Scouting and Conservation
The conservation program emphasis is designed to incorporate throughout the
Scouting program and activities an awareness and understanding of conservation
as wise and intelligent management of natural resources.
The development of good citizens is one of Scouting's aims, and citizens
need to practice sound environmental living and conservation of natural
resources. There is need for an extended program that will encourage young
- Look at the entire process of resource use
- Analyze how actions and judgments often create problems
- Understand decision-making processes related to the environment
- Seek out common sense methods that can be applied at home, in the
community, in the state, and in the nation
- Help improve the quality of life
This emphasis is directed toward making all those active in Scoutingyouth,
adult members, and their familiesaware of their responsibility for the future.
There is an increasing awareness that Scouting members and other individuals are an
integral part of their environment and that their action or inaction affects the
quality of life throughout this nation and the world.
Personal experience teaches the most lasting lessons. The conservation program
emphasis has been developed to create a positive commitment to improving the
environment and conserving natural resources through first-hand experiences and
"learning by doing."
Because Scouting's youth generally have an active interest in the outdoors,
they possess a ready curiosity that can be expanded. These young people can
find their own answers, learn how to make sound judgments, and find social
and environmental significance in actions that they undertake.
Every Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venturerand their
unitscan join in so that 100 percent of Scouting's members can become
committed to the importance of conservation.
All private or publicly owned backcountry land and designated wilderness
areas are included in the term "backcountry areas." The Outdoor Code of the
Boy Scouts of America applies to outdoor behavior generally, but for treks
into backcountry or wilderness areas, the principles of Leave No Trace apply.
Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers who complete the requirements can earn
a Leave No Trace patch. Within the outdoor program of the Boy Scouts of
America, there are many different camping skill levels. Camping practices
that are appropriate for day outings, long-term Scout camp, or short-term
unit camping may not apply to wilderness areas. Wherever they go, Cub Scouts,
Boy Scouts and Venturers need to adopt attitudes and patterns of behavior
that respect the rights of others and make it possible for others and future
generations to enjoy the outdoors.
In wilderness areas, it is crucial to minimize our effect on all ecosystems,
such as mountains, lakes, streams, deserts, and seashores. Since our impact
varies from one season to the next, it becomes important for us to adjust to
these changing conditions to avoid damaging the environment.
Conservation Good Turn
The conservation Good Turn is an opportunity for Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout
troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews to join with conservation and
environmental organizations (federal, state, local, and private) to carry out
a conservation Good Turn in their home communities. A new conservation Good
Turn emphasis was launched in January 1995 and is ongoing. These organizations
typically have a backlog of necessary projects that they have been unable to
carry out because of lack of funding or volunteers. The list of projects is
limited only by the willingness of the Scouting unit.
William T. Hornaday Award
The William T. Hornaday Award is presented to
individuals or units in recognition
of distinguished service in conservation. There are seven forms of the award:
certificate, badge, bronze medal, silver medal, gold certificate, gold badge, and
gold medal. Applicants for the awards work under the guidance of a local conservation
professional or agency or with the help of a qualified layperson in conservation.
The effort must meet a local or regional need and help arouse public recognition
of the importance of adequate protection and management of air, soil, water, mineral,
forest, grassland, wildlife, and energy resources with full consideration of
environmental conservation. Young men who have earned the Eagle Scout rank should
consider striving to earn a Hornaday medal.
from the BSA Web site.
World Conservation Award
The World Conservation Award provides an opportunity for individual Cub Scouts,
Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers to "think globally" and "act locally" to
preserve and improve our environment. This program is designed to make youth members
aware that all nations are closely related through natural resources and that we are
interdependent with our world environment.
Each council should have a conservation committee. It may be a separate committee
with authority, accountable to the executive board; or it may be a subcommittee of
the council's camping committee. It should include representation of three
qualifications in its membership: local conservation and environmental professionals
from state or federal agencies or college or university faculties; laypeople
representing local environmental organizations or local chapters of national
organizations; and active Scouters with an intense interest in conservation.
The conservation committee should prepare and regularly update the council's
master conservation plan. It should also supervise the ongoing activities of
natural resource management called for in the plan. This includes identifying
and prioritizing projects that range from individual boy or unit projects to
major development needs affecting all council properties. Finally, the committee
should seek ways to encourage and publicize activities by individuals and units
that further the cause of conservation.