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OUTDOOR HEROES

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Amy Chapman - Scouts Venturing Program

Teaching conservation by example

A scout with the Venturing program in Idyllwild, California, 17-year-old Amy Chapman demonstrates a remarkable commitment to the environment, inspiring others to think differently about stewardship.

Venturing is a co-ed development program of the Boy Scouts of America® for older teens. This gives the opportunity for boys and girls to continue scouting as young adults and to take advantage of opportunities to advance their skills and knowledge in the areas of high adventure, sports, arts, hobbies and more. The Venturing program employs a number of methods to help scouts develop leadership skills and become good citizens. These include one that Amy excels at: teaching others.

Amy has taken this ideology to heart. A natural teacher, she has found a subject she is passionate about sharing - outdoor ethics. Amy learned the tenets of Leave No Trace®, a nationally recognized outdoor skills education program. Included are such policies as proper trip planning and sanitation, respect for wildlife and selective campfire use.

Amy believes Leave No Trace is important because the outdoors is taken for granted much of the time. "If we don't take care of it, nature will disappear," she says. "Leave No Trace is the first set of guidelines we've ever had created just to keep us from destroying something beautiful, and the principles are extremely easy to remember." A committed backpacker, Amy regularly sets off with family and friends into the backcountry where she has found inspiration to spread the word about conservation.

Since the Leave No Trace guidelines have been adopted by the Boy Scouts of America as a requirement, Amy will be instructing more people in outdoor ethics. Through example and teachings, ethical outdoor principles will be passed on through generations. "I train both youths and adults," she says, "but I like training the adults more. Most of them understand what a challenge it is to keep nature like it is, and how important it is that it stay that way."

For more information about the Scouts Venturing program, please visit www.scouting.org.