Outdoor Ethics Training in the BSA

The BSA offers outdoor ethics training as part of all its core outdoor training programs: National Youth Leader Training (NYLT) and National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts, and part of Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) and Wood Badge for all adult volunteers with outdoor leadership responsibilities.

The BSA offers a carefully selected group of specialized outdoor ethics and Leave No Trace training courses to assist youth and adult members seeking to bring cutting-edge outdoor ethics to their outdoor programs. These programs are summarized below.

BSA Leave No Trace 101
This course is a general introduction to the Leave No Trace ethics and skills to those with little prior exposure to it. The course is designed to help youth and adults at all program levels understand the general principles of Leave No Trace and how to apply them in the general BSA outdoor program. It is also designed to give adult volunteers the confidence to assess youth understanding and skills for purposes of signing off on Boy Scout/Varsity Scout Second Class and First Class rank requirements and Venturing Outdoor Bronze and Ranger Award requirements.

  • Instructed by: Leave No Trace Trainer or Master Educator
  • Participants receive: BSA Leave No Trace Awareness Card

BSA Leave No Trace Trainer Course
This 16-hour, overnight course trains interested individuals ages 14 and older to serve as Leave No Trace Trainers. Trainers are the backbone of Scouting's outdoor ethics program, providing instruction to individuals and units wishing to adopt cutting-edge outdoor ethics into their unit programs. Trainers are specially commissioned to teach the BSA Leave No Trace 101 course and to qualify individuals for the BSA Leave No Trace Awareness card. Completion of this course or another recognized Leave No Trace Trainer course is required for a youth to hold the Boy Scout/Varsity Scout Leave No Trace Trainer position of responsibility in his unit. Each BSA Trainer course is taught by a recognized Leave No Trace Master Educator, so your Trainer standing is recognized nationally by the BSA's partner, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  • Instructed by: Leave No Trace Master Educator
  • Participants receive: Leave No Trace Trainer card from the BSA, BSA Leave No Trace 101 Course Guide, and Leave No Trace Trainer certificate from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

BSA Leave No Trace Master Educator Course
This five-day, five-night course trains interested individuals ages 18 and older to serve as Leave No Trace Master Educators. Master Educators work with their council's outdoor ethics advocates to provide Leave No Trace Trainer, BSA Leave No Trace 101, and outdoor ethics awareness courses. Each BSA Master Educator course is taught by a set of nationally designated Master Educator Instructors, so your Master Educator standing is recognized nationally be the BSA's partner, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  • Prerequisite: Leave No Trace Trainer or approval from the council outdoor ethics advocate
  • Instructed by: Nationally designed Leave No Trace Master Educator Instructor
  • Participants receive: Leave No Trace Master Educator card from the BSA, BSA Leave No Trace Trainer Course Manual, Leave No Trace 101 Course Guide, Leave No Trace Master Educator certificate, and the Leave No Trace DVD courtesy of the National Park Service

Implementing Leave No Trace in the Local Council
This course is taught periodically at the Philmont Training Center and provides guidance to council professional staff and volunteers on implementing the BSA's Leave No Trace program in the local council. It is particularly designed for individuals serving as a council outdoor ethics advocate or interested in serving in that position.

  • Instructed by: Nationally designated instructors, typically BSA Leave No Trace task force members and successful council outdoor ethics advocates
  • Participants receive: Council outdoor ethics advocate position description and copies of all BSA Leave No Trace implementing literature, including BSA Supplement to the Master Educator Handbook, BSA Leave No Trace Trainer Course Manual, Leave No Trace 101 Course Guide, and the Leave No Trace DVD courtesy of the National Park Service.