FAQ: National Council Materials

Can we use national council logos and artwork on our council site?

Absolutely. All the logos, photographs, and text developed for national council publications belongs to the Boy Scouts of America, and there are no restrictions on use by councils.

The only exceptions are:

  • Photographs, articles, and illustrations in the magazines (Boys' Life and Scouting), for which we may have purchased only limited rights. Contact the magazines for information about reusing any of their content.
  • Film clips from older BSA videos. The BSA may not have purchased "unlimited" rights from the actors/directors/etc. for videos before the year 2000. Contact the Audiovisual Service for information about using clips from those films.
  • The new edition of the Fieldbook will also contain limited-rights material from third-party sources. Contact Custom Communications Division to determine if a specific item from that book can be used.

A collection of BSA logos are available online as part of the corporate identity manual (http://www.scouting.org/identity/). These files are provided in high-resolution formats (tif, eps, pcx) for use in print, but you should be able to adapt them for use on the Web with image editing software. There is a separate page in this FAQ to address concerns and problems with these files.

Can we use national council publications on our council site?

Councils may reproduce any National Council bin item on their council Web site, but may not reproduce publications that are sold through Supply Division.

To distinguish between the two, find the item number of a publication - usually on the back of the item or on the back of the title page. If the item contains a hyphen (Number 25-262), it is a bin item. If there is no hyphen (No. 34325), it is a supply item.

When in doubt about the status of an item, contact Supply Division or Custom Communications Division.

How can we use national council videos on our council site?

We recommend embedding our videos remotely, thus:

<EMBED SRC="[URL]" WIDTH="[n]" HEIGHT="[n]" AUTOPLAY="true" CONTROLLER="true" LOOP="false">

  • URL - is the URL of the video (including http://). You can obtain the URL to a video by examining the source code of the page containing it.
  • WIDTH and HEIGHT - the width and height will vary from video to video. Again, looking at the source code should provide the proper dimensions for any given video.

By doing this, there is no need to keep a duplicate file on your server, which saves you bandwidth costs and ensures that you are using the current version of any given video (when we update a video file, the video on your site will be updated automatically).

NOTE: DO NOT use this technique to obtain video for other Web sites (not owned by the National Council) unless you have the permission of the site owner. To remotely embed video or graphics is bandwidth theft.

ALSO NOTE: This invitation to remotely embed our videos is for BSA councils, districts, and units only. The general public is not invited to embed our videos into other Web sites.

Can we use information from the BSA Web sites on our council site?

Absolutely. However, the recommended practice would be to link or "frame in" content rather than making a duplicate copy (instructions for doing this are provided in the Webmasters' Resources directory). If you create a duplicate copy, you will also need to check the copy on the national site periodically an incorporate any changes or updates to your local copy, which can be a laborious process.

Can we use information from Scoutnet on our council site?

In most cases, the answer is "no." Information is intentionally published on Scoutnet only, instead of the Internet, because the BSA wishes to keep that information within the organization - it is not appropriate for release to the general public.

This is especially true of information contained in PAS (the member database), the "My BSA" portal, PeopleSoft, or any other business information system. This is confidential business information that should never be made publicly available.

The one possible exception is any BIN items on the info.netbsa.org Web site - some of these items are provided here to councils with the intention that the council will provide the information to its members. (That is, it is not appropriate for national to communicate this information directly to the field, but it may be acceptable for the local council to publish the information for its own members.)

Some of these items are of a general interest and would be useful to volunteers, other items are for internal use only. It should be possible to determine whether it's appropriate to release the information via the Internet by considering who would find it useful, or would be able to act on it. If the answer is "employees only," then it is not appropriate for public dissemination.

Can we use information from an extranet on our council site?

The two extranet Web sites - http://extranet.scouting.org and http://www.learning-for-life.org/extranet are generally intended for field professionals. The information they contain is intended for an internal audience, and it is not intended for volunteers or the general public.

A possible exception are BIN items published on these sites. Some of these items may have legitimate value to volunteers. (See the question regarding Scoutnet materials for more detail.)

Does the national council provide logos/art/etc. for councils to use?

The best source for obtaining logos (signature and trademark artwork) is the "Use of Organization Identity and Program Symbols" - available at http://www.scouting.org/identity - other sources for artwork are:

The Marketing Communications Division periodically provides councils with disks or CDs containing stock art and/or photography - this material may also be used on your Web site.

You may also download any graphic from the BSA's Web sites or scan art from any of the publications (see the note above regarding certain sources).

Failing that, the local council may contact imaging service to obtain artwork for use in council promotional materials, including the council's Web site.

Can units also use these materials?

Units may also use these materials to promote the Scouting program - however, a unit that needs digital files should contact its council for this support rather than attempting to contact the national office directly - as Graphics and Imaging Service does not support units directly, and will respond to requests from council offices only.