2020 National Outdoor Ethics Virtual Conference


The 2020 National Outdoor Ethics Virtual Conference went virtual!

On November 13-14, 2020, the BSA Outdoor Ethics Subcommittee held its biennial National Outdoor Ethics Conference. This was the fifth and largest gathering of volunteers interested in supporting outdoor ethics in Scouting with nearly 600 registered participants. Friday’s highlights included an program update from the Director of Outdoor Programs and Properties, Frank Reigelman and a status report of the Outdoor Ethics Sub-Committee from outgoing chair Dave O’Leary which included the presentation of our Outdoor Ethics Distinguished Service Awards to:

  • Marshall Berger (Connecticut Rivers Council)
  • Victor Bieniek (National Capitol Area Council)
  • Chandra Clark (Grand Canyon Council)
  • Matt Durrant (Crossroads of the West Council)
  • Toby Green (Northeast Illinois Council)
  • The first Outdoor Ethics Distinguished Service Award given to an organization was presented to the Crossroads of the West Council.

Saturday morning participants were greeted with a presentation focused on Scouting volunteers new to outdoor ethics which was followed by a Q&A with selected committee members.

Saturday afternoon’s featured presentations included:

Recreation Ecology:

Dr. Jeff Marion – Update on Recent Findings and Leave No Trace Implications

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

Dana Watts, Executive Director – Welcome and update of the center’s activities.

Ben Lawhon, Director of Education and Research – How Leave No Trace is addressing increasing impacts for a sustainable future.

Andrew Leary, National Outreach Manager – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Reaching Scouts with Leave No Trace!

Lastly, Scott Anderson, incoming chair of the Outdoor Ethics Sub- Committee presented a session titled Looking Forward and challenged everyone to Learn, Practice, Teach and Volunteer.

Conference proceedings including presentation recordings are now available online at http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/OEConference/.

The BSA Outdoor Ethics website, OutdoorEthics-BSA.org, provides current information on BSA Outdoor Ethics resources and events, including upcoming virtual roundtables on relevant outdoor ethics topics.