A Scouts EnvironMentality
Getting outside and experiencing the great outdoors is an integral part of the Scouting program. Since Scouting began, youth have been connecting with the outdoors and learning from nature. By joining the Scouting program, youth take on a responsibility to be stewards of the environment. After all, nature truly is our classroom. As such, Scouts Canada’s philosophy is to “leave no trace”. Whether on a week-long camping trip in the woods or on a day hike, youth are taught the importance of preserving and protecting the environment around them.
Each spring since 1972, thousands of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts have planted trees through the Scoutrees Program. Scoutrees gives each Scouting member the opportunity to demonstrate, through action, his or her concern for the environment. By planting trees, youth gain an understanding of the critical need for conservation, the impact of climate change and how we can do our part to create a better world. Due to its proven success over the years, the Scoutrees program now provides pivotal support to Scouting projects around the world.
Did you know?
Scouting youth have now planted over 80 million trees across Canada. These trees have helped:
- Prevent soil erosion, which helps curb water pollution
- Capture carbon and become carbon ‘sinks’ which reduce the Greenhouse Effect
- Reduce noise pollution
We all have a role to play in water conservation. Water is not only essential to humans but to all living things. Through partnerships with Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and by participating in initiatives like the Yellow Fish Road projects, Scouts are learning the importance of protecting our waterways.
Starting in 2002, Scouting youth have helped give back in their communities by participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Shoreline Cleanup is an important component of the EnvironMentality program that alleviates trash along shorelines across Canada on an annual basis.
Did You Know? Since 2002 Scouts have:
- Participated in 147 registered cleanups
- Removed 5,314 kg of trash off shorelines
- Filled 886 trash bags
- Cleaned 249 km of shoreline
Yellow Fish Road Projects
Over the years, Scouts from across Canada have raised awareness about water pollution in partnership with Trout Unlimited Canada’s Yellow Fish Road program. By painting yellow fish near storm drains, youth emphasize that all the water run-off materials will enter Canada’s lakes, rivers, and oceans, polluting them with chemicals and waste. Groups have also created and placed aquatic-life-shaped informative pamphlets, called “Fish Hangers”, on doors of houses and businesses in the area, to further highlight the importance of being water friendly.
The environment is changing all around us. With a loss of habitat and native species, reduced access to clean air and water, and more people affected by natural disasters, climate change is a global concern. Through fun and interactive games and activities, Scouts begin to understand these issues, learn to use resources wisely and feel empowered to help make a difference in their communities.
From a young age, Scouts are taught the importance of being environmentally conscious. The Scouting program provides a platform for youth to learn how to protect our ecosystems and emphasizes the ‘leave no trace’ method when exploring nature.
Throughout the Scouting year Scouts plan, organize and participate in numerous environmental stewardship projects. Some examples include, improving urban spaces by picking up garbage and planting trees, building community gardens or removing harmful and invasive species, both on land and in our waterways. With the help of our corporate partner, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Scouts also have the opportunity to Adopt a Green Space to help revitalize a green space for all to enjoy.