Scouting Forums

Leave No Trace/Outdoor Ethics Awareness/Outdoor Ethics Action Awards

In reviewing these three awards, it seems that they are all retired. Is this correct? Supposedly Leave No Trace was replaced by Outdoor Ethics, but these seem to be done too. Did anything replace them?

Leave No Trace was replaced by the Outdoor Ethics awards.

And The Outdoor Ethics Awareness and Action Awards for Cub Scouts and [Cub Scout] leaders were retired in June 2016.

As far as I know, they have not been replaced by anything.

The BSA’s official position is that the LNT award (replaced by the OE Awareness Award in 2013 +/-) and it’s successor (retired in in 2016) were retired at the Cub Scouting level because the material had been integrated directly into the program, so a separate award was no longer warranted. As a Leave No Trace Trainer, I can’t get behind that argument, but it’s what we were told.

The only awards still available are at the Scouts BSA and Venturing levels, and are available to scouts/venturers and scouters in either program. The requirements are at the links @JenniferOlinger posted above.

@JenniferOlinger @CharleyHamilton Thank you for the explanation. All three of these awards are listed in Scoutbook under Wolves. I had some parents signing off requirements and inquiring about them, and I wanted to ensure that I knew what I was talking about. It would be nice if the retired awards were “retired” from Scoutbook. I know that they say retired with the requirements. However, it would be nice that if a Scout wasn’t eligible, it didn’t appear, or stated “Retired” in the award title, so that people didn’t think they were able to complete them.

Thanks again.

I know they were retained in the system to permit youth who had earned them, but had not been on Scoutbook at the time, to add them. The national advancement database doesn’t track them IIRC, so it couldn’t propagate from there to Scoutbook.

I’m not sure how hard it would be from a coding standpoint to have them not appear for scouts who are too new to have earned them, but I tend to agree that would be a useful enhancement. The biggest issue I can see there is that one would want them to appear for scouts who were in scouting when the awards were still extant, and earned them at that time, but not appear if it wasn’t earned during that time period. However, how do you know if it was earned or not, if the scout wasn’t in Scoutbook at that time, since the national advancement database doesn’t record it?

I would be surprised if the awards are removed in the near future, both due to workload and due to the fact that there has been a push on to permit youth (and eventually adults) to get their awards entered into the database for past programs (e.g. awards from when Scouts BSA youth were in Cub Scouts, but didn’t use Scoutbook). Based on that data point, any youth who transitioned from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA in 2013 (assuming he was 11 at the time) would potentially have until 2021 (depending exactly when he turns 18) to get his LNT award entered. Similarly, the OE awards at the Cub Scout level ended in 2016, so 2016 + (18-11) = 2023+/- for hose awards to “age out”. If the system eventually permits adults to enter those awards…

ETA: Wow…that was a bit more stream of consciousness than I intended…

Honestly, I’d be happy if they would put the word “Retired” next to the name in the list of awards. It is there once you click on the award, but people don’t always see it there since they are just looking at the requirements.

For the next level of happiness, they could set it that Scoutbook doesn’t accept a date after the official retirement date. This way, I don’t have parents entering that their scout worked on something this past week, when they couldn’t.


That would be a great improvement to functionality, since it would likely address many of the long-term issues, as well. For example, assuming they ever permit adults to enter awards, Scouters in Cub Scouts were able to earn the awards as well (when the awards were extant). Those scouters would enter the date when they actually earned the award, and the software would permit the addition of the award. A newer date would trigger a dialog box stating that the date earned was after the award was retired. Similar functionality would work for youth who might have earned it as a Cub Scout, but are now in Scouts BSA, Venturing, or Sea Scouts.

All of that would of course require opening up the interface to make it easier to record past awards/advancement. I’m hopeful that, eventually, the system will get to that point, even if that time arrives far too late for these particular awards to be relevant anymore (i.e. everyone who could have earned them will have aged out). I doubt this will be the last award that the BSA retires.

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