Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award

Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award

Scouts of all ages are guided by the Outdoor Code and the principles of Leave No Trace when they participate in outdoor activities. Members of Scouts BSA, Venturers, and adult Scouters can earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness award to learn about being responsible citizens while outdoors. Then they can take it a step further and earn the Outdoor Ethics Action award by actively using their knowledge of the Outdoor Code and LNT.

This award is not available for Cub Scouts.

Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award Requirements

  1. Recite from memory and explain the meaning of the Outdoor Code.
  2. Watch the National Park Service Leave No Trace video. It’s on the right side of the page.
  3. Complete the Leave No Trace online course . Print the certificate.
  4. Complete the Tread Lightly! online course . Print the certificate.
  5. Participate in an outdoor ethics course, workshop, or training activity facilitated by a person who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course or is a BSA outdoor ethics trainer or master.

Scouts, Venturers, and Scouters who earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award can go even further by earning the Outdoor Ethics Action Award.

Scout Action Award Requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. Unless already completed, earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award.
    2. Complete the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
    3. Explain how each of the four points of the Outdoor Code guides your actions when outdoors.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Read Chapter 7 of the Boy Scout Handbook on Outdoor Ethics.
    2. Teach a skill related to the Outdoor Code or Leave No Trace to another Scout in your troop or another Scouting unit.
  3. Complete one of the following:
    1. Successfully complete a term as your troop Outdoor Ethics Guide.
    2. Participate in an outing that emphasizes the complete set of Leave No Trace or relevant Tread Lightly! principles. All members of the troop participating in the outing should use the outdoor ethics and the specific skills needed to minimize impacts from their use of the outdoors.
  4. Follow the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and Tread Lightly! principles on three outings. Write a paragraph on each outing explaining how you followed the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and Tread Lightly! Share it with your unit leader or an individual who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
  5. On a troop outing, help your troop on a service activity that addresses recreational impacts related to the type of outing. The project should be approved in advance by the landowner or land manager and lead to permanent or long-term improvements.
  6. Participate in a report at a court of honor or similar family event on the service activity in Requirement 5.

Venturer Action Award Requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. Unless already completed, earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award.
    2. Complete the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
    3. Explain how you live up to each of the four points of the Outdoor Code during an outing or adventure.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Read Fieldbook chapters about Leave No Trace, using stoves and campfires, hygiene and waste disposal, and traveling and camping in special environments. Review the discussion of Leave No Trace in the Ranger Guidebook, and the foreword and chapters on Conservation Aesthetic, Wilderness, and Land Ethic in A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Explain in your own words what Leopold meant when he stated, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise.”
    2. Lead a group approved by your unit leader in an activity that explores differing ethical viewpoints using materials from Scouting’s outdoor ethics page, Leave No Trace, or Tread Lightly!
  3. Complete one of the following:
    1. Become a Leave No Trace Trainer, Tread Lightly! TREAD Trainer, or successfully complete a term as a crew officer with responsibility for outdoor ethics training.
    2. Research the complete set of Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! skills related to a planned outdoor adventure. Working with your crew leadership, prepare for the adventure, including learning the skills needed to minimize impacts. Practice the skills at least once before heading out on your adventure. While on your adventure, all members of the crew participating in the adventure should use the outdoor skills and ethics necessary to minimize impacts from their use of the outdoors.
    3. Follow the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and Tread Lightly! principles on three outings. Develop a poster or presentation explaining how and why you followed the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and Tread Lightly! Share it with a group approved by your unit leader or an individual who has completed the outdoor ethics orientation course.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Meet with a land owner or manager responsible for an outdoor recreational area or habitat that you use and/or enjoy and discuss the steps that you and your crew can take to reduce adverse impacts on the recreational ecosystem.
    2. With your crew leadership, help plan and participate in a campaign to reduce the adverse impacts on the recreational ecosystem. The campaign should include both service elements (e.g., land ethic—service to the land) and outdoor ethics educational components to help educate the public about how to minimize impacts to the area.
    3. Help plan and lead either a traditional or a social media event to educate the general public on the importance of protecting the area addressed in Requirement 5 and how they can help.

Scouter Action Award Requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. Earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award.
    2. Complete the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
    3. Discuss with your troop how each of the four points of the Outdoor Code guides your actions when outdoors.
  2. Read the North American Skills & Ethics booklet to learn about the principles of Leave No Trace. Review the principles of Tread Lightly! Review Chapter 7 of the Boy Scout Handbook and Fieldbook chapters about Leave No Trace, using stoves and campfires, hygiene and waste disposal, and traveling and camping in special environments.
  3. Facilitate your troop’s leadership in planning and leading an outing that emphasizes the complete set of Leave No Trace or Tread Lightly! principles. All members of the troop participating in the outing should use outdoor ethics and the specific skills to minimize impacts from their use of the outdoors.
  4. Help plan and participate in at least three outings where your troop can follow the Outdoor Code and practice the principles of Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! Facilitate a discussion at the end of the outings.
  5. Assist your unit in arranging for a service project emphasizing outdoor ethics with a local landowner or land manager. The project must be approved by the landowner or land manager in advance. Participate in that project. The project should lead to permanent or long-term improvements.
  6. Make, or facilitate youth in making, a presentation at a roundtable or similar gathering about what your troop did for Requirement 4.
  7. Help at least three Scouts earn the youth Outdoor Ethics Action Award.

Venturing Advisor Action Award Requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. Earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award.
    2. Complete the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
    3. Participate in a discussion with your crew of how each of the four points of the Outdoor Code guides your actions when outdoors.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Read the North American Skills & Ethics booklet to learn about the principles of Leave No Trace . Review the principles of Tread Lightly! Review Fieldbook chapters about Leave No Trace, using stoves and campfires, hygiene and waste disposal, and traveling and camping in special environments. Review the discussion of Leave No Trace in the Ranger Guidebook, and the foreword and chapters on Conservation Aesthetic, Wilderness, and Land Ethic in A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Explain in your own words what Leopold meant when he stated, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise.”
    2. Serve as an Advisor for your crew in an activity that explores differing ethical viewpoints using materials from Scouting’s outdoor ethics page, Leave No Trace , or Tread Lightly!
  3. Complete one of the following:
    1. Become a Leave No Trace Trainer or Tread Lightly! TREAD Trainer.
    2. Advise your crew’s leadership in planning and leading an outing that emphasizes the complete set of Leave No Trace or Tread Lightly! principles. All members of the crew participating in the outing should use outdoor ethics and the specific skills to minimize impacts from their use of the outdoors.
  4. Advise your crew’s planning and participation in at least three outings where your crew can follow the Outdoor Code and practice the principles of Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! Participate in a discussion at the end of the outings.
  5. Advise your Venturers in arranging for a service project and educational campaign emphasizing outdoor ethics with a local landowner or land manager responsible for an outdoor recreational area or habitat that your crew uses and/or enjoys. The project must be approved by the land owner or manager in advance. Participate in that project. The project should lead to permanent or long-term improvements.
  6. Advise your Venturers in the completion of a traditional or social media event to educate the general public on the importance of protecting the area addressed in Requirement 5 and how they can help.
  7. Help at least three Venturers earn the youth Outdoor Ethics Action Award.

Appreciate the outdoors with these related ideas and achievements:

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Disposing of Dishwater at Camp

Scouts should know how to dispose of water which has been used for cleaning dishes, which is also known as gray water. One easy way to strain dishwater is to use a plastic grocery bag.

Leave No Trace Frontcountry Guidelines

Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics program which encourages responsible use of outdoor resources. The frontcountry guidelines are the guidelines for day-use areas like parks and trails.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Doing an outdoor scavenger hunt while hiking will help scouts really explore the world around them while they are walking. This post includes a suggested list in printable format.

Firem’n Chit Certification

Scouts are going to build fires. That is pretty much a given. So they should be trained to use fire safely. This BSA Firem’n Chit certification provides a set of rules which can be used for training with Scouts BSA. A pocket card is also available at your local Scout shop, to indicate that the Scout has completed the training and agrees to the rules.


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