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Permission sharing photos

Does the AHMR photo release extend to the District and Unit levels?

The AHMR photo release lets Scouting BSA and the Councils use photos from scouting events. It also says that permission extends to Scouting’s representatives. Do the District and Unit count as those representatives, or is it necessary for us the unit Key 3 to get separate permission to use photos of our Scouts in our publicity?

I am not a lawyer, but saying the District and Unit are “representatives of Council” certainly passes the sniff test to me.

But, if you want to be extra safe, make up your own release. Or better yet, get a lawyer familiar with your state and local laws to do one for you. I bet you could find one willing to do it pro bono for your Unit as a public service.

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Districts are legally part of the council.

Units are legally separate and part of the charter organization.

The chartered organization representative represents the charter organization on the council and district committees. This person is also one of the key-3 leaders of units in their organization.

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It’s implied that no one should be taking photos of youth without parental permission.

Part A of the AHMR contains a section titled Informed Consent, Release Agreement, and Authorization and at the end of that section is a space labeled List participant restrictions, if any: That is where a parent would list a restriction of photos and/or video if they desire that restriction be in writing.

The form is not about the event or about any level in Scouting (district, council, etc) but rather the form applies to the youth, no matter what activity they are involved in. It also applies to adults who also must have an AHMR on file.

You’ll not locate any other document on scouting.org that is intended to be a record of a parent denying photos/video of their child. You will find a “Publicity Waiver and Release” of which the specific intent is to document a parent’s permission.

Why? Safety of the youth is our primary job and that safety extends to visual media.

No one should be taking photos of anyone else’s child. No one should be posting photos of any children on the internet without a parent’s expressed permission.


Freedom of the press

I would like to point out in the United States of America we also have “Freedom of the Press” and that the rules and laws for the press (news providers) pertaining to photographs are different.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution which protects freedom of the press, was adopted on December 15, 1791.

I had observed in more recent years that the “press” (especially broadcast news") has been been blurring out faces to protect people in the photos (and video).

BSA Press

I suspect when BSA is covered or not covered by “freedom of the press” is not always clear.

I debated with replying but…


It’s unfortunate you don’t understand the premise behind the perspective of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.

The Scouting forums are not the place for a constitutional or political debate.

In Scouting the safety of our members comes first. Unfortunately there are times when the location of a child needs to protected. But that is up to the parent/guardian and our community justice system to manage.

As a volunteer district editor and webmaster I have to know if the council has the right to publish a photograph. That includes ownership and copyright issues as well as the status of liability releases.


You brought up the subject.

Here is the National Talent Release form that is not part of the Annual Health and Medical Record:


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Thanks, that’s what I was looking for!

I also found a release from another unit (Troop 157 & Pack 157) that I’m going to modify for our unit.

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