Editor, Commonwealth:

Currently, I serve as the Leave No Trace trainer in my patrol for Boy Scout Troop 4200. I would like to communicate with your readers about leaving no trace behind in their outdoor surroundings.

There are seven principles of Leave No Trace when participating in outdoor activities.

The first principle is to plan ahead and prepare. This requires a person to prepare for weather and emergencies, know the regulations of the area and bring useful resources needed for the activity.

The second principle is traveling and camping on durable surfaces. Hiking and/or camping should be done on rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow, and the campsite should be 200 feet from rivers and streams.

Disposing of waste properly is the next principle. Before leaving the campsite, a person should look for trash, pick it up and take it back with them.

The fourth principle is to leave what you find. People should preserve the past and examine nature without disturbing the surroundings.

Minimizing campfire impacts is the fifth principle. A camper should use twigs from the ground that will help to keep the fire small and should put it out completely.

The sixth principle is to respect the wildlife. A hiker should never approach or follow the animals living in the area. Just observe them from a distance.

Finally, people should be considerate of other visitors to the area. Respect other visitors by letting them use the trail and by using soft voices.

Leave No Trace is an important position of the Boy Scouts of America. It should be important to everyone who participates in hiking, camping, hunting, sports and other outdoor hobbies. These principles can help others be safe and protect the environment and animals.

Owen Hodges
Troop 4200

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