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Digital Scouts: which platform to use?

Privacy, security and data protection issues should be your first consideration when deciding which digital platform to use to keep Scouts going.

An update on Zoom licenses

  • We have full access to Zoom Pro until 21 May 2022. There's no need to do anything, your licences will just continue. If you haven't got a license yet, you can sign up now.
  • We've been provided with one licence per Scout Group, District, County/Area/Region(Scot), so we’ve asked line managers to decide who should opt-in.
  • To find out how to use Zoom for virtual meetings, watch our webinar. 
  • For details about how to keep your meetings secure, read the guidance below under the Zoom category.

There are many different platforms you can use to communicate online, if you’re not familiar with some of these platforms, ask family and friends what platforms they use, and whether or not they’re finding them easy to use. They’re all slightly different with different features, and most importantly, different levels of security and privacy.

Be sure to check the platform’s own websites, as many of them are changing their features and offers to help and support people because of the coronavirus.

As we're not able to give any tech advice or help you with using specific digital tools, if you have technical questions it's best to contact customer services for the platform you're using.

Popular platforms

Here are some popular platforms you might want to look at when deciding how to continue with Scouts digitally. They have different benefits and features, so think about which might work best for you and your group.

For any concerns related to the apps in this guidance or any others, please raise formally through the volunteer line-management chain.

Make sure the platform you're using is secure and that no one who isn’t part of your group can gain access. Platforms like WhatsApp, Skype and FaceTime only allow access to selected users, ie: no one can join a group on one of these platforms without approval from the admin or a code/link to the call.

Breakout rooms 

During your virtual meetings, if you have an activity that will involve breaking out into a smaller group, as long as there is more than one young person within the group, you do not need more than one adult to be present. This will ensure that the yellow card is being adhered to at all times.  

For example: If you have five young people within a breakout activity with one adult, this is acceptable. Although it is not ok to have one adult with one young person in any activity.

If you experience an incident:

  • Close the chat immediately.
  • Tell the parents that an incident has occurred.
  • Report to the police locally if the incident involved criminal activity.
  • Report to to log the incident and the team can provide support to any young people affected if required.

Guidance updated 10/06/2020

Age requirements

Most collaboration platforms have an age requirement, on most users need to be over 13 to make an account. Check the terms and conditions of services to make sure they are suitable for the Scouts in your group. If the young people in your group are under the age limit of the tool you want to use, then their parents or carers must set up the required accounts and remain nearby through the meeting.

Staying safe online

Keeping everyone safe is the number one concern for all of us at the Scouts. Read our guidance on staying safe online.

Find out more

Zoom Support Webinar

Watch the webinar about how to run virtual meetings on Zoom. 

Watch the webinar