Program Feature: OUTDOOR ETHICS

Outdoor Ethics Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Treading Lightly on the Land

Have you ever arrived at a campsite only to find that the people who used it before left it trashed? On a hike, have you ever come across trees that have been defaced by carvings, or meadows that have been trampled by careless campers?

Scouts know better than to do those things. We know to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. But we can do more. As cities grow and populations encroach upon our wild lands and recreation areas, we must do more than just pick up litter and extinguish campfires. We must learn how to help maintain the integrity and character of the outdoors for all living things and other visitors, and we must set the example and teach other people to do the same.

Scouting has a long and distinguished tradition of conservation leadership and environmental protection, beliefs preserved in the Outdoor Code and Scouting’s Wilderness Use Policy. The Outdoor Code guides our conduct in the outdoors, establishing our goals of a clean environment unaffected by our passage— and our goal of environmental stewardship. The BSA’s outdoor ethics builds on that foundation by utilizing the seven principles of Leave No Trace and the five principles of Tread Lightly! Scouts and Scout leaders have a principled framework that helps them make proper, ethical decisions while enjoying the outdoors.

Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! are not simply programs for camping. They are at the cutting edge of Scouting values. This month, you will learn how the BSA’s outdoor ethics let you enjoy the outdoors while ensuring future generations can do the same.

Outdoor Ethics Information Troop Meetings Main Event