Applaud Boy Scouts For Sustainability Badge,_October_2011.jpg

Target: Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Goal: Thank Boy Scouts for introducing comprehensive sustainability education

The Boy Scouts recently announced the Sustainability merit badge, a new requirement to become an Eagle Scout, the highest-ranking level of Boy Scouts. The Sustainability badge requires a comprehensive exploration of social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability. Commend the Boy Scouts of America for offering this exciting new educational opportunity that promotes environmental stewardship and sustainable communities.

According to the editor of Scouting Magazine, Bryan Wendell, “A scout will assess his family’s consumption of resources like water, food, utilities, and transportation and come up with plans to reduce their use.” Ultimately, this will help scouts develop their own personal definition of sustainability and how it relates to their lives. Scouts will develop methods to reduce family consumption by recording water, utility, and food use and waste, and then testing and evaluating methods for improvement. They will learn about different energy sources and how to evaluate the environmental impact of each, as well as their personal carbon footprint.

The badge also fosters systems thinking by instructing scouts to “draw a rough sketch depicting how you would design a sustainable community,” by analyzing different systems in a community in terms of energy, pollution, and natural resource use. Finally, scouts will track their family’s purchases, or “stuff,” and learn valuable lessons about differentiating between needs and wants.

This badge will provide scouts with a rare opportunity to explore concepts such as consumption, waste, environmental impact, and sustainable community that are lacking in primary and secondary education. By having scouts measure consumption in their own households, they can teach their family members tools they’ve learned to save money and reduce their environmental impact. Sign this petition to express your support for the BSA’s newest Sustainability merit badge.


Dear Boy Scouts of America,

The introduction of the Sustainability merit badge will provide important educational opportunity for Boy Scouts to evaluate their family’s environmental impacts, as well as how they fit into the larger community. By analyzing their family’s use of resources like water, food, and electricity, scouts will learn firsthand about consumption, how their decisions affect the world around them, and what they can do to make a difference.

This initiative has the potential to be extremely influential in shaping how scouts perceive the environment and their role as environmental stewards in the future. Scouts will learn to promote sustainable thinking and problem solving in their own lives, as well as spreading their knowledge to their family and peers. Thank you for showing your commitment to sustainability education through the newest Eagle Scouts badge requirement.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Research Development and Engineering Command via Wikimedia Commons

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