Living The Outdoor Code


Found on page 224 of the 1959 6th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, the Outdoor Code reminds us of America's natural resources and how to conserve them.

America's natural resources are part of your God-given heritage. The mountains, forests, and streams, the animals and birds, belong to you. It is your duty as a Scout and a citizen to protect them and conserve them. How can you do it?


First of all, you can decide to live up to the Outdoor Code developed by the Boy Scouts of America for all Americans. Study it carefully and make up your mind to this:

  • I will do my best to
  • Be clean in my outdoor manners
  • Be careful with fire
  • Be considerate in the outdoors
  • Be conservation-minded

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.

Secondly, you can swing into action in the conservation activities planned by your patrol and troop. You may have a chance to help plant a thousand trees, to improve a brook for trout, to keep a bird feeding station supplied during a hard winter, to save a stream bank from washing away, to put up brush shelters for rabbits and other small animals, and many other things.

In these ways, you will not only help conserve your country's natural resources--you will actually improve them for yourself and for the future.