Outdoor Ethics Training
These scouts are carefully screening food bits out of waste water before disposing of it. Are your scouts well versed in Outdoor Ethics? How would they dispose of this water and the food bits?
I spent my weekend at scout camp on staff presenting a Leave No Trace Trainer course to 14 participants, 9 from one Venture Crew. What a fun time! We covered the seven LNT principles, each participant practicing teaching a topic out in the woods. We practiced the principles around camp, too.
I was responsible for supplying meals for the gang, so of course it included Dutch Oven Cooking. The scouts did a great job of minimizing fire impact, disposing of waste properly, and respecting wildlife, while I think I did good with the plan ahead and prepare bit.
To demonstrate how planning ahead can help minimize impact, I repackaged all the meal ingredients into zip-loc baggies. I also cooked the meat at home. I froze the zip-locs so they all stayed cool in storage until we used them. Making a meal was easy - just grab the right bags, dump the contents into the dutch oven, and heat. The only garbage at camp was one large zip-loc full of all the other bags and the small amount of uneaten food from one meal.
I should have taken a picture of the 28 food cans that I emptied, cleaned, and recycled at home instead of bringing them outdoors.
With a new group this large, it's challenging to know how much to make since some people may be picky eaters, or big eaters. The three dutch ovens of Cowboy Stew for lunch was scraped clean. The Frito Casserole for dinner virtually disappeared. And, it was a good thing I listened to advice and bought more cookies than I thought were needed. I bought a package of every kind of Oreo on the shelf, from Birthday Cake to Mint - I didn't realize just how many versions there are now. There's practically an Oreo Aisle at the store!
The McPancakes for Sunday breakfast could have gone better. They tasted great and were all eaten, but the pancake batter didn't behave very well. Oh well.
Some of the participant presentations were lots of fun. Various props brought as teaching aids included inflatable animals, burned garbage, a Powerpoint presentation, a potato, coloring pages, and pictures of recent non-LNT behavior from the internet.
Everyone got to practice making a mound fire of sorts - on sand, in a pie tin, resting on two branches above a picnic table. The small twiggy fires were enough to roast marshmallows for s'mores so I'd say there were successful.
And, of course, everyone dug catholes, too. That's a given for any LNT training.
Outdoor Ethics is an integral part of Scouting advancement now from Tigers through First Class. The Outdoor Ethics Guide position of responsibility can be very useful to help other scouts learn skills to minimize impact, but the entire pack/troop/crew culture needs to include respecting and caring for the outdoor world.
It isn't more work to minimize impact - it's just the way we do it. Is it how your Scouting unit does it, too?
Posted: 9:34 10-18-2016 1308
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