Outdoor Ethics

About Outdoor Ethics

As one of the largest users of the great outdoors, members of the BSA can have the single largest impact, either negatively or positively, on our natural resources. The Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout programs all include outdoor stewardship, care for the environment, Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! as part of their outdoor ethics programs.  

News and Upcoming Events

OE Conference Logo2020 National Outdoor Ethics Virtual Conference 13-14 November: This free program replaces the "in person" conference previously scheduled to be held at Camp Durant, Carthage, North Carolina.  The virtual conference will have eight Zoom sessions starting on Friday night, 13 November, and again during the day on Saturday, 14 November. Speakers will include the Dave O'Leary, outgoing Chair of BSA's Outdoor Ethics Subcommittee; Dana Watts and Ben Lawhon, from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics; and Jeff Marion, Ph. D., leading recreation ecologist and author of Leave No Trace in the Outdoors; among others.  For more information and registration, go to: http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/OEConference/

Outdoor Ethics Distinguished Service Award Nominations

The BSA OE Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding service and leadership in support of outdoor ethics in the Scouting program.

Please see our award details and nominate someone!  

Submission deadline is Oct 30th

Outdoor Ethics Training

There are many ways for our youth and adults to get training in our outdoor ethics programs.  For a comprehensive list of Leave No Trace Trainer and Leave No Trace Master Educator training events, visit http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/.

Outdoor Ethics Orientation:  This 60-90 minute course introduces the concept of Outdoor Ethics in a fun and engaging way to a group with little experience in outdoor ethics. It should help youth and adults at all program levels understand the general principles behind Scouting's outdoor ethics program.  Can be held at any time by anyone who has previously completed this course and the Leave No Trace Online Course.

Leave No Trace 101 - Awareness:  This 3-4 hour class is designed to help youth and adults at all program levels to understand the general principles of Leave No Trace and how to apply them in the BSA outdoor program.  Offered weekly at Summer Camp and by request at the unit level.  Email the Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate for more details.

Leave No Trace Trainer:  This 16-hour, overnight course trains adults and youth ages 14 and up to serve as Leave No Trace Trainers.  It is recommended training for the Outdoor Ethics Guide troop junior leadership position, as well as camp staff, members of the council and district outdoor program and training teams. The next course will be offered in person in April 2021 at Camp Shenandoah.  Contact Sarah Lindegren if you have any questions.

Leave No Trace Master Educator:  This 5 days/nights course is for developing Master Educators who will instruct Leave No Trace Trainer Courses.


Get recognized for all you do for Outdoor Ethics!  Find more information and applications for BSA’s Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award and Outdoor Ethics Action Award for Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Scouters by visiting http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/awards/.

Related Links

BSA Outdoor Ethics

Leave No Trace Video - National Park Service: YouTube

Leave No Trace Online Awareness Course

Tread Lightly! 101 Online Awareness Course