Leave No Trace

We have not inherited the land from our forefathers, we have only borrowed it from our children.

Scouts and leaders can minimize the impact of backcountry camping by learning skills and making decisions based on an outdoor ethics program to conserve the environment.

The BSA has joined three federal land management agencies — the National Park Service, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management — along with the National Outdoor Leadership School, to provide educational materials in Leave No Trace camping. The unit-based training promotes land stewardship, minimum-impact skills and wilderness ethics.

The Leave No Trace program training focuses on seven principles:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare — knowing campground regulations and areas preserved for wildlife
  • Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces — using existing trails and campsites to minimize the effect on vegetation
  • Pack It In, Pack It Out — encouraging Scouts to take their trash home with them
  • Leave What You Find — such as rocks, plants, animals, archaeological artifacts and other objects so that others who visit the site can enjoy them
  • Minimize Campfires — to protect the naturalness of the area and reduce the overuse of firewood
  • Respect Wildlife — by observing animals from afar, avoiding quick movements, and storing food securely
  • Respect Others — by keeping noise down, selecting campsites away from other campers, respecting private property, and leaving gates as they were found

Training Materials
Leave No Trace education and training materials are availabe on the internet at the Leave No Trace web site. Publications may also be purchased from Leave No Trace, P.O. Box 997, Boulder, CO 80303, 800-332-4100.

Leave No Trace Awareness Award
Youth and adults who participate in unit-based Leave No Trace training are eligible for the BSA’s Leave No Trace Awareness Award.