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Evolution of Scouting’s Outdoor Ethics

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Scouting’s Outdoor Ethics"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Scouting’s Outdoor Ethics
11 Evolution of Scouting’s Outdoor Ethics Eric Hiser Chair, National Outdoor Ethics TF 2014 Outdoor Ethics Conference

2 Foundations The foundation of all Scouting Ethics is the Oath and Law.
The Oath directs us to “do our best” to “do our duty to God and my country” – reflecting Scouting’s belief that there is a higher power set over us. The Oath directs us to “do our best” to “help other people at all times” – reflecting Scouting’s belief that we are hear to help others and not just ourselves.

3 Foundations Helpful Friendly Courteous Kind Thrifty Clean Reverent
The Law directs us to be: Implying a duty to be: Helpful Friendly Courteous Kind Thrifty Clean Reverent Considerate to those around us Conserve resources To help where help is needed

4 Foundations – Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to be: Clean in my outdoor manners Careful with fire Considerate in the outdoors; and Conservation-minded.

5 Development From Baden-Powell to the Present

6 Outdoor Ethics in Context
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, United States in throes of “Conservation Movement” 1871 – Fish & Wildlife Service created 1872 – First National Park (Yellowstone) 1891 – First National Forest 1905 – U.S. Forest Service established

7 Scouting in Context Scouting fell easily into this context
In 1919, Lord Baden-Powell, observed: “On breaking up camp leave two things behind you: Nothing. Your thanks.”

8 Scouting in Context Early Scout leaders included
Scouting in the United States also fell into this context, being closely connected with the Nature Study/Woodcraft movement: “There was once a boy… He wanted to learn to camp out, to live again the life of his hunter grandfather who knew all the tricks of winning comfort from the relentless wilderness….” “To be a good scout one should know something about the woods and the animals that inhabit them, and how to care for one’s self when camping. … A scout should never kill an animal or other living creature needlessly. There is more sport in stalking animals to photograph them, and in coming to know their habits, than in killing them.” Handbook for Boys (1911) Early Scout leaders included Theodore Roosevelt Ernest Thompson Seton Daniel Carter Beard Gifford Pinchot

9 Scouting in Context In the 1930s through 1950s, Scouting evolved with the national mood away from nature study and the backwoodsman emphasis to a more protective model: In 1938, the William T. Hornaday established the Wildlife Protection Medal, awarded to Scouts, among others, for protecting wildlife. In , Scouting adopted the “Wilderness Code of Conduct” for use of backcountry

10 The Outdoor Code Also in 1948, Scouting adopted in the 5th Boy Scout Handbook the first, and still current, incarnation of the Outdoor Code: As an American, I will do my best to be: Clean in my outdoor manners Careful with fire Considerate in the outdoors; and Conservation-minded.

11 Scouting in Context In very next year, Aldo Leopold released A Sand County Almanac

12 Scouting in Context In the 1950s, Scouting rolled out more resource conservation programs… 1952 – Wildlife MB; Soil Management MB 1954 – Conservation Good Turn

13 Scouting in Context In the 1960s and 1970s, Scouting adopted the Wilderness Use Policy: Place a special emphasis on pre-trip training on the proper wilderness rules of behavior as established in the program of BSA and by the managing agency, i.e., use: biodegradable food containers, to carry out all trash, dig holes for latrines only in undeveloped areas if permissible, carry all the equipment you need, use no natural materials except firewood and when cutting dead wood is required, use a small folding pack saw, carry only one axe for splitting if needed. Place special emphasis on the need for preserving solitude, and minimizing group impact through proper camping practices, sanitation and conservation of fuel. Develop the WILDERNESS ETHIC in your Troop or Post and practice it on the trail.

14 Scouting in Context 1970s saw some further development in Scouting and its relationship to the outdoors: 1971 – Project SOAR “Save Our American Resources” 1972 – Environmental Science MB 1977 – World Conservation Award

15 Societal Context 1960-1990 1962 – Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
1970s – Federal Land Managers began a slogan-based public education campaign: Wilderness Manners, Wilderness Ethics, Minimum-Impact Camping, and No-Trace Camping. Tread Lightly!

16 “Leave No Trace” Program
Leave No Trace (LNT) selected as the name for an expanded national program in USFS formed a partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to develop LNT educational materials and courses. NOLS taught the first Master Educator course in the Wind River Range in 1991. A unified national Leave No Trace program was created in 1990. The U.S. Forest Service recruited NOLS to develop LNT practices, educational materials, and courses. NOLS developed and offered the first LNT Master Educator course in 1991.

17 Creation of Leave No Trace, Inc.
Outdoor Recreation Summit in recommended creation of the non-profit LNT, Inc. 1993 MOU by the agencies 1993 LNT, Inc. - Nonprofit established. Renamed the “Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics” in LNT, Inc was founded in It initially focused on fund-raising by establishing partnerships with outdoor manufacturers and retailers. LNT Inc later assumed the distribution of educational materials and the website from NOLS.

18 Scouting Outdoor Ethics
In 1998, the Boy Scout Handbook added the first reference to the Principles of Leave No Trace: Plan ahead and prepare Camp and travel on durable surfaces Dispose of waste properly Minimize campfire impacts Leave what you find Respect wildlife Be considerate of other visitors Venturing Outdoor Bronze and Ranger Award have LNT focus

19 Scouting Adopts Leave No Trace
In 2005, Scouting became in “in- house” provider of Leave No Trace training in partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Also in 2005, Scouting established the National Leave No Trace task force to integrate Leave No Trace into Scouting In 2010, Centennial Boy Scout Handbook devotes an entire chapter (7) to Leave No Trace. Rank requirements revised Leave No Trace Trainer added to Camp Standards

20 Shift to “Outdoor Ethics”
Scouting has active partnership with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Scouting has a Memorandum of Understanding with Tread Lightly! Scouting has its own historic conservation and service tradition.

21 Shift to “Outdoor Ethics”
In 2012 time frame, BSA Leave No Trace Task Force, after discussion with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, shifts to Outdoor Ethics Task Force with new logo to reflect broader Scouting outdoor ethic.


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