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ScoutLink

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For information on Scoutlink program as run by The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, then visit Scoutlink (UK)

ScoutLink is a free, safe and supervised IRC Chat network for Scouts and Guides worldwide. It has obtained approval from the World Organization of the Scout Movement as the official IRC network for Scouts. The ScoutLink IRC Network comprises many servers across most of the world's continents, kindly donated by members of Scout and Guide Associations around the world and supporters of these associations. These servers are managed by the ScoutLink Tech Team.

ScoutLink is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week not just during JOTI.

ScoutLink is managed by a Global Council, consisting of all Country (CCs), Region (RCs) and Specialist Co-ordinators around the world. These Co-ordinators are supported by teams of IRC Operators and Channel Operators and are responsible for promoting and growing ScoutLink in the particular country or region they represent.

History

Used with permission from Brad Parson & ScoutLink Australia

ScoutLink officially came into existence about 1995. Many scouts/guides had used #scouting on Undernet for approximately a year before this, but external messages were beginning to be a hassle, and it was about this time that they were asked by Dennis Brocken to come across to what is now ScoutLink. The Swiss & Germans also had their own #scouting on Efnet and merged in about two years later.

All #scouting channels had participated in JOTI with #scouting on Efnet being the "official" network of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement. This changed, however, in 1997, the first year ScoutLink was the official network for JOTI.

In about 1998, a little experiment called KwekNet (QuackNet) was conducted, for kids only, which attracted Dutch users and lasted approximately a year.

Globalbridge was a camp which was born out of a maverick idea of Daniel Saxer. Only one camp, held in 1997 occurred, in the Netherlands. Mr Saxer tried to set up a website with the 'Globalbridge' name and Scouting Spider. It was him who owned 'bit.com' the original host of Scoutlink. He unfortunately went bankrupt and the projects died. It was at this point that Scoutlink began to farm out to host servers.

In 1997, the first NorthAm, an IRL (In Real Life) meeting/camp for North American users of ScoutLink, was held. It was in 1998, a similar camp for Australian, Asian and New Zealand users of ScoutLink, called OZANZ was held.

For a few years a server in Basel, Switzerland was the ScoutLink hub. It is now a server in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Scoutlink now consists of approximately 20 servers on 3 of the 6 continents and several hundred users. JOTI is ScoutLink's main event, and is always in preparation for. It’s over this weekend that ScoutLink attracts its highest numbers and growing from year to year, the record was broken in 2004 where it climbed to 4630 simultaneous connections.

Rules

Individual channels on ScoutLink can set channel-specific rules but there are some rules which are commonly enforced over the entire network such as:

  • Conduct - Users should conduct themselves according to their Scout Oath/Law and Promise. Please remember you will be held responsible for anyone using your computer or nickname on the network.
  • Idling - channel sitting or idling is not permitted on ScoutLink. The idle limit is channel-specific, so, if you are unsure ask an Operator.
  • Bots etc - All Bots/Scripts on the network must be approved by the TechTeam and unauthorised Bots or spoofed hostmarks may be killed without notice.
  • Popups etc - Autogreets are not permitted on ScoutLink. Popups should be limited to 2 - 3 lines where a line is 45 characters long. Popups longer than 4 lines will be considered and dealt with as flooding.
  • Sounds - Random sound files must not be played on channels. They may be played if they are relevant to the ongoing conversation (such as fire.wav if you are talking about a fire.) If you wish to share sound files with other users please do this in #sounds.
  • Language - Abusive or foul language is not tolerated on ScoutLink and may result in you being removed or banned from channel/network.
  • Flooding - No flooding by type, sounds or colours will be tolerated on Network channels.
  • Badge trading - Badge trading is a normal part of International Scouting and ScoutLink recognises this, however if you wish to trade badges with someone please do this in #collectors rather than ordinary channels.
  • FServers - Fserves (open or public) are not permitted on the ScoutLink Network.
  • Personal Information - Personal information such as name, location, age, e-mail address, msn id, aol id, yahoo id should not be given out on open channels. If you wish to exchange this information with another user please use private messaging.
  • IRC Clients - Please be considerate of users of other IRC Clients as they may not be able to see colours or graphics as you see them.

On ScoutLink the Network rules are enforced by Channel Operators (ChanOps) and IRC Operators (IRCops) who are all members of Scout and/or Guide National Associations. ChanOps have the power to remove (Kick) and ban users from channels while IRCops have the power to remove (Kill) users from the Network and also to ban them for a period of time (G-line.) The IRCops can also silence disruptive users on ScoutLink (Zombie).

Channels (chatrooms)

Each channel (IRC term for chatroom) on ScoutLink has a different purpose. Users are asked to join the appropriate one for their uses.

English language channels:

  • #English – primary English language channel.
  • #irc_help – Come here if you have a problem using your IRC client or with the ScoutLink network.
  • #leaders – Used by adult leaders in scouting.
  • #trefoil – This channel is for the Guides and Girl Scouts to chat with each other.
  • #youth – Anyone aged under 21 may chat together in this channel.
  • #venture – Anyone of Venture Scout age (14 - 18 years) may chat in this channel.
  • #collectors – The only place on ScoutLink for trading scout memorabilia.
  • #test – The place to test scripts and popups, which you aren't allowed to test in other Channels.

Other language rooms are #<name of language>, for example #espanol or #Dutch.

To get a full list of available channels on ScoutLink in your IRC Client type: /list

ScoutLink Events

The main event of the year for ScoutLink is the World Scout Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) that is held on the third weekend of October every year. During the 2004 JOTI ScoutLink broke its record and had 4630 simultaneous connections to the network.

ScoutLink is also the host of World Thinking Day chats in which the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts get together, rather like a mini-JOTI, and celebrate their Founders, Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Baden-Powell.

For the past two years ScoutLink has also been the major host of the Asia Pacific Internet Jamboree (API-JAM) which is held during August each year and is organised by a different National Scout Association of the Asia Pacific Region each time - Australia played host in 2005, Japan in 2006.

During the European Jamboree, Eurojam, organised by the European Regional Office of the World Scout Bureau, ScoutLink had specific channels dedicated for the participants of Eurojam.

Several of the ScoutLink Regions hold IRC Camps. This is where regular ScoutLink users gather together for a camp, to meet each other in real life (IRL) and to catch up on the gossip since the last IRC Camp. The camps that are held regularly are:

  • OZANZ - Originally conceived in 1998 by Stx (the then CC Australia) and Sez & Tely (the then joint CCs New Zealand) - This is camp is organised is by members of the OZANZ region - Australia, Asia & New Zealand. The camp has no set schedule of occurrence. It is held whenever someone is prepared to organise it and there is enough interest. OZANZ has been held in locations in Australia and New Zealand.
    • 1998 Melbourne, Australia
    • 1999 Clevedon, New Zealand
    • 2000 Perth, Australia
    • 2002 Sydney, Australia
    • 2004 Adelaide, Australia (held as a meeting at the 20th Australian Jamboree)
    • 2005 Alice Springs, Australia
    • 2007 ScoutLink@AJ2007, Australia

See the ScoutLink Australia OZANZ page for further information.

  • NorthAm - Originally organised by Bobwhite, USA and Rikki, Canada, Now organised by Zig, Canada. This camp, as the name may suggest, is held for ScoutLink users from the North American Continent and usually alternates between the USA and Canada.
    • 1997 Ontario, Canada
    • 1998 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    • 1999 Canada
    • 2000 USA
    • 2001 Sombra, Ontario, Canada
    • 2002 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    • 2006 Niagra Falls, Ontairo, Canada
    • 2007 Sombra, Ontario, Canada
    • 2008 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    • 2009 Juneau, Alaska, USA
    • 2010 Chilliwack, British Coloumbia, Canada
  • European Region - The European Region of ScoutLink holds a camp at Easter, in a different country every year.
    • 2000 - United Kingdom - IRC-UK
    • 2001 - United Kingdom - IRC-UK
    • 2002 - the Netherlands - IRCNL
    • 2003 - Denmark - IRC-Scand
    • 2004 - Wales, UK - IRCymru
    • 2005 - the Netherlands - IRCNL
    • 2006 - Belgium - IRC-BE
    • 2007 - Republic of Ireland - IRC-IE
    • 2008 - Germany - IRC-DE
    • 2009 - Switzerland - IRC-Steg

The ScoutLink United Kingdom Team also organise a New Years Bash (NYB) in which users from all over Europe gather together in the UK (usually a different location each time) and celebrate the New Year together.

ScoutLink Global Council

The ScoutLink Global Council, simply known as the Council, is the ultimate decision-making body of the ScoutLink IRC Network. The Council consists of all the CCs and RCs elected to represent the users of various countries and regions worldwide, the TechTeam Co-ordinator, Network Co-ordinator, other Specialist Co-ordinators and their deputies and is responsible for the overall management of the network.

The Council is headed by a Chairperson and supported by a Secretary who are elected by rotation of the Council membership every twelve months. The Council meets on a monthly basis to discuss the various issues that may arise. This can be anything from the opening or closing of channels to large JOTI-related issues. It is their job to make decisions in the best interests of all users of the network.

ScoutLink Tech Team

The ScoutLink Tech Team (TT) comprises a number of technical minded persons, led by the Tech Team Co-ordinator (TTC), who are responsible for the technical upkeep of the network.

The ScoutLink TT is responsible for:

  • ScoutLink IRCd coding and bugfixes, as per Council requirements.
  • Maintaining and managing DNS, Email and other servers.
  • Adding/Removing IRC Operator rights.

Membership of the ScoutLink TT is by invitation only after discussion of current members of the team.

See also

References