Updated for 2014
Even Scouts need a reminder to protect our planet.
And because it’s Earth Day, now’s the perfect opportunity to talk to the members of your unit about doing their part.
Sure, the Boy Scouts of America has a well-deserved reputation for being environmentally friendly, but we can’t rest on our laurels.
So check out these 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day with your pack, troop, team, or crew:
- Find Earth Day events near you. Large or small, attending a community event lets you celebrate on short notice.
- Bring some trivia to your next meeting, like “Environmental Jeopardy” (PDF), which mixes learning with friendly competition.
- Have fun with Cub Scouts with these Earth Day craft ideas and Earth Day coloring pages.
- Watch a movie that will inspire and entertain your Scouts. Some ideas: the Disney films Earth, Oceans or (my personal favorite) Wall-E. Have a discussion after you watch. Older Scouts might find the scientific data in An Inconvenient Truth compelling. I sure did.
- Volunteer with The Nature Conservancy, giving Scouts a chance to give back.
- Play a game, like this Leave No Trace card game, which appeared in the March-April 2011 edition of Scouting.
- Adopt a highway. Most states have Adopt-a-Highway programs that encourage groups to take responsibility of a stretch of roadway and pick up trash. To get started, try these tips from fellow Scouters.
- Carpool. Whether you’re driving to work, school, or a weekend campout, show your Scouts that you’re reducing toxic emissions by sharing a ride with coworkers, friends or other Scout leaders.
- Teach your Scouts how to: safely recycle electronics, create a compost pile, or identify recycled-content products.
- Offer Sustainability merit badge. There’s no better time than Earth Day to offer this new, Eagle-required merit badge. See the requirements here.
What else can you do to remind Scouts about protecting our amazing but fragile planet? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.