Wilderness Ethics

As Scouts, we are committed to preserving the outdoors so that others may also enjoy it. There are several codes which give us instructions for doing this. Three which pertain greatly to Scouting are the BSA Wilderness Use Policy, Leave No Trace, and the Outdoor Code.

Recognizing the importance of keeping the outdoors pristine, the Boy Scouts of America has developed a set of guidelines for units to follow on their outdoor adventures. Here is a link to the current BSA Wilderness Use Policy: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/20-121.pdf

 

Leave No Trace is a set of instructions for doing just that, leaving no trace of your presence in the outdoors. LNT has seven principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors/li>

Leave No Trace’s website, http://lnt.org, is an excellent resource for finding out more about these principles and how to apply them on your unit’s next outing.

 

The Outdoor Code is another great set of wilderness ethics. Because of its pledge format, it is more easily learned and recited. Maybe you could even say it as part of your troop meeting!

As an American, I will do my best to-

Be clean in my outdoor manners. I will treat the outdoors as my heritage. I will try to improve it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of America’s waters, fields, woods, and roadways.

Be careful with fire. I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fire in a safe place and be sure it is out before I leave.

Be considerate in the outdoors. I will treat public and private property with respect. I will remember that use of the outdoors is a right that I can lose by abuse.

Be conservation minded. I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forest, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.

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