A Note from the Founder
“Change” is something we’ve heard lots about leading up to this historic election of Barack Obama… and change is truly afoot in our world- a changing economy, a changing climate, and even change in the way people think about our connection to nature. In this edition of Trail Mix you’ll get a report from the Children and Nature Network’s annual conference that speaks to some of this change. We bid a tearful farewell to Eve Skylar, our amazing Camping at the Presidio Programs Associate, and in the midst of it all,BAWT is moving! Roger tells you more in this edition, along with all the course offerings and hikes we’re still doing, despite the approaching winter season. With so much change taking place, BAWT is going to need your help more than ever before. This fall, as you review your budget and begin your belt tightening (as we have), please know that your gift, of whatever size, to help us get kids outdoors is more critical than ever. If there’s one link you click on in this newsletter, please, let it be this one: DonateToday!Huge thanks, and best wishes for an enjoyable, relaxing Turkey Day!
Founder and CEO
“On a snow trip, a 300 pound kid was having trouble just walking uphill at elevation. He was having such a hard time that a machine operator took pity and gave him a ride uphill in his Cat. Later, the kid asked me if he could borrow the phone to call his dad. I was beginning to worry. “What do you want to call your dad for? Is everything OK?” The kid said he just wanted to call his dad because he was having the best day ever. Awww!”
David Hicks, teacher at Alternative Learning Community in Oakland, February 2008.
The gear library… huge!
BAWT Breaking news: Moving to Oakland – BAWT belongs on Broadway!
By Roger Miller
After almost a decade in downtown San Francisco, BAWT is moving! In March of 2009 Earth Island Institute, BAWT’s longtime fiscal agent, will move into the brand new David Brower Center, this created an opportunity for us to consider and direct the change that was required, given our needs as an organization. Many of you know that we’ve been increasingly cramped both upstairs in our offices but even more so in our gear library in the garage. We took this opportunity to address this and have found a location that is really perfect for us. The new address is about four blocks from the 19th street BART stop and right in downtown Oakland. The new office space is a lot bigger than our current cramped quarters and we have A TON of storage space for gear including a drive in garage with about 6-8 parking spots and plenty of gear storage space. We’re looking forward to moving in there early next year.
The new office-elect.
BAWT will be holding a moving part on Saturday January 17th. If you’re interested in seeing our new space and helping us load gear, desks, and everything else BAWT into a truck or two, please join us. Pizza and beer will of course be on us. Please contact Roger if you’d like to help.
BAWT’s new address: 2301 Broadway, Suite B, Oakland, CA 94612.
Amy on the trail, ready to go…
WLT Talk : What I Did On My WLT Vacation
By Amy Matarazzo
BAWT Program Intern
First, let’s start with what we didn’t do: there was no bathing, no cell phone use, and no cars. Nope, not one shower, text message, or coffee run in five whole days. The morning of our Wilderness Leadership Training (WLT) launch, I think our whole group – a mishmash of teachers, counselors, and youth coordinators – wondered who we would be after completion of this course.
Our group, lead by BAWT Program Director Chelsea Griffie and Ascend K-8 School Founder Brett Wilson, hiked several miles each day, carried and cooked our own food, found and purified our own water, and participated in leadership scenarios. There’s more to think about when taking a group of youth into the wilderness than I could have ever imagined.
After just over two years, Eve Skylar, BAWT’s amazing CAP Programs Associate is leaving us to pursue her Art studies in an accelerated scholarship program in stop motion animation. Eve started out as BAWT’s Marketing Intern, and quickly made herself invaluable. She was the obvious choice for the job of CAP coordinator and did an extraordinary job navigating the sometimes tricky waters of a truly integrated, collaborative project- the Camping at the Presidio program. Not only are there four organizations involved, but a program like this is the first of its kind nationally. Eve, along with her colleagues at the Crissy Field Center and Presidio Trust, built a true gem of a program. Huge thanks to you Eve, you’ve left a legacy for which you can be immensely proud!
We caught her between art classes, and asked her a few questions, here’s her response:
What do you most appreciate about BAWT?
AT BAWT I get to work with people who are enthusiastic about getting kids outdoors. BAWT’s teach the teacher model allows me to see growth in the adult leaders as well as the youth they take outdoors.
Tell us about your experience teaching the WLT.
There is something very powerful about the outdoors that bonds people together in such a short amount of time; people are challenged to step beyond their comfort zones and take a risk.
Tell us about CAP.
CAP is an amazing growing program right here in San Francisco. It’s accessible. You don’t have to drive 4 hours away to get to a national park. The city is in one. The Presidio has such a rich biodiversity and American history bottled up in one area. It often surprises people, “you mean, there’s a forest in the city?” and I say, “yup.” It’s a good example of why we need to take care of our natural resources.
By Kyle Macdonald
Founder & CEO
In September I attended the Children and Nature Network’s Grassroots Gathering, entitled “Tipping Points for Cultural Change” and the atmosphere was electric. The organization and conference, founded by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, has been a “shot in the arm” for me, and has helped to bring powerful, empirical evidence speaking to how important our work is connecting kids to nature. Over 107 organizers from 70 regions were represented, taking part in workshops entitled “Natural Leaders: Growing Youth Involvement”, “Connecting with Health Care Professionals,” and “Natural Allies: The Parents’ Campaign”. The conference highlighted new ideas and initiatives taking place all over the country… and BAWT is leading the way here in the Bay Area, as a founding member of the Children in Nature Collaborative, one of two regional campaigns happening in the Bay Area.
The GGNRA Endangered Species Big Year is teaming up with Bay Area Wilderness Training for a moderate 7-mile one-way journey up the slopes of Mount Tam to Muir Woods to search for the Coho Salmon and Central Coast California Steelhead as the fish return from the ocean to spawn in the waters of Redwood Creek. We’ll take theBAWT mobiles back to our starting point! Bring food and water, and dress for cold, wet weather and wear boots as trails may be muddy.
RSVP required: call 415-572-6989. Free. Meet in Mill Valley at the Park and Ride lot at the intersection of Highway 101 and Shoreline Highway. Click here for directions. Join, see and save , discuss, and blog about all of the GGNRA’s 33 endangered species! $2,000 grand prize for the winner of the Big Year!
Todd Carpenter, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
Alison Gooding, Credo Mobile
Jill Greenblatt, College Access Foundation
Matt Hitchcock, YMCA Richmond
Laura Lifland, Union Bank of Switzerland
Junaid Mohiuddin, McKinsey & Co
Robert Pascual, Robert Pascual & Associates
David Scott, Knova Software
Ron Soto, California Youth Outreach
Eri Suzuki, East Bay Regional Park District
Joe White, Secorix
Dan Zucker, Sun Microsystems
Cliff Agocs, Climbing for Kids Coordinator
Chelsea Griffie, Program Director
Kyle Macdonald, Founder and CEO
Cisco Martin Del Campo, Program Associate
Roger Miller, Executive Director
Michael Mitrani, Outreach Coordinator
Terry Nail, South Bay Coordinator
Theresa Adamo, Program
Nick Chapman, Development
Elyzabeth Dehapiot, Marketing
Pierre Hiraclides, Office Admin Support
Tony Johnson, South Bay
Lilli Keinaenen, Program
Carey Myslewski, CFK
ZhiQiang Shee, CFK