Troop 55 Personal Electronic Device Policy


Traditionally Troop 55 has discouraged scouts from having electronic devices in the possession during troop activities. However, current devices have the ability to be exceptional scouting tools that each scout should learn to use properly. Just like the essential scouting tool, the pocketknife, a personal electronic device can be used safely to accomplish many things and can cause harm if used improperly.


For purposes of this policy, “personal electronic device” means any device that a scout is in possession of which electronically communicates, sends, receives, stores, reproduces or displays voice and/or text communication or data. These include, but are not limited to:

  • cell phones
  • smart phones
  • music and media players
  • gaming devices
  • tablets
  • e-readers
  • personal digital assistants.
  • smart watches
Scout Rights and Responsibilities
  • Any scout who possesses a personal electronic device shall be solely responsible for its care. The troop shall not be responsible for the theft, loss or damage to personal electronic devices brought to scouting activities by a scout.
  • Scout possession of personal electronic devices shall be permitted, but the use of these personal electronic devices shall be limited as outlined below.
  • These devices shall be kept out of sight and powered off or silenced during these scouting activities.
    • From opening through closing at all troop meetings.
    • On Campouts-during all scheduled program time, troop campfires, cracker barrel, Scouts’ Own Services, after “Lights Out”, or when it interferes with assigned duties.
    • Anytime their use negatively impacts another’s enjoyment, experience or sleep.
    • Anytime their use creates safety concerns.
  • The requirement that personal electronic devices be turned off does not apply when the Scout is using the device for an approved educational or instructional purpose.
  • Personal electronic devices shall be permitted in buses and cars during transport to and from scouting activities, as authorized by the driver, unless use of the personal electronic device causes a disruption in the bus or car.
  • Scouts shall not use personal electronic devices on any scouting activity to access and/or view internet websites that are otherwise blocked to their use at home or school.
  • Scout use of personal electronic devices that disrupts a scouting activity, or is not in accordance with these rules, may result in confiscation of the personal electronic device. When a personal electronic device is confiscated, it shall only be released and/or returned to the scout’s parent/legal guardian.
Unauthorized Use

Unauthorized use of personal electronic devices includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Devices will not be used in or around the area of bathroom and shower facilities.
  • Possessing, viewing, sending, listening or sharing video or audio information having sexual, violent or threatening content at any scouting activity shall be prohibited and may result in confiscation of the personal electronic device.
  • Any activity which may be in violation with Scouting’s Youth Protection policy, Bullying Prevention policy, or Internet Safety policy.
  • Taking and/or posting on the internet inappropriate photos or videos of others without their parents’ or guardians’ permission.
Acceptable Use
  • Communicating with parents/youth leadership about pickup and drop off at scouting events.
  • Looking up scout related information while learning skills
    • Requirements
    • How-tos
  • Entertainment during transit to/from scout events (using headphones)
  • During a medical emergency when an adult is not able to contact help
  • Use of navigation applications (remember some apps will require pre-downloaded maps to function when out of cellular range)

At most scouting events there is limited or no access to outlets for charging electronic devices. It is the responsibility of the scout to make sure that they conserve battery power in their devices. If charging areas or outlets are present, all rules regarding their use must be followed. Remember “A Scout is Thrifty” and plans their power usage so they can use their device when needed.

Adult Leaders

Adult leaders should set an example for scouts by minimizing use of cell phones and electronic devices in all settings in public view.

All calls to parents or guardians to pick up a scout early from a scouting event will come directly from the camp itself, a Scoutmaster, or another adult leader at the event. These calls will never come from a scout. If parents/guardians have a question concerning pickup, they should contact the adult leader in charge before driving to the event.