Be Clean in Your Outdoor Manners. Maintain Eco-Friendly Habits. One of the saddest things you can see in the outdoors is a beautiful countryside scarred with pieces of paper, empty cigarette wrappers, sodden cardboard containers, rusting tin cans, broken bottles. Few Americans would think of strewing this kind of trash around in their own living rooms. Yet many of them think nothing of strewing it in the “living room” that belongs to all of us — our country’s great outdoors.
Rubbish has no place in the American landscape. If you suffer from the sad “dropping habit” that so many Americans have, get rid of it! Make up your mind from your earliest days as a Scout to hike and to camp without leaving a trace of rubbish behind.
When hiking, put sandwich papers, candy wrappers, and similar “pocket trash” in your pocket until you can throw them into a waste container or into your wastepaper basket at home.
When camping, get rid of burnable garbage by burning and carry unburnable garbage out with you to be deposited in the nearest waste container. Never break bottles and never throw them in the fire. Never throw cans about and never bury them — if buried, animals dig them up in short order. Instead, deposit bottles, jars, and cans in a waste container. If none is at hand, take
them with you for proper disposal.
Our Natural Resources. The natural resources of a country include its soil and waters, its plants and animals, its minerals. In this respect, America is one of the richest countries in the world.
Our soil gives us food in abundance — bumper crops of corn and wheat and vegetables. Our grasslands teem with cattle that provide us with milk and meat and leather. Our forests give us products that range from the wood we use for building our homes to the maple syrup you pour on your pancakes—but are important also for being a source of pleasure to you and other hikers and campers, for giving food and shelter to wildlife, for regulating the flow of streams and cutting down flood dangers. As far as minerals are concerned, few countries can match the variety and wealth of America in metal ores and coal, oil and natural gas, and many other things.
But soil can be lost if it is not properly cared for, water can be polluted, grasslands and forests and wildlife can be destroyed by fire, minerals can be wasted.
It is your duty as a Scout and a citizen to protect nature and conserve it — for your own sake and for the sake of every other American.
How can you do it?
You can do it most easily and most effectively by living up to the Outdoor Code developed by the Boy Scouts of America for all Americans. Study it carefully and make up your mind to follow it.
It is easy to live up to this code. It is mostly a matter of doing the thoughtful thing instead of the thoughtless one — picking up trash instead of dropping it, using care with fires, thinking of others before yourself.
As an American, I will do my best to
BE CLEAN IN MY OUTDOOR MANNERS — I will treat the outdoors as a heritage to be improved for our greater enjoyment. I will keep my trash and garbage out of America’s waters, fields, woods, and roadways.
BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE—I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fire in a safe place and be sure it is out before I leave.
BE CONSIDERATE IN THE OUTDOORS—I will treat public and private property with respect. I will remember that use of the outdoors is a privilege I can lose by abuse.
BE CONSERVATION-MINDED — I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, and wildlife; and I will urge others to do the same. I will use sportsmanlike methods in all my outdoor activities.