Earth Day has a special place in our organization’s culture– as our members know, responsible stewardship of the planet is key to being a good Scout. Since BSA’s early beginnings, Scouts have been caring for the planet. The organization’s “Leave No Trace” principles demonstrate how Scouts show respect for the great outdoors.
BSA makes a point to recognize other friends of the planet with the Hornaday Awards, which honor not only Scouting units, Scouts, Venturers, adult Scouting volunteers, but also other individuals, corporations, and institutions that contribute to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.
Scouting and Sustainability Go Hand-In-Hand
Caring for the environment is considered one of the core values of Scouting, which is why BSA and its members are constantly taking action to champion sustainability and conservation.
Take for example, Scout Will O., from the Spirit of Adventure Council, who created a seed library for his Eagle Scout project. The library allows local gardeners to “borrow” seeds to plant in their gardens. Once those plants yield fresh seeds, the gardeners return the new seeds to the library for fellow growers to use. Will’s project doesn’t just build community spirit; borrowing from the seed library also helps cultivate local plant variety.
BSA National High-Adventure Base, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is another phenomenal example of sustainability in Scouting. This February, the Summit officially received certification from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), an organization highly-regarded for third-party forest management standards. SFI recognized the Summit for meeting the Forest Management (FM) Standard in the management of more than 14,000 acres of West Virginia forest where the High-Adventure Base operates.
The Summit joins BSA’s Philmont Scout Ranch in receiving the SFI-FM certification, further demonstrating that environmental responsibility is a priority throughout the organization. In fact, we’re on a mission to plant one million trees at the Summit and other BSA properties. Visit A Place to Give to learn how you can help plant a tree in the spirit of Earth Day.
To find out more about Scouting’s role in conservation and environmental stewardship, head to GreentoDeepGreen.org.
Celebrate Earth Day at a National Park
If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Earth Day this week, how does a free visit to a national park sound? The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have teamed up to present National Park Week! In celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, visitors will receive free admission to any of our beautiful national parks from April 16 to 24, 2016. Learn more about this event here and start planning your Earth Day adventure!
How does your council celebrate Earth Day? Share your favorite environmentally-focused activities it in the comments!