This past weekend, my Scout troop hiked up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. Being right at the summit had me thinking about the majesty of the environment and Mother Nature and how humans can help to preserve these precious connections to nature to the greatest extent that we can.
On the way up, we came across squirrels, chipmunks, and a few human friends too! Our encounter with a few people working on the trail was exciting; they were clearing large rocks out from the sides of the trails so that tree roots could more easily expand and reach the soil.
Though it was a hard hike for our troop, I am so proud of every single person for sticking together and helping one another out, especially when it came to water and a few band-aids patching up scrapes.
After this hike and talking to the people working on the trail, I began to research ways both I and my troop could preserve nature trails and state forests around our community. I learned that the best way for us to keep the trails healthy was to plan how we travel, carry out whatever we carry in, pick up trash and debris along the trails, and to be considerate of the trails when we are camping and hiking.
I had heard of the outdoor ethic “leave no trace” but didn’t realize that there was an organization of the same name. Leave No Trace offers seven principles to guide interactions with nature. The principles match our Scout code of being clean, careful, considerate, and conservation-minded.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors