Scoutmaster Musings - Leave No Trace Trainer

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Leave No Trace Trainer
Here's the new Leave No Trace Trainer patch for the troop leadership position starting in January.

I have not yet seen the requirements or expectations of holding that position, except for rumors that completing an official "Leave No Trace Trainer" course is required before wearing the patch.

A LNT Trainer course runs about 16 hours over a weekend. Once a scout completes the LNT Trainer course, he can then lead LNT Workshops which are typically around 2 hours of training to present the seven LNT Principles. Participants that complete a LNT Workshop can receive a certificate which is required to backpack in some wilderness areas. This is perfect for this position and I expect the LNT scout will be asked to present workshops each year.

We've been having scouts present LNT principles within our troop and to local Cub Scout dens already, so we've got guys that could step into this role now if they want. There are some fun, interactive ways to present the principles at which give a taste of LNT in a short, active session - not enough to call it a workshop or get a certificate, but good introduction or supplements.

LNT Trainer courses typically cost $25 to $75 - even the low end of that will put a real damper on scouts stepping up to this new position. I hope some of the plans for this new position include a lower-cost way to train the scouts. And, with such an expense, I expect troops will want a scout to stay in the role for more than the usual 4 or 6 months needed for rank advancement.

I'm a LNT Master Educator and am excited that LNT is being promoted in the BSA a little more now. The changes in the new Scout Handbook and this new position give LNT more exposure. Now, we need to follow through and train scouts and scouters in how to follow LNT principles as our normal practice.

There is a website under construction at that appears to be a BSA site about the Leave No Trace program. The domain name was registered this spring to a person in "northwest region venturing" and the contact email on the site is a address. Maybe this will be the home for LNT in the BSA at some point.

Scout On

Posted: 7:55 10-21-2009 453
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 Feb 23, 2010 - Baloo
Have you had a chance the read the latest Scout Handbook with the new requirements yet? It says he should have completed Leave No Trace training which is vague and not a clear cut yes or no. An update would be helpful on your opinion on if the training being required for the position. Especially when no LNT Scout Trainer training is available at our Council. Thanks
Feb 24, 2010 - Scoutmaster Paul
Yes, the LNT Trainer position description doesn't help much. But, the BSA Leave No Trace Task Force has said that a scout needs to be 14 years old and have completed the official LNT Trainer course before taking on this troop position. That LNT Trainer course is about 16 hours.

The site has more info in it, so work seems to be slowly chugging along. Especially which lists some BSA LNT training which I've yet to see but am hopeful for.

I've found lots of "under development" statements on many sites.
Mar 09, 2010 - Scoutmaster Clark
I am a Scoutmaster and the District Outdoor Activities Chair in an overseas district. It is challenging and very costly for our scouts to partake in training opportunities in the USA. I have Life & Eagle Scouts who would be ideal to become a LNT trainer. Plz send me the LNT Trainer program of instruction so I conduct such training here. BTW, we do not have a Master Educator trainer here. If a ME is required, how can I become one overseas?

Yours in Scouting
Mar 30, 2010 - Kayla Sloan
do you have any idea where on the uniform the patch is to be sewn?

Mar 30, 2010 - Scoutmaster Paul
It is a leadership position patch and goes in the same spot the SPL, PL, Historian, ... patches go on the left sleeve.
Apr 23, 2010 - Tom Hayes
If you look on you will see the BSA requirements for Youth Training. It does not require the full weekend or fees. Simple review of the 7 principals and a test. Most of our troops have made that the requirement for the new LNT Instructor position.
May 02, 2010 - Bill
The LNT Task Force has now solidified the Troop Leave No Trace Trainer position to being a certified LNT Trainer. The requirements for being a certified LNT Trainer are to have completed the trainer course and being a registered member of LNT - COE. This requires scouts to be 14. Any other scouts who want to be troop instructors can do this but the CAN NOT be considered Troop Leave No Trace Trainers and CAN NOT certify in Leave No Trace Awareness (including presenting the BSA LNT Awareness Card)
May 02, 2010 - Bill
To echo what I just said, here is the page from the BSA Outdoor Ethics page
May 09, 2010 - DeAnna
I understand age requirements for things like climbing at some camps (insurance) and some shooting sports but why in the world have an age requirement for learning concepts and presenting them to a class? Is there something magical that happens between 12 and 14? Nope. For BSA there should be an age waiver or there will be significant problems implementing this effectively across the board.
May 16, 2010 - Jeff Indykiewicz
My son is now working on his Eagle Scout project.It is in the area of conservation.He wants to help younger scouts learn and understand more about outdoor ethics and the outdoor code. He has earned the 1st of the very rare William T.Hornaday award for conservation both the Unit level award the Hornaday badge. I teach leave no trace outdoor ethics now and now my son is looking for more info as am I on LNT trainer positions. Is there anyone who will help with info on these positions and is there anything for adults to continue to teach kids?
May 16, 2010 - Jeff Indykiewicz
DEANNA, It is imprtant that we all understand that while children develope at differnt stages physically,as well as emotionally. The guidelines are set up based on how most children acquire and achieve.Based on many of the physical challenges they will come across during the stages of development in their scouting and every day life. As an Assistant Scoutmaster and parent I see the different stages every day in our own Troop as well as in my own back yard. I am quite sure you see the same.The other big difference is the mentality change. The 14 year old thought process and how they handle resolve and work together is completely different and accented in COPE courses. DO not be discouraged, be encouraged that people long before us have thought about their safety and well being.
Jeff Indykiewicz
May 20, 2010 - Ray
Is there a new LNT trainer position for Venture Crews?
Apr 13, 2011 - Dan
Reading all of the posts here, I am getting the understanding that the Leave No Trace Trainer position has an age requirement. Where do I find the documentation that supports this? As a scoutmaster, I need to understand the reasoning and be able to back it up when I confirm or deny the selection for this position. Thanks
Apr 13, 2011 - Scoutmaster Paul
Dan - How about
May 23, 2011 - Julie Drabek
just wondering how scout troops are teaching leave no trace to scouts to get their rank, when the leaders haven't been through the leave no trace training, and there is no scout in the LNT trainer position? 20 minutes of talking about leave no trace, shouldn't count, that just begins to cover 1 LNT principle!
May 23, 2011 - Scoutmaster Paul
Julie - The seven LNT principles aren't too complicated. Anyone can learn them and share them with others. There's a page on each principle in the Scout Handbook that is a good intro.
I'm doing a 2hour LNT presentation on Wednesday to our troop and church group that's going backpacking this summer. That's one way we're teaching the scouts.

Scoutmaster Paul
Jan 31, 2012 - Cody
Does anyone know where I can find a training coarse
Jan 31, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Cody - you could contact your district or council training chair, or your council's Outdoor Ethics Advocate. If that all fails, you can find training sessions and LNT trainers on
Apr 03, 2013 - John
I'm a Scoutmaster & very much an environmentalist. LNT Trainer should not be a Troop Leadership position. No other Troop Leadership position requires 16 hours of training & $$$$. I've taken several of the modules & if anything it can be reduced to 1-2 hours max! My Wilderness 1st Aid course was 16-18 hours & a lot more valuable than what a Scout will gain from this course. If BSA truly wants to promote more LNT principles, they need to be realistic & design a Leadership position that concentrates on the 7 principles. Otherwise, the majority of the Troops will just ignore or skim over this. DWe can do more with promoting LNT by being with the Scouts in the outdoors vs. sitting in a classroom & it will be a lot more fun.
Apr 04, 2013 - Scouter Paul
John - I don't know what 'modules' you are refering to, but it sounds like you did not attend an LNT Trainer course.  In such  a course, you should not be sitting in a classroom, but be out practicing and presenting the LNT principles.  You have missed out on A LOT of what should be included in an LNT Trainer course if you believe it can be completed in 1 hour!

The LNT Trainer requirement is a condition between the LNT organization and the BSA in order to offer the LNT Trainer position of responsibility to scouts.  It may change as alternative LNT training opportunities are developed, but for now, the requirements are in place.

It is completely acceptable for a troop to place a scout in the Instructor position and have him present LNT principles as part of his responsibilities.  This requires no official LNT training, and the Instructor patch is used rather than the LNT Trainer patch.

Apr 06, 2013 - John
To Scouter Paul-Our Council put on the "modules" in our Roundtable (a room).So if the modules are intended to be outdoors, that is a positive.Philmont was also outdoors & great for LNT. But I stand by my observation that 16 hours is unnecessary. A Scouting  leadership position in the Troop that most Scouts hold for 6 months should not require anymore training than the other positions. As often happens with new programs in organizations, the initial proposal tends to overstep it's realistic goals. Why not instead of using an Instructor Leadership position as a smokescreen to being a Leave no Trace position,as you propose,to actually have a position with reasonable training requirements so as to promote LNT that Scouting wants to present. We are in agreement in principle, I hope open dialog continues so as to achieve goals.If we want to make an advanced Leave No Trace Award, I'm all for it. Much like the Religious Emblems.
Jun 06, 2013 - Chad
The lnt modules that you attended, John, were put on by lnt trainers to help educate other leaders in your council about the lnt principles. The 16 hour training course is done by the organization leave not trace so that people can become a lnt trainer. In order for bsa to also have lnt trainers, scouters (adult and youth) are required to go through the 16 hour training done by lnt. That is the only way to get the trainer position. However, the instructor position (which is recognized by bsa but NOT lnt) does not require the 16 hour course.    
Oct 03, 2013 - Nick
I've read most of your comments...I am a Leave No Trace Master educator and the Tennessee State Advocate for Leave No Trace...You are correct in saying in order to be a leave no trace trainer (youth or adult) you must take the Leave No Trace trainer course for a minimum of 16-hrs. It must be taught by a  trained Leave No Trace master educator. We usually do this on a weekend which makes it great, usually it's required to be in an outdoor setting and we keeps the cost down to a minimum...We also issue pins, patches, etc. to the graduates of this course. The BSA has it's own requirements and guidelines for teaching this course, and of course the age requirement. You can download the BSA course from the Leave No Trace website (

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