Girl Scout Guide for Utilizing Social Media
Social media sites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. can be an easy and fun way to stay in touch with your troop, coordinate events, and share your accomplishments, but it’s important to be able to navigate them safely.
Safety and Privacy Resources
- Social Media Rules for Kids: Check out this blog post from Girl Scouts of the USA on navigating social media with your girl. One point includes setting up social media and technology house rules for the whole family (including parents!). If you’re a leader, you can adapt these to creating rules for your troop, like putting phones away during meetings.
- Volunteer Essentials: Online Safety: A useful safety activity checkpoint
- Girl Scouts’ Internet Safety Pledge: Discuss and have girls sign the pledge. You can also download the PDF version and print a copy for girls and their guardians to sign.
- Who’s That Girl? Image and Social Media Tips for Parents: Be prepared to guide your girl through the possible pitfalls of social networking and help her set healthy communication boundaries with these tips from the Girl Scout Research Institute.
- Who’s That Girl? Image and Social Media Tips for Girls: Same tips as above, written directly to girls. This is another great resource to print out and use as a jumping board to talk about social media with your girl.
- StopBullying.gov: Cyberbullying manifests in different ways than traditional bullying. Find out how to recognize it, prevent it, and report it when you see it. These resources are available in English and Spanish.
General Content Guidelines
It’s important to remember that when you post Girl Scout information, stories, images, or videos online, your content reflects the organization as a whole. Here are some guidelines for helping to ensure that the best qualities of the organization are reflected.
- Refrain from posting political views or opinions
- Hateful or prejudicial language will not be tolerated
- Do not post content endorsing or promoting another product, service, or organization. (This includes other non-profit organizations.)
- Girl Scout lists should be reserved for Girl Scout content
- Do not sell ad space within any Girl Scout related content
- Be sure to check your post for grammar, spelling, and accuracy of information
- Only post your own original content. Do not post copyrighted content, including music and/or video
- The Girl Scout logo may only be used with prior authorization from the Marketing and Communications department; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Password Protection and Privacy Settings
According to the “GSUSA Guidelines for Troop & Group Web Pages,” some information, including stories, articles, photos, and videos can be posted on the internet without password protection. (Be sure to get photographic consent forms signed!)
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MUST BE PASSWORD PROTECTED or available only to selected individuals through privacy settings that you can control:
- Last names of girls
- Contact information: including addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of individuals. An organization-wide email address checked by an adult or older girl with adult supervision may be posted publicly by a group.
- The address of small group functions like troop meetings
NOTE: Please be sure to check photographs and videos for the information above as well!
Photos and Videos
Photos and videos may be posted without password protection as long as they don't contain any of the above pieces of information. Girl Scouts should be supervised when visiting or uploading photos or videos to sites like YouTube.
It is recommended to utilize safe search features which can help to filter adult content. To do this, an adult should do an internet search for the words quote “safe search” and the name of the service you intend to use. For example, “safe search YouTube” should give you step-by-step instructions for turning on safe search.
Don’t forget to obtain a signed image release from every identifiable person in an image or video before posting online, or displaying images in any public venue. Download release forms.
What to do next:
- Learn more about navigating social media with your girl in this video from the GSUSA Raising Awesome Girls series.