Conservation HandbookI wasn’t sure what to expect of the BSA’s newly updated Conservation Handbook. Up until being asked to write about it, I’d never read it. Honestly, I’d never even heard of it.

But, for the sake of the project, I dove in. 

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised. While the handbook may not be the best option for an expert or individual wanting to go deeply into a single topic, I think it’s perfect for Scouts and most leaders.

About the Book

The Conservation Handbook is by Robert Birkby, a lifetime Scouter and former trail crew foreman. He attained the highest award in the BSA for conservation: the William T. Hornaday Gold Award. He also wrote the first edition of the book.

According to ScoutStuff, the book’s purpose is to “ include the role of conservation in Scouting, how Scouts can become effective stewards of the environment, the value of partnerships between Scouts and managers of public and private lands, and specific skills for getting good work done.”

The handbook runs through a variety conservation relevant topics, touching on everything from important environmental practices to good outdoor project ideas.  

My View on the Book

Like I said, this book isn’t necessarily for an expert. It doesn’t delve deeply into specific conservation topics. 

However, I love how it briefly hits on many topics.

It’s brilliantly casual, using language a 12-year-old can understand. Things are well categorized, implementing modern graphics, good design, and concise language. How I wish textbooks had such clarity!

Because of these elements, topics become simple to understand. Anyone wanting to know conservation basics can do so with this book.

I, myself, wasn’t sure what to expect from the handbook. But, since I knew little about the topic, it was great. If you want to know more about what conservation is and how to encourage conserving among youth, this is a good fit for you. 

Have you read the new version? Do you agree with me or have another opinion? Please share. 

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Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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