Our mission in scouting is to “prepare youth to make ethical and moral choices through their life time by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.” With this as our focus, I am very hesitant to make wide sweeping rules as scoutmaster. We are trying to let the Scout Oath and Scout Law be the guide post in all things, not hard and fast rules handed down from the adults. Life is not clear; there is not a rule written specifically for every situation. Our scouts will constantly be faced with new problems to solve; things no one now can foresee as an issue to write a rule against. This is why we teach the scouts to rely on the Oath and Law. It is why we are here.
Having said all of this, it has become clear that there is something standing in the way of teaching these values. Digital devices have become a distraction rather than a tool; a distraction from the program for the scouts and a distraction for the adults to mitigate the effects of their use. Therefore, after consultation with the other adult leaders in the troop the Digital Device Policy will be updated as follows:
Unless previously authorized by the scoutmaster, all digital devices of any type are prohibited at all scouting functions, meetings, and camp outs for youth members of Troop 84. This includes but is not limited to cell phones, smart phones, tablets, computers, and cameras; still or video. A camera will be provided by Troop 84 for the historian to document outings and meetings.
Any youth member or youth guest of Troop 84 who brings such a device to any scouting function will be dismissed from the event immediately. Parents of the youth will be notified to come pick their scout up from the meeting or outing at the first possible opportunity. This action will be taken at the first awareness of a youth in possession of such a device at a scouting function.
The door is always open for questions and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the adult leadership for clarity. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.