The NCAC Conservation Committee promotes an ethic of conservation throughout the Council, providing technical assistance and expertise regarding matters of ecology, conservation, and resources management to all units as well as NCAC property managers. The committee administers the Distinguished Conservation Service Award and provides guidance to scouts and units who want to perform conservation projects or earn conservation awards.
Conservation is an important part of Scouting’s mission. Your unit might practice conservation by working with qualified experts to remove invasive species, plant native trees, reduce runoff into streams or encourage the regeneration of species under pressure such as the monarch or other pollinators. The possibilities are endless, and most parks and woodland sanctuaries have land managers who can help you get started.
The Committee also promotes Scouting’s conservation awards such as:
- Distinguished Conservation Service Award – The fundamental purpose of the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards program is to encourage learning by the participants and to increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. The goal of this awards program is to encourage and recognize truly outstanding efforts that have contributed significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection. https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/conservation-and-environment/conservation-awards-and-recognitions/bsa-distinguished-conservation-service-award/
- World Conservation Award, an opportunity for individual Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment. This program is designed to help youth members gain awareness that all nations are closely related through natural resources and that we are interdependent with our world environment. https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/world-conservation/
- Conservation Good Turn Award, which is an opportunity for Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a Conservation Good Turn in their home communities. https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/conservation-and-environment/conservation-good-turn/
- Conservation rocker patch for the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, which is awarded for service to the environment. A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 hours of conservation work. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 hours of conservation work (for example, the first silver device is earned at 125 total hours of conservation work). https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/national-medal-outdoor/
- Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA Award – a joint program between Keep America Beautiful Inc. and the Boy Scouts of America. It is designed to give recognition to the outstanding efforts of Scouts in their communities in regard to citizenship and environmental improvement. https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/keep-america-beautiful-hometown-usa-award/
- Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award – Awarded for completing a certain number of outdoor activities while at Cub Scout camp or day camp. Activities include a nature/conservation project in a Cub’s area. https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/cs-outdoor/
- National Park Service Scout Ranger Program – The Scout Ranger program invites Scouts of all ages to participate in educational and/or volunteer service projects at national park sites to spark their awareness of the national parks and to provide Scouts with the opportunity to explore the national parks and learn more about protecting our natural and cultural resources. Scouts are awarded a certificate and/or patch. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/youthprograms/scout-ranger.htm
- Messengers of Peace – A global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. Any Scout or Scouter who participates in a project that has had a significant impact on the community in any one of the three dimensions (#3 is ‘relationships between humankind and its environment’) can qualify as a Messenger of Peace. https://www.scouting.org/international/messengers-of-peace/
Scouters wishing to promote conservation in their District or Unit should contact Committee Chair Will Rodger at email@example.com or their district’s conservation point of contact.