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Remotely Build Community with your Unit - Slack

Remotely Build Community with your Unit - Slack
David Madison
/ Categories: Remote Scouting

Remotely Build Community with your Unit - Slack

A great solution for fostering community and communication

How to enable your unit members to connect and communicate in a safe way?  Or facilitate community with your adult team?  Take a look at SLACK.

Slack brings the team together, wherever you are

With all of your communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where you’re working from.

My Experience with Slack

I was first introduced to Slack when I participated in the Wood Badge N3-397-19 Course.  Our Scribes wanted to try something different... go paperless.  Their vision was that everything would be electronic.  From the Gilwell Gazette to patrol communication: lesson plans, notes, hand outs, patrol reports...  everything.  To facilitate communication amoung the staff and participants, the scribes selected Slack.  We found it easy to use and it created a real community among everyone on the course.  The troop guides were able to easily encourge the patrol members, the program team was able to quickly send out notices to the entire troop and the participants communicated easily during the course, the weeks in between the two sessions and after.  Even now, a year later, there are still inspirational messages that are posted in our Slack channel.  I found it a great place to connect with my ticket advisor.  

My Bobwhite patrol even created its own slack channel through which we still communicate.

Out side of Scouting, my work was introduced me to a different tool.  Compared to each other, Slack is the better tool for team communication.  It is more reliable that the other one that I am using.

For my Troop

While we've all been locked down due to the COVID-19 issue, our adult committee and the Scout program team have been working hard to keep our troop connected.  My Troop's committee chairman, Jon Ziehl, suggested that we create a Slack channel for our troop.  He was one of the scribes on my Wood Badge course, and therefore, very familiar with its success and use.  We agreed and created the Slack account for our troop this weekend.  A small number of Scouts and adults have signed in so far, yet we are already seeing the communication and banter amoung the Scouts.  It looks like it will be a positive solution for our troop.

Youth Protection

This is something that all of us need to continually keep at the for front of our Scouting program. So, with Slack, how does this meaure up.  We took a look at the following points, and beleive that it does provide a safe environment for our youth and adults to communication and stay connected:

  1. Visibility: This is a service which enables everyone to see every post.  So, two deep leadership will be in play at all times.
  2. Permission: Have your Scouts get permission from their parents to connect and use this service. 
  3. Parents: If they do not want their Scout to join this service, tell them that that is fine.  If they have questions or concerns, to let you know.
  4. Parents: Invite the parents to create an account and connect to this service also or a single account for them and their Scout.
  5. Direct Messaging (DM):  This is a feature available in Slack.  It enables one person to send a private message to another person in the channel. We're looking to see if there is a way to disable this feature.  We do not believe so. A couple of points to consider though.  Direct messaging is not any different that the ability to TXT someone directly on the phone or send a email directly to a Scout without including a 2nd person as a recipient (CCing).  Tell your Scout and Adult members that they should not use this feature! To remember to follow the guidlines of Safe Scouting, Youth Protection and Two-Deep Leadership.
  6. If there is ever an issue, tell your unit leaders immediatly and inform your Council Executive.


About the Service

Slack offers a free standard plan for qualified not-for-profits under 250 persons.

Its available on desktop and mobile devices.





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