Nettipartiolaiset ry is a scouting / guiding association that was founded in 1998. The goal of the association is to further scouting / guiding activities in the Internet. In practice this is done by administering the partio.net server and by supporting the JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) event in Finland. All the members of the association can be reached via email with their firstname.lastname@example.org email aliases.
The association was formed of a distributed group that called itself in Finnish "#partiolaiset" (freely translated #scouts). It was founded in spring 1998. The group enjoyed hanging out on IRCnet channel #partio.
It all began out of an extremely stylish domain name www.partio.net, that was found to be free. In addition there was an idea about the WWW server of the Finnish scouts and guides. This led to registering an association and buying the domain. Thus scouts and guides in the 'net had become Netscouts (in Finnish "Nettipartiolaiset", the association name).
September 16th 2007 Nettipartiolaiset ry was accepted as a class B member of the Guides and Scouts of Finland, the Finnish scouting and guiding roof organization. Class B members are nationwide associations that further the scouting ideals.
The association in the Internet
You're probably reading this page on the Nettipartiolaiset server, www.partio.net (or shorter and more concise, WPN), which is administered completely on voluntary basis. We are by no means competing with the Guides and Scouts of Finland ry server www.partio.fi (WPF). We are aiming to be a nationwide association that connects scouts. The primary media of our activities is the Internet.
Scouting in the Internet
Scouting is not a old-fashioned hobby – activity is arranged also in places other than the basements of the churches and distant wilderness. Scouting follows it's time and is the biggest youth organization in Finland. A growing percentage of events have their preliminary planning done via email, and many gather to IRC rather than to the local group's meeting place. A jamboree can be arranged along with some tents to some place on Earth, or it can be, and is, kept everywhere that has a phone connection and some computers. Internationality is emphasized on the Internet, where one can discuss just as easily with an Australian scout / guide or a Swedish or Finnish scout / guide.
Scouts and Guides on the Internet
Internet is open to everyone, even younger than cubs can join. Mostly the Web is, however, used by older scouts and guides, leaders, who make connections in their work place or school, others also at home. Not all of them are "geeks" or even geniuses – the ones that know more help the ones that know less. The one that asks has never got lost, not even on the highway of information. One just needs to find someone to ask, and scouts and guides are known to be good guides! The most important thing, however, is to be in contact to others and enjoy, perhaps also learning something while at it.
An addition to the "traditional" scouting and guiding
Actual scouting programme with it's cub packs and rover groups can't be applied in the Web. It is, however, possible to for example exchange thoughts with other domestic and foreign leaders and get activity ideas to the homely local group from the ScoutWikies. And most leaders more or less desperately need these ideas – we're all volunteers after all, and we've got other things to do too... Besides, for most leaders a few hours a week as the center of attention for a noisy flock of kids is quite enough, so Internet-based packs and groups are probably not becoming reality in the near future...