Rules and Regulations

Local councils are the primary means of delivering the Scouting program and are the main point of contact between the organization and our volunteers. Much of this takes the form of publishing or advertising. Just as in other publishing and advertising, councils are free to develop their own applications of Internet and Web technology, as long as they observe the rules and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, as required by their charters. The Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, No. 57-492, and the Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America, No. 57-491, are primary resources for these policies and procedures. Other guidelines, such as this document, are issued by the National Council to provide more specific and detailed guidance.


While the National Council provides guidelines by which it will acknowledge local councils' sites and refer others to them, each of these sites is the product and possession of the local council, and as such is representative only of the council that maintains it.

National Council Standards

While local councils may establish their own policies concerning their use of the Internet, the term official council Web site used in this document refers to any local council Web site the National Council determines to have followed the numbered guidelines below. The National Council will not acknowledge or provide links to any council site that does not meet these guidelines. The guidelines may be altered or amended to provide updated information, and councils will be notified when that happens.


  1. Council Web sites must be hosted off-site at a hosting facility and may not be connected in any way to the local council's internal network.
  2. The council must have direct control over the content of its official Web site.
  3. The content of the council site must be appropriate to the Scouting movement.
  4. The council site cannot contain links to any sites that contain material that is not appropriate to the Scouting movement.
  5. The council site cannot contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements.
  6. The council site cannot engage in the electronic sale of BSA Supply Division merchandise or competing products.
  7. The council site cannot replicate any BSA publication currently for sale through the Supply Division.
  8. Council sites must abide by all laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property, and by those pertaining to the Internet.
  9. Council sites must consider the safety and privacy of their members and participants by obtaining the necessary permissions to release information about or images of any individual.

The information that follows supports these guidelines by providing more specific information on practices and procedures that may be implemented for producing and maintaining a site that successfully meets the guidelines. Additional information is presented that extends into areas that the guidelines do not address to cover topics and procedures that are advisable, but not strictly requisite.

When considering whether to acknowledge or link to a local council Web site, the National Council will assess the council's Web site in comparison to the guidelines themselves (those given above) rather than any ancillary advice or recommendations (such as that which follows).