Computers & Scouting
David D. Miller +49 6221 404415 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Fri, 11 Sep 1992 14:46:19 CST
Mailing lists are a problem when they get into the wrong hands, but an
up-to-date list in the right hands can do wonders for running a Troop.
How am I supposed to tell the members of my new Cadette Troop where to
meet if the one handwritten copy of the address and phone list is with
the Troop Leader in Mannheim (about 3 hours hard pedalling for me)?
(The source of this problem is a GSUSA rule that prevents me from being
registered as the primary leader. The present '01' is Leader in name
only, but she's got the address list. The meeting's TONIGHT!)
There is nothing easier than adding a new record to a spreadsheet, and
printing off five copies. If the spread of the list is a problem,
decide who needs a copy and add their names to the top of the list.
Only print the exact number of copies, and on each highlight the name of
the person it's for. (The other advantage is that the holders of the
list now know who the other list-holders are.)
My former Venture Scout Unit had two lists, one for a restricted group
(VSL, Unit Chairman, Unit Secretary) and one for more general
circulation. Each individual agreed how much of his/her information
went on the second one. You might want to make up a list for each
Patrol, with just the SM, ASMs, SPL and the members of that Patrol.
In some countries, the use of a computer to hold personal data is
restricted. In the UK, storage of any information above and beyond
what's in the phone book must be *registered* under the Data Protection
Act. The fact that someone is a member of the Troop, i.e., that
they're on the list, could be counted as personal information, but I
don't think it's been tested in court yet.
As for the problem of the address list getting to a video store. The
store wants customers. Instead of just handing over the address list,
the Troop should have tried to get a better deal: i.e., "You give the
Troop discount on a couple of Scouting related films for a video
evening, and we'll give your card and price list to all the Scouts."
Admittedly, the junk mail is still distributed, but the Troop gets some
benefit, and the address list is still confidential.
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City