Sustainable Camp Planning by Earlston Scouts

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So how do you run an eco-friendly Scouts camp?

Being sustainable and doing things to help reduce our carbon footprint can have a big impact on the natural environment. There are ways that you can make a camping trip and the drive to get there more sustainable. It is even possible to have a carbon zero trip with some planning. 

Earlston Scouts were given just this task  – to plan a Sustainable Camp.

As Scouts, we believe that young people should be shaping their experience. We call it #Youthshaped. When young people have the avenues to use their voices and be included in decision making, we can truly support them on their journey to becoming our future leaders, in and outside of Scouts. By enabling Earlston Scouts to shape their camping experiences, and that of other Scouts, we increase the excitement for and relevancy of our programme. Well done to Earlston Scouts on a great activity and delivery.

What they did:

This activity needed every one to work as a team and communicate well to plan an environmentally friendly camp. Planning a sustainable camp meant they needed to think about every part of the camp to see how it could be adapted. 


As a Group, they had a chat about sustainability, and discussed how thinking about being sustainable could have an impact on planning a Scout camp. The Scouts got into their Patrols to design a sustainable camp as a team. They had access to devices to find local campsites and/or to do some research. Each patrol presented their plan to the rest of the Troop to share ideas.

Some considerations they reviewed are:

  • * Location – Does the campsite have any environmental policies, such as recycling or re-using waste water? How can you find this information out?
  • * Travel – Is there a different mode of transport you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, such as a minibus or public transport? Or can you find somewhere you can walk to from your meeting place?
  • * Food – Can you source your food locally from somewhere that grows food on-site or supplies food that hasn’t travelled very far? How can you plan your meals and cook all together, which reduces the risk of food waste?
  • * Sleeping arrangements – Most tents are made from plastic. Are there any other types of shelters you could use instead?
  • * Activities – What activities could you do that reduces your group’s environmental impact and helps the environment too?
  • * Kit – Camping equipment can contain lots of plastic. How can you use your existing equipment on your camp? If you need new equipment, how can you get it without buying it brand new? And can you find equipment that uses natural resources to work, such as solar power? Think about your clothing and sleeping equipment too. Can you find products that have used eco-friendly materials, such as recycled down? 
And some of their brilliant ideas included:
* Location– Using Compost Toilets, Recycling Water; ensure the camp is fairly local; use local food suppliers
* Travel– Electric Vehicles;  bike/hike to the location
* Food– Local food suppliers
* Activities– Archery; watersports; fishing; all with local distance to campsite 
* Windmills / Solar panels to provide energy and cooking
* Cleaning the site up prior to departing. Splitting the waste accordingly.

Whether you’re holding a sleepover or going camping in the fields, there’re ways to help make your trip better for the environment. Here are our top tips to plan an eco-friendly camp that everyone will enjoy!