By Keith Abraham
Aug 13, 2014

Outdoor Ethics

outdoor collageKeith Abraham the Council and Area Outdoor Ethics Advocate writes:  “After a quick explanation of what Outdoor Ethics is I have listed the actual/potential value that an ongoing emphasis of these ethics brings to the Council properties, Scouts, their families, and everyone else in our Council and the surrounding area.

“Additionally I have listed the financial benefits to the Council when Outdoor Ethics are followed. I have attached a detailed explanation of Outdoor Ethics to this email as well.

“Our mission statement comes from a prophet of God. ‘We must safeguard these magnificent natural wonders so that future generations may also draw strength and inspiration from the handiwork of the Master Creator.’ – President Gordon B. Hinckley, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Outdoor Ethics is like a brand name – It reinforces the BSA Outdoor Code with Leave No Trace, TreadLightly!, and Land Ethic principals.

“Value that Outdoor Ethics knowledge/awareness/action adds:Outdoor Code

  1.   Advancement – Outdoor Ethics requirements are embedded at all Scout rank levels, Cubs-Venturing, Outdoor Ethics Awareness and Hornaday awards. There is an Outdoor Ethics component (soil, water, bugs, animals) in at least 30 merit badges.
  2.  Save money at camps – Implementation of LNT Principal “Minimize Campfire Impacts” during Klondikes has saved many thousands of dollars at Camp Maple Dell alone over a 10-year period.
  3. Program awareness – Helps educate our Scouts and leaders about concepts they will need to know to pass off requirements, and to have a spiritual connection with “the handiwork of the Master Creator”.  Putting the knowledge to work attains awareness in this context.
  4. Public awareness – There is a Scout in almost every family in our State, either by birth or by marriage.  Outdoor Ethics behavior will spread through families as ethics are followed during family activities.  It is not implied that some people don’t follow ethics already but you don’t have to look far to see that there is still work to do.
  5. Public perception – It will help the Scouts to overcome the negative impressions that some Scouts have brought upon us, as the public understands our commitment to be a positive force/example in the outdoors.
  6. Corporate support in $$ and services – They will want to be associated with us even more as we become better known as wise stewards of our natural resources and facilities
  7. Increase in FOS – When the public is happy with what we are doing they are apt to open their wallet a little wider.”

Leave No Trace Trainer Courses and the Troop Leave No Trace Trainer ethics

Leave No Trace Trainer courses are two-day (16-hour) trainings taught by Leave No Trace Master Educators in the outdoors. Trainer courses are designed to help participants better understand and teach Leave No Trace skills and ethics. Boy Scouts at least 14 years of age who successfully complete a Leave No Trace Trainer course may be appointed to the Leave No Trace Trainer position of responsibility in his troop. Interested Scouts and Scouters may register for Leave No Trace Trainer course as follows: – 16 hour LNT Trainer Course – 6 day LNT Master Educator Course

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Author: Keith Abraham, Outdoor Ethics Advocate, 801-971-8060

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