Boy Scouts of America and The Environment

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Adam Tuttle in his uniform with an Eagle Scout badge.

Most of us know that boy scouts go on camping trips and earn badges. But did you know that boy scouts also make a commitment to our environment? Through education and outreach, boy scouts have a positive impact on America’s environment. Conservation has been an integral part of the program since 1910.

The Environmental Science badge focuses on making observations and carrying out experiments. These experiments are important in helping boy scouts understand the environment and how people can damage or positively contribute to the environment. These experiments include analyzing air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, and ecology. One project for earning this badge could be to raise funds to address the pollution problem, or to recruit a community to adopt creek walking.

Image via TreeHugger.

The Sustainability badge requires a boy scout to go beyond the Environmental Science badge in looking at issues such as water pollution. This badge requires a boy scout to look ahead and have a positive impact on our environment by conserving water, food, and energy. Once a boy scout understands the negative effects of pollution on our environment, he can then address conservation to help sustain our environment. Conservation will in turn help reduce the pollution in our environment.

Both of these badges are important to our environment. However, there is a secondary outcome to boy scouts earning these badges. Through these efforts, the boy scouts are learning about science in the world. This in turn helps them become keen natural observers who will have positive effects on our environment beyond the years they are in the boy scouts.

Posted by Mark Contorno

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