Conservation and Environment

Since 1910, conservation and environmental studies have been an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts have rendered distinguished public service by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil, and water. Past generations of Scouts have been widely recognized for undertaking conservation Good Turn action projects in their local communities. Through environmental explorations, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts visit the outdoors and discover the natural world around them. Many natural resource careers are born in Scouting.

Since its first appearance in the 1955 printing of the Boy Scout Handbook, the Outdoor Code has reminded Scouts to be conservation-minded.

The Outdoor Code
As an American, I will do my best to—
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation-minded.


Conservation Handbook, Second Edition

The Conservation Handbook is a book about caring for the Earth. It is for Scouts and BSA leaders, for parents, park rangers, land managers, and everyone else who wants to involve volunteers in projects that are good for our natural resources. While the Conservation Handbook bears the emblem of the Boy Scouts of America, its message is of value for leaders of many organizations. It is a book for anyone eager to explore environmental opportunities that can help young people become enthused stewards of the land.

Available in Scout shops and at

About the Author

Robert Birkby has written three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, two editions of the Fieldbook, and the first edition of the Conservation Handbook. A former director of conservation at Philmont Scout Ranch, he received the William T. Hornaday gold medal in 2010 for his decades of environmental leadership in America and abroad.