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Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 and, for most the part, comes and goes without much fanfare. With a little planning, Scouts of all ages can do something to make Earth Day in 2017 special, and give back to Mother Earth to thank her for all she has given us. By participating in Earth day, it is our hope that all members of the Boys Scouts of American will make conservation a daily habit. The Outdoor Code reminds Scouts to be conservation-minded at all times.

Fall pond fishingThe Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to—
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.

Conservation and living the Outdoor Code can happen in a variety of ways. Little or big, the efforts you make every day make a difference. What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day this year?

Here are few ideas to get started:

  • Memorize and recite the Outdoor Code regularly in meetings or before hikes and campouts.
  • picking up trash featureMake a habit of picking up trash and leaving the areas better than found for any outdoor activities.
  • Plan an activity to clean the neighborhood, park, camp, or vacant lot (getting approval from the landowners)
  • Teach the Outdoor code, Leave No Trace Principles, and TreadLightly during meeting and activities using games, puzzles, or skits. See LNT.org or Treadlightly.org for ideas.
  • Elect a member of your Troop or Team to serve in the leadership position of Outdoor Ethics Guide who will help the scouts make choices that reduce impacts to our natural environment.
  • Attend a Leave No Trace Awareness course as a unit.
  • As older scouts or adult leaders, attend a Leave No Trace or Treadlightly! Trainer Course that is offer several times a year locally.  Click here to Register for the Course on May 25 & 26, 2017
  • Plan ahead and do one or more things this year or come up with your own ideas to serve Mother Earth!

Help spread the conservation efforts to reduce our impact on and our enjoyment of the environment. Please share with us your story of how you celebrated Earth Day 2017, and we may publish an article in the coming months to share how our scouts and leaders have provided a “good turn” to mother nature.

  • To learn more about the Land Ethic,click here.
  • To learn more about the Principles of Leave No Trace, click here.
  • To learn more about Tread Lightly, click here.

Give something….get something.

Before planning your conservation activity or project, review the many opportunities to take your conservation efforts to the next level through the following Conservation Awards and Recognitions:

outdoorawardWilliam T Hornaday Unit Award
World Conservation Award
Conservation Good Turn Award
National Outdoor Badge–Conservation
Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award
National Park Service Scout Ranger Program

To learn more about the Conservation Awards and Recognition, click here.

We’d love to hear your stories!  Please share below what you are planning to do this year to spread your love of nature and the outdoors and say “Thank you” to Mother Earth on Earth Day 2017 and every day thereafter! Don’t stop there- create behaviors of conservation and outdoor ethics an everyday event, so we can preserve the earth for future generations.

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Sandra Smith
Sandra Smith is currently serving on the Utah National Parks Council Advancement Committee as the William T Hornaday Award Chair and is a Leave No Trace Master Educator. She also serves on the Troop Committee in her unit in Orem, Utah.

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