The Leader, April 1977
From: Don Swanson, Director – Scout Program and Camping & Outdoor Activities
To: Scout Leaders
Subject: Conservation Achievement Badge – Gold Stage
An inquiry was received regarding the gold stage Conservation Achievement Badge requirements 4(a) and 4(h). The inquiry raised the question as to how a Scout can complete the stated requirements while participating in one or more hikes or weekend camps.
I thought perhaps the reply to that inquiry might well be of some assistance to other Scouters.
First, the rational for hikes and camping in the Conservation Badge: when the Scout subcommittee adjusted the Badge system and updated some of the badges in 1972, the decision was made that participation in hiking and/or camping must be a prerequisite to earn an Achievement Award. Thus, all badges in the outdoor category were adjusted to ensure some involvement in hiking or camping. Badge requirements are not viewed as “tests” to be passed, but as activities within which to participate.
Secondly, there’s the perspective of what constitutes a “hike”. The common view likely includes woods, trails and a pack. Scouting defines hiking as “walking with a purpose” (Canadian Scout Handbook, page 56).
I can see your point. At first glance, how can a Scout plan and carry out an anti-litter campaign of keep a record of rainfall as part of a hike or camp? If viewed as tests, the requirements are difficult if not impossible. When viewed as activities, I think they take on a different meaning.
Let’s start with the requirement for the litter campaign.