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LEAVE NO TRACE


HALL OF FAME Garbage: Don’t leave camp without it. Whatever it takes—a police line, a require- ment that each Scout pick up 10 pieces of litter, or a detour on a canoe trip to collect shoreside refuse (below, right)—make sure that “leave what you find” doesn’t refer to trash. Campfires can create garbage, too. So if you can’t use a stove (which leaves no trace), make sure your blaze is small and uses dead or downed wood.


FIRE PITFALLS The experts we spoke with said camp- fires are the biggest Leave No Trace problem they see. “You talk to back- country rangers, and they’ll say, ‘I’ve cleaned up a thousand fire pits in my career, and I’m just sick and tired of it,’” Jeff Marion says. While campfires are sometimes


10 of the Fieldbook are also great resources for Scouts on Leave No Trace principles.


LEAVE Only Footprints From an early age, Scouts learn to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. Leave No Trace is simply an organized way to put that adage into action. Leave No Trace can do some-


thing else, too. It can help improve Scouting’s reputation among land managers—many of whom have


encountered too many Scouts who have left too many traces. “Scouts are oftentimes not met at


the door with open arms,” says Wade M. Vagias, Ph.D., the National Park Service’s outdoor ethics coordinator. “We’re working to change the para- digm and move in a better direction.” And that’s a great set of footprints


to leave. ¿


Eagle Scout MARK RAY writes frequently for Scouting and the Eagle Scout magazines.


appropriate, you should never create new fire pits, burn wood that’s bigger around than your wrist, cut down trees for firewood, dispose of trash in fire pits, or transport wood over long distances (which can spread inva- sive insects such as the emerald ash borer). Instead, collect small, dead, and downed wood from near your camp- site, build your fire in an existing fire ring or on a durable surface, and burn the wood to ash. “We’re not saying you can’t have


campfires,” Marion says. “But a low- impact campfire is very different than the traditional campfire Boy Scouts built in ages past.”


MARCH•APRIL 2012 ¿ S COUTING 35


MICHAEL EUDENBACH


ERIC ZAMORA


W. GARTH DOWLING


W. GARTH DOWLING


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