Outdoor Ethics Patch and Pictures

Frequently Asked Questions

* New 2016 Boy Scout Requirements

Q:   Where can I find information on the 2016 Boy Scout Requirements changes?
A: The BSA's Program Updates page (www.scouting.org/programupdates) has information on the changes:
First Class Tread Lightly! Requirement
Q: Tread Lightly! seems to focus on motorized activities. Is this age-appropriate for Scouts working on First Class (requirement 1b)?
A:While Tread Lightly! promotes safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors, it also provides educational material and guidance in other areas such as camping, hiking, geocaching, fishing, snow sports, mountain biking, and shooting sports. See www.treadlightly.org/education/learn/recreation-tips for more information. Introducing Tread Lightly! principles at this time will help to prepare a Scout for future outings where they might be needed. It should also be noted that Tread Lightly! is included in requirements for the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award and the Outdoor Ethics Action Award from Boy Scouting through Venturing. See http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/awards.
Positions of Responsibility
Q: The Leave No Trace trainer position is now called an outdoor ethics guide. Are there any specific requirements for a Scout to hold this new position of responsibility?
A:There is no required training, but there are many resources for the OE Guide to learn about the Leave No Trace, the Outdoor Code, Tread Lightly!, and the Land Ethic. Expectations for youth serving as outdoor ethics guides are published in the 13th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, and will be in updated printings of the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, Patrol Leader Handbook, and Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.

Note that outdoor ethics guide is no longer a qualifying position for Venturers, as it is not an official leadership position in the Venturing or Sea Scouting programs.

Troop Outdoor Ethics Guide Position Description

Q: Suppose a Scout began his six-month term as Leave No Trace trainer on Sept. 1, 2015. How would he complete the last two months of his term?
A:For September through December, he would be credited with Leave No Trace trainer as his position of responsibility. For the last two months, he would be credited as an outdoor ethics guide, and his obligation for this position of responsibility would be complete.

* Outdoor Ethics Awareness and Action Awards

Q:   Requirement No. 5 for the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Awards and requirement 4 for the Boy Scout or Varsity Outdoor Ethics Action Award refer to a person "who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course ... " What is considered an orientation course?
A:The person who can facilitate the outdoor ethics activity or check the Action Award requirement is any of the following:
  • a Leave No Trace Master Educator or Trainer
  • a Tread Lightly! Master Tread Trainer or Tread Trainer
  • a person who has completed the BSA Leave No Trace 101 course or earned the BSA Leave No Trace Awareness Card (101 course equivalent)
  • a person who has completed the BSA Outdoor Ethics Orientation course
  • any individual designated by a council outdoor ethics advocate or, in the absence of an advocate, the Scout executive or his or her designee, to facilitate the "outdoor ethics activity."
Q:Where can I get these awards?
  • Many council scout shops stock the OE Awareness Award patches (SKU 618280), they can order them for you, or you can order them at www.scoutstuff.org.
  • Because the OE Action Award name badges (SKU 618977) are restricted and must be customized, they must be ordered through your local council scout shop. Take your completed application form.
Q:The Action Award requires a service project. What kinds of things can I do.
  • The award brochures give a few examples of projects.
  • More info can be found in this reference.
Q:Who "Signs Off" these awards
  • The unit leader authorizes the Awareness and Action Awards. Ideally the requirements are checked by a leader who has taken the Leave No Trace 101 course, or by a Leave No Trace Master Educator or Trainer.
Q:Where are the awards worn on the scout uniform?
  • The Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award is considered a temporary patch:
    • The patch is worn centered on the right pocket ...
    • Female leaders ... may wear one temporary insignia centered above the Boy Scouts of America or Venturing BSA strip (above the right pocket).
    • Boy Scouts may wear temporary patches on the back of the merit badge sash.
  • The OE Action Award is a nameplate:
    • ... above right pocket, either above BSA strip or above interpreter strip.
    (For more details, please see: Guide to Awards and Insignia)
    (From OE Task Force meeting, Jan 18, 2015)
Q:Boy (or adult) earned the OE Action Award as Cub Scout (or Cub leader) before the award was retired, then joins Boy Scouts. Can the award (name tag) be worn on the Boy Scout uniform?
  • The OE Action Award with the small Cub Scout emblem can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform.
  • The scout (adult) is encouraged to earn the Boy Scout OE Action Award and add the small Boy Scout emblem to the award.
    (From OE Task Force meeting, Jan 18, 2015)

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