Scouts & scouters from Powhatan and Bull Run Districts collaborated with National Park Service staff at Great Falls Park on International Migratory Bird Day to educate over 150 park visitors about Leave No Trace.
Scouts invited park visitors to look at photos of garbage at the park and think about ways they can minimize their impact while still enjoying themselves. They also played the trash timeline game, which tests people’s knowledge of the time it takes common items such as plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles, Styrofoam cups, banana peels, and cigarette butts to decompose. These activities compelled some park visitors to borrow gloves, trash grabbers, and garbage bags to spend some time picking up garbage. The National Park Service showed the Leave No Trace video all day and then a documentary called Winged Migration for International Migratory Bird Day.
By volunteering to spend part of their day teaching Leave No Trace at Great Falls Park, scouts and scouters completed requirement 5 for the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award. Here are the 5 requirements:
1. Recite from memory and explain the meaning of the Outdoor Code.
2. Watch the National Park Service Leave No Trace video. It’s on the right side of the page.
3. Complete the Leave No Trace online youth course. Print the certificate.
4. Earn the Tread Lightly! online course certificate. Print the certificate when you are done.
5. Participate in an outdoor ethics course, workshop, or training activity facilitated by a person who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course or is a BSA outdoor ethics trainer or master.
International Migratory Bird Day is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.