The National Capital Area Council (NCAC) Outdoor Ethics Committee recently held it’s fourth annual Mid-Atlantic Outdoor Ethics Community Meeting at the Marriott Scout Service Center. The event brings together Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Educators from around the region to receive updates on the latest trends in Outdoor Ethics, to share information, and enjoy fellowship. This year’s event drew 35 participants including the Leave No Trace State Advocates for Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the Council Outdoor Ethics Advocates for NCAC, Hawk Mountain Council, Cradle of Liberty Council, Garden State Council, and the Colonial Virginia Council, and the BSA Area 6 Outdoor Ethics Advocate.
The group received an update from Paul Sanford, National Director of Recreation Policy at the Wilderness Society. Paul gave a great overview of the Wilderness Society, land designation under the Wilderness Act, the importance of wilderness, and the current issues in wilderness recreation. His talk was very well received by the group and will be used to help shape our ongoing awareness and educational efforts. Paul indicated that the Wilderness Society will soon be releasing a wilderness curriculum aimed at middle and secondary school age youth. We will post this information on the Outdoor Ethics page of the NCAC website once it is released.
Marian Orlousky, Director of Science and Stewardship at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), was next to provide an update. Marian detailed the increasing number of bear interactions on the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the need for improved food storage by folks recreating on the trail. She also introduced a new initiative of the ATC called the Wild East. Read more about it on the Outdoor Ethics page of the NCAC website. Marian’s presentation really hit home with the group and will inform our future lessons.
Rush Williamson of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) gave an update on improvements seen by land managers of scouting units on the trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. Paul Schimke, the Maryland State Advocate for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, updated the group on the latest news from the Leave No Trace Center and also updates from the National BSA Outdoor Ethics conference that took place near Kansas City last fall.
Sara Holtz, Outdoor Ethics Advocate for the Powhatan District, led the group through several interactive Leave No Trace activities that were fun examples of how to train youth in an engaging manner. The meeting wrapped up with a panel discussion on various contemporary Outdoor Ethics topics.
The NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee would like to thank all of the speakers, participants, and also the committee Staff Advisor, Ray Posluszny, and his wife Liz for all their assistance with the facility and equipment for the event.
See the NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee webpage here for materials from the event. There is a link on the left-hand side of the page for “Community Meetings” http://www.ncacbsa.org/training/outdoor-ethics/
Please contact Victor Bieniek with any questions.