On November 10-12, I had the privilege to attend the 2022 BSA National Outdoor Ethics and Conservation Conference at Camp Bert Adams in Covington, GA. It was an awesome experience! Outdoor Ethics and conservation are at the core of Scouting’s outdoor program, and after attending this conference I can attest that our focus on them is making Scouting’s outdoor program stronger than ever.
There was so much to do, and so many people to talk to! Participants got to hear from and sit down to share a meal with national experts and resources. The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers were there to share a lot of great ideas on how to help youth to build an outdoor ethic. Leave No Trace Director of Education and Training JD Tanner took us through Leave No Trace’s recent changes and their strategies for the next few years. The BSA National Outdoor Ethics and Conservation Committee teams shared what they’re working on and the support they can provide to councils.
But that wasn’t all! We learned about the new Distinguished Conservation Service Award for youth. This award replaces the former Hornaday Award, which was administered by BSA National. The new DCSA award is administered by council Conservation Committees, which will make the award more accessible to more youth. We were joined by the Green Crew, a new Venturing crew from Minneapolis. The Green Crew is a unique Venturing crew. They are a Venturing crew whose program is planning and conducting services projects for their chartering Izaak Walton League of America chapter. All their projects are advertised and open to the public to participate in. They’ve gotten a lot of national attention. https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2022/11/09/the-secret-of-their-success-venturing-crew-focuses-solely-on-conservation/ Once again, it was great to hear from and sit down with these creative and passionate youth and their leaders.
In that great mix, I had the opportunity to share some of the NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee’s successes. Often, we don’t appreciate what we have right here at home. Our NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee is viewed as one of, and perhaps the best in the country. I was asked to share the work we’ve done creating training for new Scouts BSA troop Outdoor Ethics Guides. I also led a workshop on how other councils can better market their own Outdoor Ethics offerings. It really felt great to be able to help other councils by sharing some of the work that so many people have done through the NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee, particularly Sara Holtz and Victor Bieniek.
Just when most of us felt that our brains were starting to hurt from all the great ideas we’d picked up, our closing speaker was Professor Doug Tallamy of the University of Delaware. His presentation on “Nature’s Best Hope” was a wonderful way to cap off the conference.
Your NCAC Outdoor Ethics Committee is here to help you advance your unit’s program. Let us know how we can help!