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Penpal Tips, Safety, and Guidelines
http://www.pathfindersonline.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=364
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Author:  pathfinders [ Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Penpal Tips, Safety, and Guidelines

Greetings Pathfinders and Staff,

Some of you have expressed interest in beginning penpal relationships with other Pathfinders from around the world. This can be a lot of fun, and can create some incredible opportunities for cross-culture education and friendship.

However, in the 21st Century, there is more then just a "nice" opportunity. There are some inherant possible dangers as well. Please read the following suggestions for doing e-pal communication from
http://hatw.net/tips.asp

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Writing
•Be yourself and be honest. You are building a friendship with someone.
•Always write back even if it's short and let him/her know you will be taking awhile.
•Be personable. Take time to include the person's name in the introductory letter. Do not write "Dear penpal."
•Be patient. Postal mail may take longer in other countries with poor postal connections.

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Email
•Be careful what you say about others as email can be easily forwarded. Never assume that your email messages are private nor that they can be read by only yourself or the recipient.
•Date. Please be considerate and avoid misinterpretation of dates by listing dates as in some continents, dates are written as: 23 JUN 02 or JUN 23 02.
•Sarcasm and Humor. Without face to face communications, jokes may be viewed as critisim. When being humourouse, use emotiocons to express humor.
•Use subject lines. It captures the attention of your reader.
•Never send chain letters. It is a nuisance.
•All caps . Using all caps is sometimes considered as shouting.
•First emails . When you start writing a new friend, there is plenty to talk about and it slows down. It's normal to have so much email as you getting to know your friend. Do not feel bad if your friend slows down after a few week.
•Replies. If you cannot reply to your emails for a long time, let your friend know about it beforehand especially if you have been writing regularly.
•Lack of response. If you haven't heard from your friend, you might want to drop a note to say "hi" but never say "How come you haven't written." This can be misinterpret to be written in an angry tone.

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Safety for Kids
•Only tell your first name.
•Do not give out personal information such as your last name, home address, parent's work address, or telephone number.
•Never share a password for an Internet game or chat room with the online pen pal.
•Notify the teacher and/or parent if you receive an obscene message.
•Never send identifying pictures to your pen pal. Class pictures are fine to send as long as individuals are not named (for example, John is the third person in the second row).

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Chatline
•Treat others as you would like to be treated. Adhere to the same standards that you will follow in real life.
•Respect bandwidth and time. Don't expect instant responses to all your question. Before you send your message, ask yourself if this is information they really need to know.
•Grammer/Spelling. Make yourself look good by being polite and pleasent and burshing up on spelling and grammer. When people make mistakes, give the people the benefit of the doubt and don't assume they don't know any better.
•Share your knowledge. It makes the world a better place.

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PLEASE BE AWARE that this forum, the Pathfindersonline.org website, and the NAD Youth Ministries Department cannot take responsiblities for friendships / penpal relationships that might result from contacts made initially through this website.

Author:  Runner13 [ Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Penpal Tips, Safety, and Guidelines

I think that was some great advice for users on the Forum who want to have penpals. Yeah I don't like to give out personal info about myself either. It's dangerous and could lead to problems in the future.

Author:  meghann17 [ Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Penpal Tips, Safety, and Guidelines

I want to penpal but I can't find a safe reliable website where I can get penpals.

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