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The Boy Scouts of America is pleased to partner with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors. Scouting and Leave No Trace share a common commitment to ethical use of the outdoors. The National Council is pleased to announce the following steps that Scouting is taking to enhance the partnership.
New Boy Scout Second and First Class Rank Requirements

Effective January 1, 2010, the following requirements emphasizing knowledge and practice of Leave No Trace skills and ethics are included in the Second Class and First Class rank requirements:

Second Class

2. Discuss the principles of Leave No Trace.

First Class

3. Since joining, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight. Demonstrate the principles of Leave No Trace on these outings.

New Boy Scout Position of Responsibility: Leave No Trace Trainer

Also effective January 1, Leave No Trace Trainer is added to the list of positions of responsibility that a Boy Scout or a Varsity Scout may use to fulfill the position of responsibility requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle Scout (the omission from Eagle Scout in the new Boy Scout Handbook is a typographical error). The official position description and qualifications for this position of responsibility are as follows:

Leave No Trace Trainer

The troop Leave No Trace Trainer helps minimize impact on the land by teaching members the principles of Leave No Trace and improving Scouts’ outdoor ethics decision-making skills. The senior patrol leader may appoint a Scout, 14 years or older who has successfully completed the official 16-hour Leave No Trace Trainer training course, to serve as the troop Leave No Trace Trainer. A Scout under the age of 14, or who has not completed Leave No Trace Trainer training, may serve as an instructor teaching Leave No Trace skills until he obtains the necessary training.

A Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer may take any 16-hour Leave No Trace Trainer course from a Leave No Trace Master Educator to qualify for the troop, team, or crew position of responsibility. The BSA is seeking to have one or more BSA-affiliated Master Educators in each council to provide this training. Information on courses available in the local area should be available from the local council’s Outdoor Ethics Advocate.

BSA-Sponsored Leave No Trace Master Educator Courses

The National Council sponsors Leave No Trace Master Educator courses across the United States. A Master Educator course teaches Master Educators how to teach the Leave No Trace Trainer course, which is the 16-hour qualifying course for a youth to serve in the troop, team, or crew position of responsibility.

Local councils wishing to sponsor this five-day course (weeklong or two weekends) should contact Outdoor Programs at A copy of the application to conduct a Master Educator course is available at

BSA-Sponsored Leave No Trace Trainer Courses

Local councils are encouraged to recruit Leave No Trace Master Educators:

  • to conduct BSA-sponsored Leave No Trace Trainer courses
  • to train individuals to work with units and training staffs
  • to help BSA volunteers understand the Leave No Trace program
  • to help youth complete the requirements for Second and First Class rank

In addition, the Trainer course is required if youth in your council will hold the Leave No Trace Trainer position of responsibility. Coordinating this training is the responsibility of the council Outdoor Ethics Advocate.

Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate Volunteer Position

Because of the training and coordination demands of the Leave No Trace and BSA outdoor ethics program, the new council-level volunteer position of Outdoor Ethics Advocate was created in 2007. The position description is available at The Outdoor Ethics Advocate coordinates recruiting of potential Leave No Trace Master Educators and Trainers, arranges for training, and interfaces with the council training staff to help ensure that training teaches current low-impact methods, answers questions from local unit leaders, and prepares reports.

All councils are encouraged to appoint an Outdoor Ethics Advocate. Please send name and contact information to

Questions about Leave No Trace may be directed to

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