Tread Lightly! Principles Incorporated into Curriculum for Scouts to earn a New Outdoor Ethics Award

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (January 22, 2013) – Tread Lightly!, a national nonprofit organization promoting responsible recreation, has taken a giant step forward with its partnership with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) – a relationship officially formed in June, 2010 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.BoyScouts

The giant step comes in the form of major changes the BSA has announced to their Outdoor Ethics program.  Beginning this month, the message of Tread Lightly! and its principles are now officially a prominent part of curriculum required for a Scout to earn the new Outdoor Ethics award.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about this evolution in our partnership with the Scouts,” said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!’s executive director.  “With the incorporation of Tread Lightly!’s principles into their outdoor ethics programming, BSA is retiring what was previously known as a Leave No Trace award and introducing a new Outdoor Ethics award and teaching a broader curriculum to America’s youth.”

Meredith Blackwood, Occoneechee Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate and Tread Trainer, said, “We’re excited to reinforce the Tread Lightly! principles within the world’s largest youth organization and empower scouts, both boys and girls, from all over the nation on how to Tread Lightly! to keep respected access open access.”

According to Brian Gray, the National Outdoor Program Coordinator, the new Outdoor Ethics Award program has three components.

– The Awareness Award, which is an award tailored for youth and adults just joining the program that introduces them to BSA outdoor ethics principles, such as the Outdoor Code and the principles of Tread Lightly! and Leave No Trace. The award is a patch and is earned once by any BSA member.

– The Action Award, which is an award tailored for youth that have been participating in the BSA program for a while and wish to deepen their understanding of outdoor ethics and improve their skills in implementing them. This is primarily a youth award, although it has an adult counterpart that recognizes adults who support youth in earning the award. The award is a specially-designed nametag and may be earned at each BSA program level.

– Service Recognition, which recognizes youth or adults who have completed advanced training as a Leave No Trace Trainer or Master Educator or a Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer or Master Tread Trainer, or have served as a council Outdoor Ethics Advocate or staffer on training courses, and have used that training to help teach others outdoor ethics principles. The service award(s) are reflected on the specially-designed name tag referenced above and can be earned once by a qualified BSA member.

Tread Lightly!’s educational message, along with its training and restoration initiatives, are designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in all outdoor enthusiasts.  The overall goal of the organization is to balance the needs of people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain a healthy environment.

“Tread Lightly! encourages responsible recreation today so that future generations can enjoy the same types of recreation without fear of restricted access due to irresponsible behavior,” said Jason Ketterick, Tread Lightly!’s Training and Education Programs Manager.

The TREAD Principles, a staple in Tread Lightly!’s education cache, summarizes the overall ethic:

  • Travel responsibly
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Educate yourself
  • Avoid sensitive areas
  • Do your part

More information on the new Outdoor Ethics Program can be found here.

Tread Lightly! is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs. Tread Lightly!’s educational message, along with its training and restoration initiatives are strategically designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them.  The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain a healthy environment.  Tread Lightly! offers unique programs and services to help remedy current recreation issues. Individuals and businesses can commit to Tread Lightly! and protect outdoor access by becoming a member at www.treadlightly.org.



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