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The Outdoor Code

Every Scout who is spending time outdoors should be familiar with the Outdoor Code. It is especially important for Webelos, Boy Scouts, and Venturers who are out camping regularly.

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
Be conservation-minded

The Scouts will read the Outdoor Code and probably understand most of it. But adding in some discussion points will help reinforce it. So below (and in the printable copy) I have not put some discussion points after the code itself. Use these as a starting point for having a conversation about what we can really do to minimize our impact when camping.

The Outdoor Code

(The breakdown of the Outdoor Code is the one from the Webelos Handbook)

As an American I will do my best to

Be clean in my outdoor manners

  • I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
  • I will take care of it for myself and others.
  • I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.

Be careful with fire

  • I will prevent wildfire.
  • I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.
  • When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.
  • I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors

  • I will treat public and private property with respect.
  • I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.

Be conservation minded

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

Discussion Points

These are some discussion points I like to use. Add your own.

  • What does treat the outdoors as a heritage mean?
  • What are some things I can do to take care of the outdoors next time I go camping?
  • What should I do with my trash when there is nowhere to dispose of it nearby?
  • What are the differences between a cooking fire, a campfire, and a bonfire?
  • How can I decide if an area is appropriate for a fire?
  • When putting out a fire, how can I tell if it is cold out?
  • What does a clean fire ring mean?
  • What are some things I can do to reduce the impact of hiking and camping on the outdoors?
  • What are some things I can do to be conservation minded in the next week?
  • Is it ever difficult to remind my friends to be conservation minded?
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