A Special Thanks to our Gear Library & CFK Sponsors:
It has been a terrific year. We just hit our biggest milestone yet—over 30,000 under represented youth have gone on BAWT supported trips since 1999! We’ve trained over 1200 teachers and youth workers since we started and we’re on track to reach 6,000 youth this year and we can’t do it without your help.
Program starts at 8:00 am and ends promptly at 9:00 am
Space is limited — please register by October 2, 2013!
Why:Your support is crucial in helping Bay Area Wilderness Training create opportunities for at-risk youth to experience wilderness first hand. Your donation provides teachers and youth workers with high quality training, gear, funding and peer support to get youth outdoors!
For more information, pleaseContact Director of Development Steven Fredericks at 510-452-2298 x 303 or email.
Inspiration Times Three
Molly Bucovec and Roz Silva of Contra Costa Youth Continuum of Services took the Camping at the Presidio (CAP) Front Country Leadership Training in March. Then, inspired by all she learned, Molly raised over $1,400 for Bay Area Wilderness Training by Backpacking for Kids in Big Sur! She followed that up in June by co-leading what she calls, “an amazing, eye-opening trip to Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio,” with Roz and their group of 18- to 22-year old homeless and transitional youth. Below are notable excerpts from their first ever camping trip and guess what? Her youth want more time outdoors!
“We work with a very transient population, with many changes happening all the time—so it was interesting that these really urban youth with pretty minimal exposure to nature were so excited about it. They loved being outside, the campfires, learning more about the Presidio, and seeing different plants. We did a closing activity where we reflected on how they were impacted by the natural environment, so different than being in the middle of Richmond.”
“A lot of them talked about how calm and peaceful they felt. When you live in a city where you’re on guard all the time, given the opportunity to be in a natural environment without those stresses around you is incredibly powerful for these kids. One youth articulated it really well, he said, ‘I’m a former gang banger, I have to be hard all the time, and being here I can just let go.’ It was incredibly powerful for him—he had a very emotional trip. He’s a hard, tough kid and he was like a different person! Another piece of feedback we got from many of the youth is that they ended up feeling a lot closer to each other and to us as staff after this trip!
“Just seeing the enthusiasm that they had for the outdoors and the release it provided from the daily stresses they’re under was very powerful. A lot of our youth are already saying, ‘When can we go back! When can we go on a longer trip? We want to go different places!’ So Roz and I are beginning to plan something for September— and I’m going to develop a hiking club so we can go on daytrips, a hike’s not as long but it’s still getting out of Richmond and being in the woods for a bit.”
News You Can Use: River Crossing Techniques!
We’re always looking for ways to improve our training and curriculum. This spring, we updated our recommended river crossing techniques. These “new” techniques have been used in the field for years by organizations like Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Have fun this summer and if you come across any high water, be safe!
Solo: Facing upstream using shuffle steps and one or two poles for additional stability.
River Crossing PHOTO HERE
Pairs:Two people crossing together should face each other with the stronger person facing downstream and the weaker person facing upstream. Get a firm grasp on each other’s shoulders, then use shuffle steps with mirrored legs (left for the upstream person coordinated with the right for the downstream person). The advantage: upstream person blocks the current for the downstream person, and downstream person provides important stability for the upstream person.
Triangle: One of the most stable options for crossing! Use the same “Pairs” principles with three people instead of two. Only one person should move at a time, while the other two provide stability and support.
The Line: Three or more people form a line facing upstream, one behind the other. The first upstream person should hold a pole or stick for stability and move first to create an eddy for the next person to step into.
Chain-link: The whole group links arms and crosses together facing the opposite bank.
Rope & Hand Lines: Consider it only as a last option after other methods have proven ineffective—improperly used hand lines can actually hold someone underwater in strong current! Always face upstream and hold the hand line upstream from you. Put another way, cross on the downstream side of the hand line. Never cross on the upstream side of a hand line.
1.Avoid setting the line over trees, boulders, shrubs or other major obstacles in the river that could cause entrapment or prevent assistance if someone falls.
2.Line should be taut, approximately 5-6 feet above the surface of the water. Note that it will stretch and dip toward the middle of the crossing, so starting with it high is important. A low line can lead to possible entrapment if someone falls.
3.Line should be straight across or angled very slightly downstream to take advantage of the current. NOTE: This contradicts all other crossing methods, which advise you should either cross in an upstream direction or straight across.
Bay Area Wilderness Training hits Salt Lake City!
By Scott Wolland, Executive Director
Aaron Gilbert (Program Director) and I attended the Outdoor Retailers (OR) Show in Salt Lake City to solicit gear donations in August. This high octane trade show is open to gear manufacturers and retailers, with participants playing hard and working hard for three days straight.
Each season, as sleeping bags become unusable, ground pads wear out, and various equipment needs to be cycled off, BAWT replaces some of the Gear Libraries’ equipment by soliciting donations from the Outdoor Industry. BAWT relies on gear donations to be used both in our gear libraries and as equipment to be given away as premiums for our Climbing for Kids and Backpacking For Kids Adventure Fundraising Programs.