Today’s youth are spending more time than ever using digital media for education, research, socializing, and fun. To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the Boy Scouts of America introduces the Cyber Chip. In developing this exciting new tool, the BSA teamed up with content expert NetSmartz®, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® and training expert for many law enforcement agencies.
Netsmartz® has Cyber Chip resources, including grade-specific videos, for each level. Check it out here.
Topics include cyberbullying, cell phone use, texting, blogging, gaming, and identity theft.
Note: For Cub Scout ranks; Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light the Cyber Chip requirement may be replace with earning the Protect Yourself Rules Adventure. Lions do not have a Cyber Chip requirement for rank. Protect Yourself Rules Adventure. If Cub Scouts use the Protect Yourself Rules Adventure in place of the Cyber Chip requirement, the adventure can not be used as an elective for rank.
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Cyber Chip Requirements
Recharging Your Cyber Chip
Note: All Cyber Chips will expire annually. Each Scout will need to go to Netsmartz and complete two new resources to recommit to net safety and netiquette. Then, with the unit leader, the Scout can add the new date to the Cyber Chip card or certificate.
Available From ScoutShop.org
- Cyber Chip pocket card (grades 1-5)
- Cyber Chip pocket card (grades 6-12)
- Cyber Chip patch (grades 1-5)
- Cyber Chip patch (grades 6-12)
Boys’ Life Articles
- “Be Safe — and Nice — Online” is designed for younger readers.
- “Be Cyber Safe (and Smart)” is designed for older readers.
- Use the Cyber Chip as a tool to work with your youth to create additional open communications.
- Visit scouting.org/cyberchip and NetSmartz for more content ideas and tip sheets.
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- Tailor the requirements to your own unit rules. Complete the requirements for the Cyber Chip as a unit at a regular meeting, then hand out the cards and patches on the spot.
- Review the resources available on the website, including teaching materials, an implementation guide, and more.
- Create a fun challenge for youth to stump the unit leaders.
- Play a “Jeopardy!”-style game in a meeting to use what’s been learned.
- Use the Cyber Chip as a foundational step in preparation for leadership positions such as Webmaster.
Councils and Districts
- Add Cyber Chip information to council or district websites. Create an area focused on cyber safety. Use resources from NetSmartz.
- Spread the word by communicating at events like camporees and Scoutoramas.
- Do a tech event for adults or youth—then set teams to compete with each other on their knowledge in a fun fashion.