Since 1910, conservation has been an integral part of the program of the Boy 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.
Scouts of today have grown up hearing words such as ecosystem, biodiversity, and climate change. They recognize 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 done.
Support Your Local Conservationists
The Conservation Good Turn is an opportunity for Cub Scout packs 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 BSA’s Conservation Good Turn. These agencies include:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Forest Service
- Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Park Service
- Geological Survey
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Bureau of Reclamation
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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, worthwhile projects await all Scouting units.
Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts
Cub Scout conservation projects should involve the entire pack, adult leaders, and family. Hands-on projects help Cub Scouts realize that everyone can do things to care for the environment. Suggested projects include, but are not limited to:
- Plant grasses, trees, shrubs, and ground cover to stop soil erosion.
- 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 youth 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.