What’s Your Troop’s Digital Emergency Plan?


A year or so ago, a friend’s husband passed away suddenly in his late 50s. In the aftermath of his death, my friend felt lost–and not just because her husband had died. You see, he had handled the household finances, and she had been blissfully ignorant of things she suddenly really needed to know, like account numbers and online passwords.

Steve’s death prompted me to create a file of things my wife would need to know if I were gone. She now knows what our various account numbers are, how bills arrive (electronically or by snail mail), which bills are paid automatically, how to access online accounts, and where to find the keys to the safe deposit box. She also knows not to cancel my email and cellphone accounts since so many financial organizations now use two-factor authentication when you try to log into their websites.

What does this all have to do with your troop? You probably don’t have a safe deposit box, but you almost certainly do have other important data that could be lost if a key leader died–or simply decided to take his toys and go home. There’s your troop checking account, for example (which ought to have multiple people on the signature card). You may also have a Square or PayPal account you use for fundraising. There are the login credentials for your website (perhaps including separate domain-name registration). And what about your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts? Who is listed as an administrator there?

Most troops have relatively transient leadership, so it’s easy for the wrong people to still be listed as contacts or administrators for various accounts. You shouldn’t wait for a crisis to do a digital inventory.

Need more great troop program ideas? Check out the new edition of The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook, which is now available in both print and e-book formats at https://www.eaglebook.com/products.htm#scoutmasters.


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