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Scouting & LNT
All the talk about Scouting (Boy&Girl) and LNT ethics brings up a good
topic. Why don't more backpackers (especially those with long-distance
experience) help with or organize Scout troops? Right off the bat, I
recognize that a lot of folks that have time for the occasional trip will
not have the time to commit to a troop, but almost anyone can spare 1-2
weekends per year or a couple of Tuesday nights. You can do a simple program
on "how I go backpacking & what I take," up to more sophisticated
presentations on personal safety and survival, backcountry skills or (you
guessed it) Leave No Trace concepts and ideas. Moreover, the level of
experience that most of the AT-L have would make you really good assistants
on a weekend trip.
I'm biased. My wife helps with my daughter's Brownie troop. Believe it or
not, it's actually more fun than it sounds. I did two 1-hour talks on
knot tying and map&compass. The kids were really good and they actually
learned something. All kids aren't demonspawn from the "Bad News Bears."
And I don't recall the exact expression, but the Jesuits have it right:
influence a child's thinking early in its life and you'll have affected the
way they think for life. Think about it: for the cost of a couple of
Saturdays, you'll have changed how 10-20 kids see backcountry skills. If 1%
of everyone on the AT did that, what would things be like?