SILVER SPRING, MD — American Hiking Society (AHS) and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are proud to announce the 2012 joint commitment to promote trail stewardship by offering a variety of exciting opportunities for Scouts and other individuals to give back to public lands across the country. “Trail stewardship and youth outdoor engagement are fundamental to each organization’s mission,” says Gregory Miller, president of American Hiking Society. “We are thrilled to continue our steadfast partnership with the Boy Scouts of America to engage youth and families in America’s great outdoors and to preserve and protect hiking trails nationwide.”
On June 2, 2012, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts across all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico will participate in American Hiking Society’s 20th annual National Trails Day®—America’s largest trails celebration. More than 2,000 NTD events will take place around the country to celebrate and protect our magnificent and growing trail system. Events will include trail maintenance projects, hikes, paddle trips, bike and horseback rides, wildlife viewing activities, trail dedications, and much more.
The BSA and AHS have also teamed up to offer an exclusive volunteer vacation opportunity in September to ”Get Out and Give Back” at Philmont Scout Ranch, the BSA’s largest high-adventure base, located in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northeast New Mexico. Open to Boy Scouts, Boy Scout alumni, and Boy Scout affiliates, this week of trail building will provide volunteers with exclusive access to an unforgettable backcountry adventure, pristine hiking, and camaraderie from fellow crew members.
In commemoration of NTD’s 20th anniversary, the BSA is issuing a collectible NTD patch that is available to all Scouts and Scouters who will be participating in an NTD event anytime in 2012. The BSA and AHS encourage all Scouts to schedule or participate in an NTD event and to be sure to wear the custom NTD patch to show the world their commitment to trail stewardship and sustainability.
“For years, it has been our purpose to enjoy the outdoors as well as to be its stewards,” notes Keith Christopher, manager of the Properties/General Services Department with the Boy Scouts of America. “To be a part of something larger than us is something that greatness hinges upon.”
The Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society, is passionate about offering Scouts and Scouters more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and wants to build on its major outdoor service programs, ArrowCorps5 and SummitCorps—The New River Experience. As a result, the BSA and the Order of the Arrow will place special emphasis on the importance of trail stewardship and Scout participation in National Trails Day on June 2 and throughout the year.
About the American Hiking Society Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience. Please visit www.AmericanHiking.org
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.™” The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.