By Keith Abraham
Feb 03, 2016

New Leadership Position for Scouting Leadership Requirement

Boy Scouts of America announced a new leadership position for Scouting this year—Outdoor Ethics Guide, which will replace the older Leave No Trace Trainer position, both of which qualify as leadership positions to use toward the trail to Eagle. However this is not a wimpy job, so don’t take it on unless you are willing to get trained and do the work.Outdoor Ethics Banner

The following job description is provided by the BSA Outdoor Ethics task force:

The outdoor ethics guide helps the troop plan and conduct an outdoor program that emphasizes effectively practicing the Outdoor Code, the Leave No Trace principles, and the Tread Lightly! principles. The guide works to help Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers improve their outdoor ethics decision-making skills to help minimize impacts as they hike, camp, and participate in other outdoor activities. In particular, Guides should support Scouts who are working to complete the relevant requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

Outdoor Ethics Badges, New leadership position for ScoutingThat means Varsity Scouts and Ventures can really help out with the New Scout Patrol (11 yr olds) in a big way.  But with revisions to the Boy Scout Rank Requirements effective Jan 1, 2016 just look at why your unit needs an Outdoor ethics Guide:

  • New Scout Rank, Recite and explain the Outdoor Code
  • Tenderfoot: Explain how you practiced the Outdoor Code
  • 2nd Class: Explain and practice Leave No Trace (was 1st Class)
  • 1st Class: Explain and practice Tread Lightly!
  • Star/Life/Eagle: Leave No Trace Trainer position of responsibility is replaced by Outdoor Ethics Guide. The LNT Trainer course is no longer required. Venturers/Sea Scouts: Leave No Trace Trainer is no longer a position of responsibility.

A Few Questions About  Getting a Guide with Some Answers:

Q: The Leave No Trace trainer position is now called an outdoor ethics guide. Are there any specific requirements for a Scout to hold this new position of responsibility?
A: Not yet, but they are in development and will be announced soon. The outdoor ethics guide became effective as a position of responsibility on Jan. 1, 2016. The FAQs will be updated when the new position description is released.
Expectations for youth serving as outdoor ethics guides will also be published in the 13th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, as well as in updated printings of the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, Patrol Leader Handbook, and Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.
NOTE the outdoor ethics guide is no longer a qualifying position for Venturers, as it is not an official leadership position in the Venturing or Sea Scouting programs.

Q: So what about training a new Guide?
A: The Ethics Guide Course is four hours long, but it can be broken into modules. There is a card used to track the modules as they are completed.

Q: Suppose a Scout began his six-month term as Leave No Trace trainer on Sept. 1, 2015. How would he complete the last two months of his term??
A: For September through December, he would be credited with Leave No Trace trainer as his position of responsibility. For the last two months, he would be credited as an outdoor ethics guide, and his obligation for this position of responsibility would be complete.

Please contact your District Outdoor Ethics Advocate to schedule training and if you don’t know who that is please contact me and I will tell you who it is or we can find one in your district together. 

Keith Abraham
Author: Keith Abraham
BSA – Utah National Parks Council – Area 2W Outdoor Ethics Advocate



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