Written by: Scout Louis
The Leave No Trace Trainer course teaches Scouts and Scouters the 7 principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) at more than a basic level. This next step on learning outdoor ethics gives each of its participants and teachers a new and refreshing view that goes more in depth than the simpler, half day session that is available on a high adventure trip. The class helps its students better understand why LNT is important, how they can implement its teachings, and how to pass on the knowledge that they have learned to their home Units, Crews, Ships, and communities.
The course is traditionally taught in an outdoor environment, over the course of a weekend. However, due to restrictions with the current COVID-19 pandemic, a different approach was offered: an online Trainer course. The course was completed over the course of a week, from the homes of the participants and instructors over Zoom calls. This way, each of the participants could safely learn the material and still be trained in a timely manner.
While the experience lacked the luster of an outdoor setting, I still enjoyed the course. The spread of the information over several days allowed the messages to really sink in with me, and with the reduced group size I felt a close connection to both my fellow participants and the instructors that taught us. With this class I was able to broaden and strengthen my knowledge of LNT and its importance for protecting the natural environment.
LNT is an important part of Scouting that can be easily overlooked or forgotten. Learning to take care of the environment, for both ourselves and those who come after us, helps preserve the beauty and experiences people seek in the outdoors. With the new information acquired from this class, I am confident in bringing the material to my unit as an older Scout, to my OA Chapter as the Camping Promotions Chairman, and to everyone that I continue to meet in the future as a Leave No Trace Trainer. I continue to aim to protect the outdoors and improve the enjoyment of people- Scouts, Scouters, and the general public- while in nature.