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Leave No Trace Trainer and Service Hours


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#1 robhixkg

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 07:47 PM

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 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.

 

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?

Just trying to feel out the consensus among others.  We will happily live with whatever decision his Scoutmaster makes on this.

 

Thanks in advance for your opinion.

 


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#2 Stosh

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:39 PM

I would be a bit hesitant to count conservation training as a service project only because that time is devoted to oneself, not others.  One could stretch it a bit further by saying training of others is service, but if one is looking for actual service with no questions asked, maybe the trained boy could take his class out for field work and do that as a service project.  He as instructor would "take the lead" on that and score up some leadership skills in the process.

 

I guess I see service done "in the field" so to speak, not the classroom, either as student or teacher

 

Just my take on it, I'm sure others have theirs as well.


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#3 Back Pack

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:57 PM

That's training not service hours.

Helping the troop get the badge is not service hours that's fulfilling a role.

Perform some service like trail clean up? That's service hours.

Edited by Back Pack, 20 February 2017 - 09:59 PM.

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#4 qwazse

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 06:17 AM

Not service anymore than reading a MB pamphlet or attending NYLT is service.

It sounds like great preparation for service. And I think he should look into unique opportunities that he can have outside of his troop (e.g., schools, youth groups, etc ...) once he completes his training.

Let us know what your son thinks of the course.


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#5 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:22 AM

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.

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#6 JasonG172

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:30 AM

I agree that I wouldn't consider it service hours unless he was teaching the class.


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#7 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:34 AM

I agree that I wouldn't consider it service hours unless he was teaching the class.

 

That's instructing, not service IMHO.


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#8 JasonG172

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:09 PM

That's instructing, not service IMHO.

DEPENDS on who they are instructing.  If it isn't scout related and they are talking to a group of "kids" then its service.


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#9 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:24 PM

DEPENDS on who they are instructing.  If it isn't scout related and they are talking to a group of "kids" then its service.

 

Except that the requirements for the National Outdoor Award for Conservation says specifically:

 

  1. Complete 25 hours of conservation work under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, including hours worked as part of requirements 1 through 3.

So it would have to be a Boy Scout program of some sort. If just teaching "kids" then it can't count.

 

However, you CAN count hours that one might accrue under Requirements 1-3:

  • Conservation service hours getting to First Class rank.
  • Any hours spent using the tools in Requirement #2.
  • Hours spent working on projects for the merit badges listed in Requirement #3. The hours spent in a MB College wouldn't count (IMHO), but hands-on work at a summer camp class where you are actually doing the field research and activities would count.

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#10 DadScouts

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:01 PM

Given your son's aspirations, he should have conservation service hours out the ears.  Training is training, leadership is leadership, and service hours are service hours.  

How about him getting trained (check), taking the leadership role, using the leadership role (check) by proactively going out and identifying a conservation project, get the SM to approve the project, get 2 leaders and a bunch of Scouts to show up so all the Scouts get service hours credit (check).  During the work session all takes a break and he instructs them on some LNT principals so all the Scouts have a better appreciation, hence satisfaction, that they are doing more than just routine labor to fulfill a requirement (checkmate)?  It's a win win for everyone concerned.  


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#11 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:25 PM

@DadScouts, great thoughts.

 

IF he's really motivated, this award would be quite a feather to wear.


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#12 robhixkg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:44 PM

Hey all,

 

Thanks for the replies.  I see everyone's point and agree with most of them.  

 

I am not looking for the easy way out.  If anything this one needs the hard way out, but I am trying to get him excited about doing something.  This will give him a more active and visible role in the troop that does his webmaster role which he simply does not seem interested in.  We are working together to find his niche (other than video games).

 

After thinking it through, I can easily see why it would be inappropriate to count the class hours toward his conservation outdoor award.  I also understand and agree with not counting troop instructional time as part of his service hours because it is part of his position, I did not think about it long enough to see it that way.

 

However, for his life rank service hours I see no problem with the service project being to provide Leave No Trace awareness sessions to the surrounding community via short (1 hour or so) classes within the program structure of one of our state parks or one of out local outdoor outfitters.  This would be providing an educational service to the public.  He does have to work at coming up with a course syllabus, notes, etc.  It is not for the Boy Scouts, and it would be done for free.  On top of all of that it would meet the minimum three hour conservation credit required for those service hours.  Of course, this is up to the interpretation of the Scoutmaster.

 

Thanks for your input  it has made me think through things a little also.


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#13 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:47 PM

However, for his life rank service hours I see no problem with the service project being to provide Leave No Trace awareness sessions to the surrounding community via short (1 hour or so) classes within the program structure of one of our state parks or one of out local outdoor outfitters.  This would be providing an educational service to the public.  He does have to work at coming up with a course syllabus, notes, etc.  It is not for the Boy Scouts, and it would be done for free.  On top of all of that it would meet the minimum three hour conservation credit required for those service hours.  Of course, this is up to the interpretation of the Scoutmaster.


I would agree that this would fit the Life requirement for three conservation-related service hours. There's no definition for what those service hours must entail but I think this idea would meet that requirement. Well done.


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#14 robhixkg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:52 PM

I have not shown him the Hornaday award yet.  He becomes quickly overwhelmed and I am trying to keep him focused right now on his ranks.  He should earn his Eagle by summer of 2018 and he will still have three years in the program to go for things like the Hornaday award.  I would love to see him get it too.  I would be one proud dad!

 

Thanks again.


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#15 qwazse

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:06 PM

I have not shown him the Hornaday award yet.  He becomes quickly overwhelmed and I am trying to keep him focused right now on his ranks.  He should earn his Eagle by summer of 2018 and he will still have three years in the program to go for things like the Hornaday award.  I would love to see him get it too.  I would be one proud dad!

 

Thanks again.

If he really is into conservation, this is is probably the right schedule.

I'd like to see more boys hustle up and get their Eagle at the start of high school so that they can tackle things like Hornaday as older scouts.


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#16 JasonG172

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:19 PM

 

Except that the requirements for the National Outdoor Award for Conservation says specifically:

 

  1. Complete 25 hours of conservation work under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, including hours worked as part of requirements 1 through 3.

So it would have to be a Boy Scout program of some sort. If just teaching "kids" then it can't count.

 

However, you CAN count hours that one might accrue under Requirements 1-3:

  • Conservation service hours getting to First Class rank.
  • Any hours spent using the tools in Requirement #2.
  • Hours spent working on projects for the merit badges listed in Requirement #3. The hours spent in a MB College wouldn't count (IMHO), but hands-on work at a summer camp class where you are actually doing the field research and activities would count.

 

I am just referring to "service hours" not the award


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#17 JasonG172

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:32 PM

BTW I loved taking the LNT trainer course and one day hope to take the Master Educator Course hosted by either NOLS or LNT themselves.


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#18 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:46 PM

BTW I loved taking the LNT trainer course and one day hope to take the Master Educator Course hosted by either NOLS or LNT themselves.

 

The master class is good, but I am not about to pack my poo out. Just sayin' they can get a little overly eager in their conservation.


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#19 JasonG172

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:49 PM

The master class is good, but I am not about to pack my poo out. Just sayin' they can get a little overly eager in their conservation.

 

Packing poo isn't always the case, just depends on where the trek is.  Mountainous areas where there isn't 6" of topsoil dictates that, I am not packing my poo either.


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#20 Stosh

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 10:49 AM

You fellas need a backpacking porta-potty.  They are easy enough to make.  4" PVC pipe cut to the length of your trek, capped on one end and capped with a screw off on the other end.  3"-6" of kitty litter to control odors and you're good to go.


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Stosh

 

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