About UNIT Web Sites:
Viking Council does not host unit web sites and
National BSA policy does not permit us to do this for liability reasons.
The Viking Council's web site is hosted by a
commercial provider, Omnera Interactive / PC Solutions.
They have offered to host an independent Unit site for $9.95/month but a Unit
must make their own arrangements for web hosting. There are many Internet Service Providers (ISP) that provide web site hosting. Some
ISP's provide free web hosting if Internet access service is purchased. Some
will provide space to non-profit organizations like Cub Scout Packs, Boy
Scout Troop, Venture Crews, and Explorer Posts at a reduced or no-cost basis.
A couple examples of "free" hosts include:
These are "free" to the Scouts and are generally "safe" locations for
hosting. While there are lots of "free" sites, avoid those that include
advertising on each page. They are not as good for your audience to read and
the advertising is constantly changing and could include objectionable
Here are some important issues and guidelines that
your Unit Committee and Chartered Organization should consider before
establishing your Unit web site.
- Know your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Screen
the ISP for the type of customers they provide space to. It would not be
good to knowingly host your Unit's site on an ISP that also provides space
for questionable or non-Scouting like activities or subjects.
- Appoint someone in your unit that will maintain
and review all site content. Remember, as Scouting unit, your site needs to
conform to the rules and policies of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Have your Unit committee create a set of
guidelines and policies on your site's content. These do not have to be
extensive but should set a clear picture of what the site should include.
It is easier to state what should be included than to try to cover
everything that is not acceptable.
- Define a complete set of goals for your site. A
set of well defined goals makes creating and maintaining your site easier.
Start with the web policies and guidelines of the Viking Council and
National BSA. You can find the National BSA policies at:
- All pictures and personal references to leaders
and scouts should have subject's approval. For leaders, all information
posted should be approved first by the leader or adult. All youth
information and pictures should be approved by their parent(s) first.
Do not post any youth phone numbers, addresses, and last names.
Use only first names. Remember, the entire world can view your web site.
Would you want the same information on a billboard? Your web information is
- Do a complete design layout of your site before
you post single item for your site.
- An adult leader should always be involved in the
management and creation of the site. While it is fine to allow the Unit
program to be a "boy run" operation, a web site has implications for the
Unit and the Charter Organization and requires oversight. If youth members
are creating web pages, make sure that all pages are reviewed before they
- Comply with copyright laws. Copying of someone
else's work without giving credit is wrong and not in keeping with the
Scout Law. It is fine to use the work of others as a starting point, but do
not simply copy and repost. You must create your own content.
- Never directly link to someone else's graphics
because they often move and are someone else's property. Ask if you can
copy the graphic into your site.
Be careful of the amount of graphics that you use. While connections are
getting faster, there are still limitations to the fastest dial-up service
and high graphical content is slow. Your site should not be an "FTP
service" for downloading graphics, either. Most ISP's put limits on the
amount of web space and the bandwidth used. They may close a site for too
much traffic or charge the owner for high traffic requirements.
- Do not create chat rooms or mechanisms that would
allow uncontrolled posting to your site. These are high-risk and not
If you would like a link from the
VikingBSA Local Units Links
section, send an e-mail to:
webmaster@VikingBSA.org. We will review your
site and will include a link to it and ask that you also provide a link to
the Viking Council web site at
For any other
questions related to web sites and hosting, please contact: