Outdoor Ethics


Develop a culture that effectively demonstrates responsible outdoor choices that reduce impacts of Scouting activities

Outdoor Code:

I will do my best to:

  • Be clean in my outdoor manners
  • Be careful with fire
  • Be considerate in the outdoors
  • Be conservation-minded

Outdoor Ethics Roles:

  • Outdoor Ethics Guide (Scout)
    • At least one scout per patrol
  • Outdoor Ethics Guide Advisor (Adult leader)
    • At least one advisor in the troop

Outdoor Ethics Guide (Scout):

The outdoor ethics guide is a troop level position of responsibility that counts for the leadership requirement for Star, Life, and Eagle ranks. This role also serves as a member of the patrol leaders’ council representing outdoor ethics.

The outdoor ethics guide works closely with new and experienced Scouts playing the role of a teacher and/or coach. The Outdoor Ethics Guide handbook provides basic information and additional resources to understand the role and expand outdoor ethics knowledge.

A troop can have more than one outdoor ethics guides and responsibilities can also be shared. They will be the primary role model on how to behave in the outdoors. If questions or problems come up, they must be willing to go to the appropriate leadership for guidance and resolution.


Complete Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award

Responsibilities of Outdoor Ethics Guide

    • Trains others
    • Provides leadership
    • Supports recognition
    • Completes self-evaluation

More details on responsibilities are in Outdoor Ethics Guide.


    • Explain and Demonstrate Advancement Requirements
    • Help your unit plan and conduct an Effective outdoor Ethics program
    • Prepare Petrol leaders to share principles
    • Help Scouts to understand and plan conservation activities
    • Encourage Scouts to complete outdoor ethics awards and merit badges
    • Complete self-evaluation

More details are available at Outdoor Ethics Guide duties.

Outdoor Ethics Guide Advisor (Adult Leader):

Our outdoor activities reflect Scouting’s mission of making ethical choices. We strive to care for and share the outdoors. We believe it is right when our actions support the health of the land and enhance visitor experiences and wrong when they do not.

As the advisor, you help scouts with planning and preparing ahead to follow the principles of Leave No Trace on outings. You help the outdoor ethics guide answer questions on how Scouts actually practice the Outdoor Code. You are in a unique position to demonstrate this and help other adults realize it.


Main areas for guiding and engaging with Outdoor Ethics Guide:

  • Removing barriers and opening doors
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Evaluation

More details on responsibilities are in Outdoor Ethics Guide.

Principles of Leave No Trace & Tread Lightly:

Principle of Leave No Trace

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

More details can be found at Leave No Trace page.

Principles of Tread Lightly!

  • Travel Responsibly
  • Respect the Rights of Others
  • Educate Yourself
  • Avoid Sensitive Areas
  • Do Your Part

More details can be found at Tread Lightly page.