Outdoor Ethics & Conservation
The Outdoor Code is Scouting’s aspirational statement of Outdoor Ethics. To Support the Outdoor Code with proven principles and skills, Scouting has partnered with Leave No Trace for learning and activities. Tread Lightly! Deals with mechanised outdoor activities such as motor boats, ATVs, drones and mountain bikes. The Land Ethic challenges us to be committed to conservation and stewardship of our environment.
Our outdoor activities reflect Scouting’s mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Scouting values the outdoors and the experience of the outdoors and strives to develop better stewardship of the outdoors. As Scouts, we strive to care for and share the outdoors. We believe it is right when our actions support the health of the land and enhance visitor experiences and wrong when they do not. Planning and preparing ahead to follow the principles of Leave No Trace on outings supports Scouting’s values
Outdoor Ethics are pervasive throughout the Scouting program; from rank requirements at all levels, to the leadership position of the Outdoor Ethics Guide and in trainings such as NAYLE and NYLT to adult trainings such as IOLS and BALOO.
The requirements to earn this award are as follows
- Learn the BSA Outdoor Code
- Watch the National Park Service Leave No Trace video with a parent or guardian. https://youtu.be/jXO1uY0MvmQ
- Take the Peak Leave No Trace online course with a parent or guardian https://lnt.org/get-involved/training-courses/peak-online-course/
- Participate in a conservation-based service project with your family, den or pack
- Participate in an Outdoor Ethics activity presented by a person who has taken the Outdoor Ethics Orientation, or has completed the Leave No Trace 101 online course (https://learn.lnt.org/courses/101), or is a Leave No Trace Level 1 instructor (Trainer) or a Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor (Master Educator.)
Trainings for Cub Scouts, Den Leaders, Parents, Scouts, Crew and Scouters
Online Awareness courses from Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly!
BSA Outdoor Ethics Orientation - A fun and engaging 60-90 minute introduction to BSA Outdoor Ethics. (Training codes available)
Outdoor Ethics Guide Training - a three-hour course to help OE Guides and Instructors, and Scouts wishing to take on these positions, and adult Scouters wishing to know more and help their scouts in these leadership roles. Outdoor Ethics Guide
Leave No Trace 101 - Awareness - This 3–4-hour class is designed to help youth and adults at all program levels to understand the general principles of Leave No Trace and how to apply them in the BSA outdoor program. It is also designed to give adults the confidence to assess youth understanding and skills when signing off on scout rank requirements or Venturing award requirements.
Leave No Trace Trainer Course - This 16-hour, overnight course trains adults and youth ages 14 and up to serve as Leave No Trace Trainers. It is recommended training for the Outdoor Ethics Guide troop junior leadership position. It is also highly recommended for camp staff, members of the council and district outdoor program and training teams.
Leave No Trace Master Educator Course - This five-day, five-night course, generally split over two weekends, trains interested individuals ages 18 and up to serve as Leave No Trace Master Educators. Master Educators work with their council's Outdoor Ethics Advocates to provide Leave No Trace Trainer, BSA Leave No Trace 101 and other outdoor ethics awareness training.
- Scouting Outdoor Ethics and Conservation
- Leave No Trace
- Conservation and the Environment
- Tread Lightly!
- Aldo Leopold Foundation - The Land Ethic
- Program Features - Outdoor Ethics
- More Information on Outdoor Ethics
- National Parks Service video
- Cub Scout OE Activities by rank
If you need help or more details for bringing Outdoor Ethics to your program please contact Jan Kohnstam, Leave No Trace Master Educator & Tread Lightly Trainer, Spirit of Adventure Outdoor Ethics Advocate