Outdoor Ethics Training
Beginning January 2016, Suffolk County Council initiated the BSA National “OUTDOOR ETHICS” program. This took the place of the previous Leave No Trace courses. The Boy Scout Troop position of Leave No Trace Trainer no longer exists. This position has been replaced by the position of “Outdoor Ethics Guide”.
The Outdoor Ethics Guide specializes in teaching Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! principles and ensures that the troop follows the principles of Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! on all outings such as camping and other outdoor activities.
He can also help Scouts earn the Leave No Trace award.
He should have a thorough understanding of and commitment to Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly!. Ideally, he should have completed Leave No Trace training or Tread Lightly! training as well as earned both the Camping and Environmental Science merit badges.
The Outdoor Ethics courses include training programs in the Principles of Leave No Trace, the Principles of Tread Lightly! and components of “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold from his book, The Sand County Almanac.
The rank requirements for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers have an increased emphasis on Outdoor Ethics. A core focus of each of these programs is the BSA’s Outdoor Code. It has been suggested that each Scouting unit add the Outdoor Code to either its opening or closing ceremonies. This practice will help reinforce the Outdoor Ethics Code across all the units that Scouting embraces.
The Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to:
Be Clean in my outdoor manners
Be Careful with fire
Be Considerate in the outdoors, and
Be Conservation minded.
As a result of this move to incorporate the three elements of Outdoor Ethics and the Outdoor Code, the BSA has done away with the Leave No Trace Award. This has been replaced by a two-tiered Outdoor Ethics Award system; The Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award (a Patch) and The Outdoor Ethics Action Award (a Name Plate). Both youth and adults can earn these awards. There are varying requirements for Boy Scouts, Venturers and Varsity Scouts.
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