The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA instill in our Scouts the importance of environmental conservation. Accordingly, we provide our Scouts with the opportunity to acquire knowledge about how to be responsible while on their outdoor adventures. Our Scouts value the beauty and majesty of the world in which we live.
One of the associations whose principles we incorporate into our Scout Programs is Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics is a series of guidelines for enjoying the outdoors while leaving minimal impact on the environment.
Even when our Scouts are in the outdoors, our Scouts enhance the excitement of their adventures by appreciating the rich diversity of the environment around them. We encourage our Scouts to play a meaningful part in their world by our Scout Programs choosing to partner and participate in the Leave No Trace program
The Seven Principles and What They Mean
- Plan Ahead and Prepare -- The first principle is Plan Ahead and Prepare. This includes knowing the regulations of the site you are traveling to, being aware of the weather and potential hazards of that location, avoiding the area during times of high-use, minimizing the size of groups (larger groups can be split up), repackaging food to avoid waste, and using a compass rather than flags or marking trees.
- Camp on Durable Surfaces -- The second principle is to travel and camp on durable surfaces. Durable surfaces include established trails, campsites, rocks, gravel, dry grass, and snow. Avoid camping within 200 feet of lakes and rivers. This also means choosing well-worn campsites first, walking single-file, and avoiding activities near vegetation. If in a pristine region, our Scouts try to prevent the creation of trails and as much human affect as possible.
- Proper Disposal of Waste -- The third principle is proper disposal of waste. Food should never be spilled and left. Campsites and rest areas are inspected for trash. All waste must be packed up and taken away.
- Leave What You Find -- The fourth principle is to leave what you find. This involves observing but not removing historical artifacts, and leaving plants, animals and rocks where they are. This also includes never introducing new plant or animal species, and never building structures or digging trenches.
- Minimize Fire Impact -- The fifth principle is to minimize campfire impacts. This includes using a lightweight camping stove and a lantern at night. Where fires are permitted, fire rings, pans, and mound fires should be used. Fires should be small and made from sticks already lying on the ground. All fires should be burned to ash and the cool ashes scattered.
- Respect for Wildlife -- The sixth principle is respect for wildlife. Though it may initially seem like a nice thing to do, feeding wild animals can make the animals sick, disrupt their natural feeding patterns, make them easier targets for predators, and encourage them to come to camp looking for food. Food must be stored securely. Pets should be always controlled or left at home, and wild animals are best avoided completely during sensitive times such as nesting and feeding young.
- Being Considerate of Other Campers -- The seventh principle is to be considerate of other visitors. This includes always be courteous and letting faster hikers pass, and avoiding loud voices and music.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA believe in the importance of Leave No Trace. We instill in our Scouts a life long love of nature and an understanding of how their choices affect nature’s delicate balance.