Tech Chip Award for All scouts

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Tech Chip   Tech Chip Award   Scout Award

This is NOT an official BSA award. It was created by Troop 479 in Eden Prairie, MN. The troop has designed a training outline and has wallet cards for purchase - see Tech Chip Training Plan for details.

Some scout units ban electronic devices, such as cellphones, iPods, games, and radios, creating a situation in which adults become policemen, enforcing rules rather than training scouts. These same 'policemen' usually exempt themselves from the ban, causing an unfair environment. Some even confiscate devices, putting themselves at a financial risk for that device.

Scouting evolves as technology becomes available. Compasses, watches, GPS, LED lights, and other outdoor gear has improved over the years and scouts have taken advantage of those improvements. As technology continues to evolve and become more and more embedded in every part of our lives, scout leaders need to continue to make use of it. By teaching courteous use, scouts and adults can take advantage of technology to create a safer outdoors experience without reducing the value of the experience for others.

This training and certification grants a scout the privilege to carry and use electronic devices at scout activities. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers can use the same training and cards.

There is no patch available at this time.

To earn this certification, the scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:
  1. Recite and agree to proper use of electronic devices:
    1. Use only earlier than defined "Lights Out" time.
    2. Use when it does not interfere with other activities.
    3. Use when it does not affect others experience, or my safety.
  2. Assume all liability for the devices I bring.
  3. Demonstrate placing my device in silent mode.

The Scout's "Tech Privileges" can be lost if he fails in his responsibility.
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 Feb 28, 2013 - Heather
Just so everyone knows, the official BSA Cyber Chip program is now available nationwide.  Details are available here. :)

An excellent "getting started" project for the beginning of your Scouting year!
Feb 28, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Heather - That's correct, as I blogged it last summer.
The Cyber Chip is about online safety, but does not address the general use of electronics, leaving that up to individual units.

May 04, 2013 - MJ
What a fantastic idea! This would be an awesome one for BSA to make national. Because yeah, it's not like confiscation a walkman or a gameboy - we've grown way beyond those times. And liability is a huge issue.
May 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
MJ - Well, it sure made life simpler in our troop.  Educating the scouts on expectations rather than policing them works just fine.  The scouts train each other and enforce their own policies.
Aug 21, 2014 - John Keeler
AMEN! I can't agree strongly enough. It is high time to teach and not police. If scouting is suppose to build a better man by teaching boys, then this teaching needs to include electronics manners and responsible use. I recommend Webelos boys and parents ask about this issue when troop shopping. If enough people make this a priority then opinions and policies will change. Warning most troops are staffed with Ludites who are policing and not teaching.

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