At the end of September, during a beautiful fall weekend at Maple Dell Scout Camp, I joined with 12 other Scouts and Scouters to learn about Teaching Leave No Trace. It was great to be with such a like-minded group.
The Clyde Lodge was filled with displays and exhibits reminding us of each of the seven Leave No Trace principles. But one that caught my eye was a large vinyl banner with simpler principles. It read:
Leave No Trace Principles for Kids:
- Know Before You Go
- Choose The Right Path
- Trash Your Trash
- Leave What You Find
- Be Careful With Fire
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Kind To Other Visitors
This was just what I was looking for, because in each new Cub Scout Rank Requirement there is something about the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace. I discovered this firsthand this summer as I worked with my grandson on the Wolf Adventure, Call of the Wild.
- Recite the Outdoor Code with your leader.
- Recite the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids with your leader. Talk about how these principles support the Outdoor Code.
- After your campout, list the ways you demonstrated being careful with fire.
During the week before our family day camp to the beach at Filey, we got to build our own camp in the nearby forest. I showed my grandson how to minimize campfire impact, which is one of the Leave No Trace Principles, but it was a bit above his head. On the drive home from our family camp we tried to talk more about how we practiced Leave No Trace and the Outdoor Code—it was all a bit much for an eight year old.
You can learn more about Outdoor Ethics in the Boy Scouts of America here.
Teaching youth early in their lives will make them better lifelong stewards. So how does your pack or den teach Leave No Trace?