Preface and Acknowledgements

The purpose of this manual is to further Leave No Trace skills and awareness of outdoor ethics. The Boy Scouts of America has adopted the principles of Leave No Trace, which are easy to learn and apply. As each principle is learned, it should be applied. Every outing and activity should be conducted with Leave No Trace in mind. As young people mature, we will enjoy an increasingly beautiful environment because of the impact of their training in Leave No Trace.

As members of the Boy Scouts of America, we should be good stewards of our environment through knowledgeable use of resources. This manual can serve as a major tool in our efforts to teach others the importance of our relationship with the environment. We all must take responsibility for our decisions when we use the outdoors, and we should treat the environment with respect so future generations can enjoy the outdoors as we do today.

Contact federal and state land management agencies for additional information. Additional resources are available from the Leave No Trace website, by telephoning 800-332-4100; through local land managers; and through the BSA Supply catalog.

These materials contain a variety of activities designed to teach the skills necessary to earn the Leave No Trace Awareness Award. As you review the manual you will realize how easy these lessons are to prepare. You can focus many months of weekly activities on teaching and learning Leave No Trace skills and ethics.

Use a single concept from the section called Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace one week, and the next week work on the corresponding concept from the Quick Concepts section. The Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace provides essential information required to understand Leave No Trace principles. The Quick Concepts section presents activities that require little preparation. Each activity takes only about 15 to 30 minutes. Weekly meetings can also be used to work on the merit badges needed to qualify for the award.

The Activity Plans section provides in-depth Leave No Trace activities for your monthly campout. These activities will require more preparation and will take 45 to 75 minutes to complete. Campouts may be used as Leave No Trace- related service projects.

It is also recommended that adults and youths take the opportunity to participate in other activities such as Conservation Good Turn and the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards, and earn other awards related to conservation and our environment. Any part of this manual may be reproduced and used in any manner that will help further knowledge of Leave No Trace principles, skills, and ethics.


We thank the following people for their time and efforts in making these materials possible: Scott Reid, Leave No Trace Inc.; Jeff Marion, U.S. Geological Survey; Kelly Hartsell, National Park Service; Aaron Gale, Anne Robinson, Doug Robinson, Kay Russon, and Dave Witt, Utah National Parks Council; Fred Jepsen and David Munford, Great Salt Lake Council; Kim Hardcastle, Trapper Trails Council; Bill Wagner and Stew Jacobson, Bureau of Land Management; Sarah Flinders and Randy Welsh, U.S. Forest Service; Bruce Powell, National Park Service; and Martin Ott, State of Utah Department of Natural Resources.

Special thanks go to Donald M. Gale, chairman of Leave No Trace for the Utah National Parks Council and advisor for the Tu-Cubin-Noonie Lodge of Order of the Arrow, for developing the prototype of these materials.

Information for these materials was extracted from Teaching Leave No Trace, a booklet published by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service that contains activities to teach responsible backcountry skills.