HELP CONSERVE WILDLIFE, ENERGY, FORESTS,
SOIL, AND WATER
Since 1910, conservation has been an integral part of the
program of the Boys Scouts of America. The BSA has been a positive force
in conservation and environmental efforts. Scouts have rendered distinguished
public service by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil,
and water. Past generations of Scouts have been widely recognized for
undertaking conservation Good Turn action projects in their local communities.
Scouts of today have grown up with words such as ecosystem
and bio-diversity. They recognized the need for, and the benefits of,
conserving natural resources. Scouts understand that we all must work
together for the betterment of the land, forests, wildlife, air, and water.
Much has been accomplished in recent years by individual
Scouts and through unit conservation Good Turns. Much more needs to be
Beginning in 1995, the Boy Scouts of America will do much
Support Your Local Conservationists
The Conservation Good Turn is an opportunity for Cub Scout
packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Explorer posts to join
with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local,
or private) to carry out a conservation Good Turn in their home communities.
- The Scouting unit contacts a conservation agency and
offers to carry out a Good Turn project.
- The agency identifies a worthwhile and needed project
that the unit can accomplish.
- Working together in the local community, the unit and
the agency plan the details and establish the date, time and location
for carrying out the project.
Many federal agencies are resources for the BSAs Conservation
Good Turn. These agencies include
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Soil Conservation Service
- Forest Service
- Extension Service
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Park Service
- Geological Survey
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Reclamation
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A Conservation Good Turn certificate is available at the
council service center for units that participate and report on their
efforts. The application is on the back of this brochure. A Conservation
Good Turn patch is also available for purchase at the council service
center to recognize individual youth and adult members who participate
in a meaningful conservation project.
The World Conservation Award provides another opportunity
for individual Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Explores to
think globally and act locally to preserve and
improve our environment. This program is designed to make Scouts and Explorer
aware that all nations are closely related through natural resources and
that we are interdependent with our world environment. Applications for
this award are available at the council service center.
Conservation and environmental agencies typically have a
backlog of needed projects that they have been unable to carry out, for
lack of funding or volunteers. The list of possible Good Turn projects
is limited only by the needs of the agency and the willingness of the
Scouting unit. In every community, whether urban, suburban, or rural,
worthwhile projects await all Scouting units.
Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts
Cub Scouting conservation projects should involve the entire Cub Scout
pack, each den, adult leaders, and family members. Hands-on projects help
Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts realize that everyone can do things to care
for the environment. Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts participating in the
Conservation Good Turn can also meet some advancement requirements. Suggested
projects include, but are not limited to
- Plant grasses, trees, shrubs, and ground cover to stop
- As a den or pack, adopt a park. Remove litter and garbage
from a favorite neighborhood recreation area or park.
- Organize or participate in a recycling program in your
neighborhood, or visit a recycling center.
- Arrange a natural resources awareness program. Invite
natural resource professionals such as wildlife biologists, soil conservationists,
foresters, or conservation officers to speak to your pack
- Participate in a beach or waterfront cleanup. Record
the items collected and determine the possible harmful effects to wildlife.
With your participation, develop a plan to educate the public about
the dangers posed to wildlife.
- From a local, state, or national organization that is
concerned about environmental protection, obtain suggestions for den
and pack projects to improve the environment.
- As a den or pack, visit a public utility to learn about
the wise use of resources, and become involved in programs offered by
utilities to help consumers conserve resources.
- Contact the camp ranger or BSA local council property
superintendent for information about camp needs and plans. Establish
a nature trail, plant vegetation, or carry out other needed projects
as requested by the camp ranger.
Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts
Scouts participating in the Conservation Good Turn can meet certain rank
and merit badge requirements. Troops and teams should consider advancement
requirements when selecting projects to carry out. Suggested projects
include, but not limited to
- Plant shrubs to provide food and cover for wildlife.
- Build and set out bird and squirrel nesting boxes.
- Conduct stream improvement projects to prevent erosion.
- Plant grasses and legumes to provide ground cover in
schoolyards, public parks, and recreation areas.
- Plant tree seedlings as part of a managed forestry plan.
- Help thin and prune woodlands in a managed tree improvement
- With a local forester, take part in or conduct a forest
fire prevention program.
- Make an exhibit on conservation for a county fair.
- Develop a nature trail in a public park.
- Assist a local forester in a tree insect and disease-control
or public education project.
- Assist a local agency with a trout stream restoration
- Participate in wildlife or wildfowl count.
- Conduct a rodent-control and public health education
program under the guidance of the local health department or agency
responsible for rodent control.
Explorer posts or a cluster of posts can conduct an areawide inventory
of environmental needs. Posts can individually or jointly plan, organize,
and carry out an areawide environmental improvement project. Suggested
project ideas include, but are not limited to the following:
- Organize a recycling campaign.
- Visit a legislative body in session to understand the
legislative process and how to become active citizens in the community.
- Participate in a National Wildlife Federation program
at the community level.
- Plan and carry out a community environmental improvement
- Adopt a pond, stream, or park; keep it well maintained
- Participate in Keep America Beautiful Day.
- Research career opportunities in the fields of conversation
and the environment and publish your findings for distribution to other
- Conduct a national high-adventure base conservation
- Participate in National Hunting and Fishing Day.
- Paint public buildings or maintain the grounds.
- Under the guidance of the local parks and recreation
department, prune trees on public grounds
for an application form (pdf)