Good Evening All,
My son is working on his Life rank. He has decided he wants to be the Troop Outdoor Ethics Guide. He has an interest in pursuing a career in a conservation field and feels like this would be a good match for him. Both of us are going to a Leave No Trace Trainer class at the first of April. The class is NOT required for the position he wants, but he realizes it would help him perform the duties of the position better by giving him tools to do the job right.
I applaud him taking the course. He will certainly learn a great deal and become a great advocate for outdoor ethics. While the training is not required, the Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly are noted as "Basic Training". While the BSA does not come out and say it, it is expected that Outdoor Ethics Guides take these two modules at a minimum. There are a few other suggested training here. We suggest to all our guides to take these modules to help them perform their role best. It would be very hard to be an outdoor ethics advocate without taking these.
I know him taking the class is not considered a service "project" in the strictest sense of the word "project" so I am unsure whether to expect the SM to give him credit for taking the class toward his life service hours. He has something else planned if that does not work out. What would you do? Credit classroom hours to that requirement or not? He is already planning on doing the teaching and follow-up necessary to allow the scouts in the troop to get the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Patch. So, in a way, he is doing this for a project.
Taking training is simply training. It is not service hours. He will get credit for taking the training and should show on his record as having been trained; much like guys going to NYLT show as NYLT trained.
Whether or not the classroom hours are counted for the Life requirement, I feel he should at least get credit for the classroom hours toward the National Outdoor Award for Conservation. How do you feel about that one?
There is no such thing as "classroom credit" for the National Outdoor Award for Conservation. The requirements are simple.
- Req #1 is rank based. The class does not confer rank so attending the class has no impact.
- Req #2 *might* be credited *if* he demonstrates the use of the five tools AND discusses their ethical use.
- Req #3 is merit badge based.The class does not teach these merit badges so attending the class has no impact.
- Req #4 is service hour based, but specifically Boy Scout service hours that are conservation related, ergo not classroom work.
- HOWEVER, part of this requirement can be met if, in doing Req# 1-3, the Scout engaged in service...in other words, WORK (not classroom). So if during the tools demo the class worked on a trail, those hours would count. If they simply sat in a classroom and learned how to use the tools the hours would NOT count because not service (or work) was done.
If he truly wants to have a career in conservation I would encourage you to really have him work, sweat and toil the 25 service hours doing true conservation work. Learn what it is really like. It is HARD work with little pay. There is a ton of classroom learning required for which you get classroom credit, not service credit. And when you get in the field you work 10-14 hours and still need to cook and clean. Relaxing is looking at the stars or watching a thunderstorm.
I would NOT recommend you (or the Scoutmaster) read too much in to any of these requirements. This training -- and the associated awards -- are meant to be difficult to get. To be brutally honest, even thinking about applying classroom time as credit towards service hours tells me that you might be seeking an easy path for your Scout rather than having him work hard to get the award.
I don't mean to be rude, but that's the feeling I get from the original post.
Edited by Col. Flagg, 21 February 2017 - 10:24 AM.