AY Honors/Outdoor Leadership/Answer Key

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Outdoor Leadership

Skill Level






Approval authority

General Conference

Outdoor Leadership AY Honor.png
Outdoor Leadership
Skill Level
Approval authority
General Conference
Year of Introduction
See also


Have the following honors: Camp Craft and Camping Skills I-III

See these pages for more information:

Camp Craft

Camping Skills I

Camping Skills II

Camping Skills III


Earn four of the following honors. From the list below restudy any previously earned honor so you can give a knowledgeable answer to the requirements.
a. Backpacking
b. Camping Skills IV
c. Fire Building & Camp Cookery
d. Hiking
e. Orienteering
f. Pioneering
g. Winter Camping


Have the First Aid honor.

For tips and instruction see First Aid, Standard.


Know what to do to overcome fear when lost. Know at least four ways to signal for help if lost in the wilderness.

Overcoming fear when lost

Many unprepared people are overcome by fear when they are in a situation they do not know how to handle. Studying the appropriate response to an emergency (like being lost in the woods) will help you overcome fear. If you can control your fear, you can concentrate on doing the right things to solve your problem rather than on your fear.

Try breathing deeply and deliberately. You can talk to your companions (if applicable) and calm each other down. You can also try prayer.

Here are a few things that you could do when lost:

The best advice about being lost, is - DON'T! And the best way to keep from getting lost is to stay on the path.

If you suddenly realize that you do not know where you are, then here are some things to do:

  1. Don't panic. You can't think clearly when you panic, so take a deep breath and relax.
  2. Pray. You may not know where you are, but God does, so talk to Him.
  3. Look around - maybe you'll recognize something that can guide you back to civilization (such as a blaze marking on a tree or rock, which indicates where the trail is).
  4. Listen for the sounds of other campers, traffic, waterfalls, rivers or anything that might help you find your way back. If you cannot see anything that you recognize and shows you how to easily get back or get help, STAY PUT.
  5. If you have a map and compass, try to locate your position by looking for hills, valleys or streams.
  6. You can try to relocate the trail, but you do not want to get any further away from your last known location. Mark your location with something - a backpack, hat, or a large rock - but make sure it's something unmistakable. Then venture 10 paces out, and circle your marker, all the while looking about to see if you recognize the trail or a landmark, and always keeping your marker in view. If you do not see anything you recognize, widen the circle by another 10 paces and repeat. Continue circling your marker at ever wider intervals, but stop when continuing would cause you to lose sight of the marker.
  7. If you cannot identify your location, STAY WHERE YOU ARE. If you are near a trail, stay there. It is a lot easier for someone to find you if you stay put.
  8. If you have a whistle, blow on it. If you don't have a whistle, yell loudly. Someone in your party might hear you. Repeat this every 15 minutes or so and be sure to listen after each sounding. Three of anything is universally recognized as a call for help, so three whistle blasts, or three shouts.
  9. Do not climb a tree or steep hillside. It may seem like a good idea, but it is not worth the risk of falling and getting hurt. The chances of you seeing anything helpful are low.
  10. If it's an hour or less until sunset, prepare to spend a comfortable evening. Make a shelter and light a fire. Things will look better in the morning, and your fire may attract a rescuer. Remember, stay where you are.

To learn more on this topic, review the Hug-A-Tree education program created by the National Association for Search and Rescue.

Signaling for help

Call for help with a cell phone

These days, this is probably the most effective method of signaling for help. If you find yourself in trouble and need help, the cell phone is probably the first thing you will think of, and rightfully so. Voice communication is a very effective method of communicating with others. If you are in an area with a weak signal and voice communication is spotty, don't forget about text messaging. Texting can be successful even when voice communications fail because the phone will continue sending the message until it gets through.

Blow a whistle

You can blow a whistle much louder than you can yell. Furthermore, you can blow on a whistle repeatedly over a long period of time without getting a sore throat.

Make a distress signal

Make a distress signal on the ground by piling rocks, branches, or other debris to form large letters spelling "S.O.S." This is the universally recognized signal for help. Try to use materials that contrast with the surrounding environment. In winter, you may be able to stomp an SOS into the snow. Make the letters read from east to west (or west to east) so that the shadows catch the letters better.

Light three fires

You may also light three fires to signal for help. Build them either in a line or in a triangle, and get them good and hot. When you see a rescue plane during daylight hours, add green plant matter to the flames. This should cause thick smoke. Be careful to not extinguish the fire by doing this.

Signaling mirror The emergency signaling mirror is approximately 3 by 5 inches and consists of an aluminized reflecting glass mirror, a back cover glass, and a sighting device. It is used to attract the attention of passing aircraft or ships by reflection, either in sunlight or in hazy weather. The reflections of this shatterproof mirror can be seen at a distance of 30 miles at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Though less effective, and with possible shorter range, mirror flashes can also be seen on cloudy days with limited visibility. To use the mirror, proceed as follows:

  1. Punch a cross-hole in its center.
  2. Hold the mirror about 3 inches in front of your face and sight through the cross at the ship or aircraft. The spot of light shining through the hole onto your face will be seen in the cross-hole.
  3. While keeping a sight on the ship or aircraft, adjust the mirror until the spot of light on your face disappears in the hole. The bright spot, seen through the sight, will then be aimed directly at the search ship or aircraft.


Know at least four secular activities and four Sabbath activities to use in an out­door setting if you have a rainy day.

Secular Activities

  • Sit everyone in a circle. Go around the circle and have each person add one word to a story. Keep going around the circle until the story falls apart (it won't take long).
  • Play board games.
  • Collect and purify rainwater.
  • Bring kazoos and do karaoke (everyone gets a kazoo except the singer).
  • Work on the Weather honor.
  • Play I Spy. Whoever is "it" chooses something, notes its color, and says "I spy with my little eye something red." (Assuming the noted color was red). Then have each person take turns guessing what it was.
  • 20 Questions. It chooses an item and will answer up to 20 yes/no questions about what it is until someone guesses it.
  • Charades

Sabbath Activities

  • Play a game of Bible trivia.
  • Read a story from the Bible and have others mime the parts as you read. Encourage them to be as expressive as they can.
  • Sing a Christian hymn or song. You can even make one up if you want
  • Have notepads and pencils available and draw sketches. You can sketch:
    • Trees and rocks
    • Other campers
    • Bible stories
  • Make a Bible rebus.
  • Work on an honor from the Nature series.
  • Build a fire in the rain (see Camping Skills IV). Talk about Elijah's experience on Mount Carmel.
  • Read Genesis 6-8 (Noah).
  • Put on your ponchos and go for a hike (unless there's lightning). Stay off ridges.
  • Bible Charades.


Do the following in an outdoor setting:


Plan, organize, and do the teaching of one nature honor to a group of youth.

Ideally, the nature honor you teach should draw on the resources available in the chosen outdoor setting. For this reason, you may need to visit the site to see what kinds of flora and fauna are available for a nature study ahead of time. While some nature honors are not dependent on the presence of natural resources (such as the Weather honor), others (such as the Ferns honor or the Edible Wild Plants honor) will benefit greatly from their presence. Don't just hope for the best - prepare! Consult the Nature chapter of this book for more information.


Assist in teaching camping skills required in any camping honor and/or AY Class requirements to a group of youth.

The first four AY Classes require that the Pathfinder earn Camping Skills I (Friend), Camping Skills II (Companion), Camping Skills III (Explorer), or Camping Skills IV (Ranger). The Voyager class must earn Fire Building & Camp Cookery plus Frontier Voyager classes can also optionally earn the Orienteering, Camp Craft, Winter Camping, or Backpacking honors. Frontier Guides must choose from Pioneering, Winter Camping, Backpacking, Wilderness Living and this honor (Outdoor Leadership).


Determine where the nearest hospital is located.

Traditional methods

You can get an atlas or a map of the area, familiarize yourself with the nearby towns and cities. Then consult the business listings in a phone book looking under hospital until you find which one is closest to your site.

Using Google Maps

One way to do this is by using the "Find businesses" feature of Google Maps. Enter "hospital" in the "What" box (which appears first), and the location or address of your outdoor setting in the "Where" box (which appears second).

Using Mapquest

You can use the "get directions" feature at Mapquest.com. Under the "starting location", enter the address of the outdoor setting. Under the "Ending Location" enter "hospital" in the "place name" box, and the same city or town as the starting location - even if there is no hospital in that town, it will return the nearest hospital to you. It will display a list of hospitals and veterinary clinics, ordered by distance (nearest first). Check that the facility you choose is indeed a hospital for humans.


Determine where the nearest assistance from the police or a park ranger can be obtained.

If your outdoor setting is under the jurisdiction of a park ranger organization, they would be your primary source of help if there is an emergency. Otherwise, you should use the same techniques outlined for finding a hospital to find the nearest police station.


Through the Bible and/or the writings of Ellen G. White study and learn how the outdoors influenced the following Bible characters:



Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and lived in the desert for 40 years. During the whole of this time, he was their leader. Moses demonstrated both patience and wisdom. He cared for the people he led, and was constantly trying to help them both physically and spiritually.



During the time of King Saul's reign, Saul was determined to kill David. As a result, David fled to the wilderness where he was joined by a band of men. David demonstrated patience, cunning, and forgiveness. He was willing to let the Lord place him on the throne in His own time rather than taking matters into his own hands.



Like David, Elijah fled to the wilderness to escape the wrath of the king. He lived by the brook Cherith for two years during a time of drought. The Lord provided his food, and his water was supplied by the brook. When the brook dried up, Elijah was sent to Zaraphath, and was present when the Lord performed a miracle for a widow and her son living there. Elijah lived with this widow until the drought ended.


John the Baptist

John lived in the wilderness before he began his ministry as "the Elijah to come."

John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4 NIV

It takes a wilderness leader to be able to make clothing of this sort and to survive on his chosen diet.



Jesus' ministry began with a trip to the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4). First, Satan suggested that Jesus use His power to satisfy his physical hunger; this was a temptation to use His divine power to satisfy His own needs. Second, he suggested that Jesus leap from a high place, so that the angels would catch him; this was a temptation to use His divine power to glorify Himself. Third, he told Jesus that if He would worship him, he would release his claim on the world; this was the temptation to admit that Satan's charges were correct, and that God's law was unfair.

Jesus overcame the temptations, quoting scripture to refute Satan on each point. Jesus used the time He spent in the wilderness to commune with His Father, and to lay out His mission. We too can use time spent in the wilderness to do the same.


Know what considerations should be given in an outdoor setting with a group of youth in the following areas:


Camping safety

Knife Safety

  • Keep your blades sharp. A dull knife is difficult to push through wood, requiring additional force. When the wood finally gives, the blade keeps going.
  • Always push the blade away from you, and constantly consider where the blade will go.
  • Keep your fingers clear of the blade at all times.
  • When splitting wood with a knife, do not hammer on the back of the blade. This weakens the attachment to the handle and deforms the blade.
  • Close a pocket knife when it's not in use or when you are carrying it.
  • Keep all blades away from heat. Heat will remove the temper, softening the blade. A soft blade will not hold an edge, making it nearly impossible to keep it sharp.

Axe Safety

  • Before chopping any wood, take a gentle practice swing to check that the axe will not catch on anything (such as an overhead branch).
  • Consider what will happen if you miss whatever you are chopping at - will you accidentally hit a finger? A foot? A bystander? Leave plenty of margin for error.
  • Make sure the axe head is firmly attached to the axe handle. If it is loose, you may tighten it by wetting the handle, by driving a hardwood wedge into the handle through the eye of the blade, or by rapping the axe handle vertically on a hard surface.
  • Keep bystanders away by one arms length plus two axe-lengths.
  • When handing someone an axe, present the handle to them rather than the blade.
  • Walk with the blade facing away from you.
  • Sheathe the axe when it is not in use.
  • Always maintain firm footing when using or carrying an axe.
  • Stop when you are tired and rest. Tired people are more prone to accidents and mistakes.

Poisonous Plants

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all cause a rash when oils from the plant come into contact with the skin. The contact does not have to be direct - it can be transferred from the plant to another item, and then to the skin. Tools, pets, and clothing can all transfer the oil from the plant to the skin. The best defense against this rash is to be able to recognize these plants, stay alert, and avoid contact. If you do come into contact with any of them, the first thing you should do is immediately wash the affected area with soap and water. This will, in many cases, prevent the rash from developing. If contact went undetected and a rash does develop, apply Calamine lotion or a cortizone cream to the affected area. If the rash develops on the face or genitals, seek medical attention.


Fire safety

  • Locate the fire in a safe place. It should be clear for 10 feet (3 meters) all around.
  • Do not light a fire beneath overhanging branches or tents, shelters etc.
  • Do not use accelerants, such as lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, etc. Learn to light a fire without these.
  • Put the fire out completely before leaving it. If it's too hot to put your hands in the ashes, it's not sufficiently out. Douse it down with water, turn the coals with a shovel, and be sure to extinguish every coal and ember.
  • Do not build a fire on top of flammable material such as grass or leaves.
  • Cut away the sod (keep it moist so it stays alive, and replace it before your leave), and clear away the duff and litter.
  • Keep fire extinguishing supplies handy and near the fire. A bucket of water or sand, or a fire extinguisher are recommended.
  • Do not remove burning sticks from a fire.
  • Watch for embers that escape the fire pit and extinguish them immediately.
  • Wear proper footwear around a fire.
  • Be aware that paper, cardboard, and leaves create floating embers that rise out of the fire pit and may land dozens of yards away.
  • Do not light a fire when conditions are adverse (high winds, or drought conditions) or when fires are prohibited by law.



If camping at a facility that has toilets, use them. If camping in the wilderness, you will have to either build a latrine or use cat holes. Do "your business" at least 60 meters200 feet away from any source of water (such as a spring, river, or lake), and at least 30 meters100 feet away from your camp. Dig a shallow hole 7-10cm3-4 inches deep and go there. Then bury it (and any toilet paper). At this depth, there is a lot of bacteria in the soil to quickly compost your waste. Digging deeper will make it take longer.

Just because you are camping does not mean you are at liberty to skip personal hygiene. Wash your hands before you eat and after you answer "nature's call." Brush your teeth before you go to bed and after breakfast. Wash your face and clean your fingernails.

Keep your kitchen clean too, and wash your dishes as soon as you finish eating. Dishes should be washed with hot, soapy, potable water. A few drops of bleach should be added to your rinse water. It's a good idea to heat dish washing water while preparing meals so that it is ready to use as soon as there are dirty dishes to wash. Be sure the water is not hot enough to scald anyone's hands. Cold water and boiling water can be mixed half-and-half for a comfortable washing temperature.

Be sure to always add hot water to cold water. If you add dangerously hot water to an empty camp sink and then turn your back to get the cold water (to cool it to a safe temperature), someone could easily slip in behind you to wash up and scald themselves. Therefore, always add the hot water to the cold water. That way if someone slips in behind you, they are merely disappointed with cold water rather than suffering a potentially serious injury requiring immediate medical attention.


Swimming safety rules

  • Never swim alone. Always swim with a buddy.
  • Do not swim unless there are adults present.
  • Do not dive into water until you know that it is deep enough and free from debris
  • On beaches, rivers, and lakes, wear protective footwear. This will guard against broken glass, sharp rocks, etc.
  • Never pretend to be drowning
  • If swimming in an area monitored by a life guard, stay in the life guard's view.
  • Do not chew gum or eat food while swimming.
  • Stay clear of diving boards. A diver may not see you.
  • Do not engage in horseplay, jump on, or dunk another swimmer.
  • Do not run in a pool area.
  • Pool areas should be fenced in to keep toddlers out. Keep the gate closed!
  • Obey the rules established for the swimming area.
  • Only swim in areas where swimming is allowed.
  • If caught in a riptide, swim parallel to shore. Riptides are narrow, so you should be able to swim out of the current by swimming across it.
  • Do not swim out farther than you can swim out. Remember that you are more tired when you get out there than when you started, so be conservative. Do not overestimate your abilities.
  • Do not swim during stormy weather.
  • Do not rely on inflatable toys as life preservers. If you try to cross a large body of water on an air mattress and it springs a leak, you could be in serious trouble. Never go farther out on one of these than you can swim back.


Rules for conduct

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Do not go off alone.
  • Let your counselor know where you are going, who you will be with, and when you will be back. Never leave without permission.
  • Always go in threes.
  • Do not light fire unless an adult is present.
  • Practice fire safety.
  • Practice axe, hatchet, and knife safety.
  • Wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) when using a boat of any type.
  • Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
  • Remember that medical assistance is more difficult to get and takes longer to arrive in wilderness areas (what's the address of some point on a trail?). Because of this, ratchet up the caution level. Don't take chances.
  • Keep down the noise level so you do not disturb others.
  • Make sure you are welcome to return.
  • Do not take, destroy, or damage facilities, plants, or animals.
  • Report accidents as soon as possible.
  • Do not trespass.


Proper Sabbath observance

As an outdoor leader, you need to remember that the people you are leading will have different ways of observing the Sabbath. Most Adventist children of Pathfinder age will observe it as they have been taught by their parents, and it is important that you not undermine the parents' teaching in this regard. "Liberal" parents will not mind if you lead their children in conservative Sabbath observance, but "conservative" parents are likely to get very upset if engage in activities they are forbidden to do at home. Because of this, you are encouraged to adopt a conservative approach to Sabbath observance when you are leading them. You should do this even if none of the children in your care come from conservative homes, because if a new one joins you who is conservative, you will put that child at a serious disadvantage when you suddenly have to change the "rules". The Sabbath will then become a burden both to the new child and to the others who have been in the club for a while.

Likewise, you should be careful about telling children from liberal families that their observance of the Sabbath is inadequate or flawed. Rather, you should tell them "the club does not observe the Sabbath that way" without making a judgment on the way the child has been taught at home.

Properly observed, the Sabbath is not to be a burden.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Here, "holy" means "set aside for a special purpose." The Sabbath is set aside as a day for us to learn more about God and to ponder His Creation. Just as a park is a place set aside for special activities, the Sabbath is "a park in time." We do not build homes, offices, or factories in parks, nor do we engage in everyday tasks on the Sabbath. We put aside our homework, housework, and our livelihood-work and take a break from it. This is a gift from God.

The Sabbath is a memorial to the creative power of God, so that really makes it a perfect day to acquaint ourselves and others with God's Creation.


List at least six ways you can keep the out-of-doors beautiful for others to enjoy.

  • Take the "take only pictures, leave only footprints" motto to heart.
  • Pick up litter
  • Prefer low-impact recreational activities:
    • Use canoes and kayaks instead of motor boats
    • Use cross-country skis or snowshoes instead of snowmobiles
    • Use hiking boots instead of ATVs
  • Practice fire safety
  • Stay on the trail
  • Participate in wilderness and park beautification projects
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle - this lowers the stress on natural resources.


Know at least ten qualities of a good youth leader.

A good youth leader will be:

  1. Patient
  2. Loving
  3. Well-prepared
  4. Flexible
  5. Punctual
  6. Responsible
  7. Mature
  8. Organized
  9. Merciful
  10. Fair
  11. Decisive
  12. Enthusiastic
  13. Passionate
  14. Compassionate
  15. Committed
  16. Persuasive
  17. Courageous
  18. Selfless