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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:

 Scouter Magazine and  OrgSites.com.  

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 materials.

Here are some important issues and guidelines that your Unit Committee and Chartered Organization should consider before establishing your Unit web site.

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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:

    http://www.scouting.org/site/standards
     
  5. 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 PUBLIC!!
     
  6. Do a complete design layout of your site before you post single item for your site.
     
  7. 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 are posted.
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. Do not create chat rooms or mechanisms that would allow uncontrolled posting to your site. These are high-risk and not acceptable.

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 http://www.VikingBSA.org.

For any other questions related to web sites and hosting, please contact: webmaster@VikingBSA.org

Viking Council Web Information and Resources

The ScoutingBSA.org web site is a legacy site of the Viking Council BSA, now Northern Star Council.  
This site was the original council site and was active from 1996 to 2002 and run by volunteers.  As the web became more important to Scouting, the council took over with paid staff.  This site is no longer maintained but is an interesting snapshot of an early Scouting web site.    You can share your comments
using our on-line form or send a message to the Webmaster.   Thank you for visiting!

 

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Last Update March 28, 2004