakout rooms to handle the varying levels.

Our Webelos den did a hybrid. We did all of PYR & some of CyberChip + 3rd party age appropriate videos. PYR covers more things than CyberChip, but does not go into as much detail on internet safety. The PYR leader’s guide in PDF has some great exercises, highly recommended!

Related question: PYR has different requirements for each level. Presumably it can be earned more than once. Does this mean the scout should receive multiple loops/pins if they complete requirements each year?

@BrendonHoch It is up to your pack committee, but yes, you could present the Scouts with a new belt loop / pin each year when they complete the different requirements.

Thanks so much for your feedback, it was helpful. I also hope they don’t “retire” CC, because each has its merits. It looked like PYR had 3 levels of videos - one for Lion (doesn’t appear to be a Lion requirement, though), one for Tiger-Wolf-Bear and one for Webelos-AoL. I looked at a few of the meeting plans & would have to figure out if they were do-able on Zoom. A coupe of den leaders used them when we were meeting face to face - but those who were absent from that meeting still need either PYR or CC. We’re using the free version of Zoom and they are keeping to the 40 minute limit; however, I can re-start the room if we do get kicked. So no Break out rooms. With a small Pack & about 50-60% attendance at the Zoom meetings, we might have 2 Scouts (or less) at each level. I ask for RSVP, but never get an accurate count ahead of the meeting. Some just don’t reply to e-mail, text or the Facebook Parent group.

I have never really understood the confusion. The Cyber Chip can only be earned once per grade range. Each grade range has differing requirements. Whether Cub Scout or Scouts BSA, when a scout hits a Cyber Chip rank/advancement/award/merit badge/etc. requirement. You only have two questions to ask. 1) Have they earned the Cyber Chip for their current age range. If no then they have to earn it. 2) If yes, is it current. If no, they have to “recharge” it. If they have already earned it for their grade range and its current, then they have already met the rank/advancement/award/merit badge/etc. requirement. The purpose is to make sure they have at least done it and kept it current.

FWIW, being a CISSP and GIAC/GSEC I really wish they would keep the Cyber Chip but switch to https://www.safeandsecureonline.org at least for the Cub Scouts.It’s a better program. I have given both the Gardfield lessons and the senior citizen lessons as a volunteer.


I concur; it’s up to the unit. My preference is to issue an updated Pocket Certificate with the new date and rank added on the adventure line. I see no need for a Scout to wear multiples of the same loop or pin, but if the parent or youth really wants the extra loop or pin, its not worth disappointing them. Do what is right for the Scout.

The only time I feel its appropriate to issue multiples of patches or pins is when it is clearly designed to be issued multiple times. Off the top of my head in Cub Scouts the Pi pins for Nova awards and the blue/yellow paw pins for the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award are the only two that I know of that are designed to be issued multiple times. Am I missing any others? (Arrow Points and beads are gone.)

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