Boy Scouts of America Cyber Chip Program

Cyber Chip Keeps Scouts Safe Online
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The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared,"  and this includes being prepared for issues your son might face while he's online.  Cyberbullying, online privacy and scamming are just a few of the topics facing kids online.  

To ensure that all Scouts are prepared to stay safe, the Boy Scouts of America developed the Cyber Chip program in conjunction with NetSmartz, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

The Cyber Chip is now a requirement for every Cub Scout rank except Bobcat.  In Boy Scouts, it is required to earn the Scout and Star ranks.  In addition, earning the Cyber Chip is the first requirement for both the Digital Technology and the Programming merit badges.  The Cyber Chip expires after one year, but it can be "recharged" by completing an additional activity.

NetSmartz developed NetSmartz Kids, a website just for kids grades 1-5.  Anyone can use the site--it isn't limited to Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts.  The site has videos, games, activities, ebooks and free downloads.  These resources allow the younger children to have fun while they're learning.

NS Teens is NetSmartz's website for teens in grades 6-12.  Like NetSmartz Kids, this site can be used by anyone.  NS Teens includes videos, games, quizzes and comics.  

To help parents learn more about the issues their children are likely to face online, NetSmartz offers resources here.

The Cyber Chip program has four modules: grades 1-3, grades 4-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. This allows age appropriate information to be shared with the boys in an age appropriate way.  The requirements are listed below.

Grades 1-3 Cyber Chip Requirements

  1. Read, commit to, and sign the Level I Internet Safety Pledge. (listed below)
  1. Watch the video "Bad Netiquette Stinks."
  2. Play the Router's Birthday Surprise Interactive Adventure, and print the completion certificate to give to your den leader.
  3. Show and tell your family, den leader, den, or pack what you have learned.

Grades 4-5 Cyber Chip Requirements

  1. Read, commit to, and sign the Level I Internet Safety Pledge. (listed below)
  2. Watch the video "The Password Rap" and another video of your choosing. 
  3. As an individual or with your den, use the Teachable Recipes to demonstrate Internet safety rules to your den leader, den, or pack.
  4. Discuss with your unit leader the acceptable standards and practices for using allowed electronic devices, such as phones and games, at your meetings and other Scouting events.

Grades 6-8 Cyber Chip Requirements

  1. Read and sign the Level II Internet Safety Pledge from NetSmartz. (listed below)
  2. Write and sign a personalized contract with your parent or guardian that outlines rules for using the computer and mobile devices, including what you can download, what you can post, and consequences for inappropriate use.
  3. Watch the video "Friend or Fake?", along with two additional videos of your choosing, to see how friends can help each other to stay safe online. 
  1. As an individual or with your patrol, use the EDGE method and mini lessons to teach Internet safety rules, behavior, and "netiquette" to your troop or another patrol. You are encouraged to use any additional material and information you have researched. Each member of the patrol must have a role and present part of the lesson. 
  2. Discuss with your unit leader the acceptable standards and practices for using allowed electronic devices, such as phones and games, at your meetings and other Scouting events.

Grades 9-12 Cyber Chip Requirements

  1. Read and sign the Level II Internet Safety Pledge. (listed below)
  2. Write and sign a personalized contract with your parent or guardian that outlines rules for using the computer and mobile devices, including what you can download, what you can post, and consequences for inappropriate use.
  1. Discuss with your parents the benefits and potential dangers teenagers might experience when using social media. Give examples of each.
  2. Watch three "Real-Life Story" videos to learn the impact on teens. 
  3. As an individual or patrol, use the EDGE method and the Teen Volunteer Kit to teach Internet safety rules, behavior, and "netiquette" to your troop or another patrol. You are encouraged to use any additional material and information you have researched. Each member of the patrol must have a role and present part of the lesson. 
  4. Discuss with your unit leader the acceptable standards and practices for using allowed electronic devices such as phones and games at your meetings and other Scouting events.

Level I Internet Safety Pledge (for Cub Scouts)

  1. I will tell my trusted adult if anything makes me feel sad, scared, confused, or uncomfortable.
  2. I will ask my trusted adult before posting photos or sharing information like my name, address, current locations, or phone number.
  3. I won't meet face-to-face with anyone I meet in the digital world.
  4. I will respect the online property of others.
  5. II will always use good "netiquette" and not be rude or mean online.

Level II Internet Safety Pledge (for Boy Scouts)

  1. I will think before I post.
  2. I will respect other people online.
  3. I will respect digital media ownership.
  4. I won't meet face-to-face with anyone I meet in the digital world unless I have my parent's permission.
  5. I will protect myself online.