Please join the NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee in congratulating our very own scouter, Leave No Trace Master Educator & instructor extraordinaire Paul Schimke for receiving the prestigious Outdoor Ethics Distinguished Service Award! This highly coveted national award is presented by the BSA Outdoor Ethics & Conservation Subcommittee to an individual or organization who has provided distinguished service & leadership in support of outdoor ethics in the Scouting program. The nominee must have provided exceptional service and leadership to outdoor ethics in the Scouting program above & beyond the basic responsibilities outlined in their job description. This award is intended to recognize service with a scope of responsibility beyond the council level. Fewer than 30 individuals & organizations have earned this award!
For those of you who do not know Paul, he has volunteered tirelessly to educate scouts & scouters about outdoor ethics. He has taught 23 Leave No Trace Trainer courses to over 250 students! He has also taught countless Leave No Trace 101 & Outdoor Ethics Orientation courses, reaching hundreds if not thousands of students. In addition to teaching, over the years he developed a very comprehensive curriculum with a robust, modular, reusable set of training materials that made instruction easy for course staff & learning easy for students. Paul also helped develop a set of training materials that were used to teach Leave No Trace at Goshen Scout Reservation. Paul plays a key leadership role in the NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee providing priceless guidance, insights, updates & help where needed. He leverages his position as the Leave No Trace Maryland & DC State Advocate to support Leave No Trace training within scouting; this includes access to Leave No Trace booth kits & to events such as Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers & Hot Spots. Paul’s reach goes far beyond our NCAC council; as the lead of the national Outdoor Ethics & Conservation Round Tables, hundreds of scouters & scouts have attended these national Round Tables, viewed the videos, downloaded the slides, & clicked links to additional materials. In addition to Paul’s incredible efforts to promote Leave No Trace, Paul is also a Leopold Education Project Facilitator for the Aldo Leopold Foundation & regularly includes lessons on the Land Ethic in various scouting events.
Previous recipient Josh Lamothe presented the award to Paul at the 2022 National Outdoor Ethics & Conservation Conference at the Bert Adams Scout Reservation in Georgia. Here is an excerpt from Josh’s remarks:
“Paul has been active in sharing outdoor ethics in the National Capital Area Council for over 20 years. He completed his Master Educator course in 2011 and since that time has organized and facilitated more than 20 Leave No Trace Trainer courses in multiple states and councils. Paul has been a leader in developing material and systems for conducting online trainer courses during the pandemic, enabling Scouts and adult leaders to learn about Leave No Trace during a time when record numbers of people were heading outdoors to enjoy our public lands. Paul has led outdoor ethics activities during council and area events as well as for outside organizations as Maryland’s Leave No Trace State Advocate. Paul is a Leopold Education Project facilitator, helping incorporate the Land Ethic into Scouting and a key member of the Outdoor Ethics and Conservation Sub-committee operations groups, helping to develop and deliver monthly online outdoor ethics roundtables. Please join me in congratulating Paul Schimke in receiving the Outdoor Ethics Distinguished Service Award.”
We are incredibly lucky to have Paul in NCAC & we thank him for his phenomenal efforts in teaching outdoor ethics!