Can you feel it? The Movement to get Kids Outdoors is Growing
2010 was a big year for BAWT – 5,000 kids outdoors, a new campsite opened in San Francisco, a new Frontcountry Program was launched- but the context in which our success was achieved is just as important- we are helping to grow a blossoming movement!
In well over a decade of working to get kids outside, I have never felt more people, across the country, excited to re-connect kids to nature. In June, in New York City’s Central Park, I attended a national gathering called Outdoor Nation- with 500 young people from 15 states, all there to share ideas and energy. This was the first of dozens of “Listening Sessions” put on by The Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative. One of these sessions happened in Berkeley, at the Brower Center, and garnered amazing energy! In September, we hosted Meg Merrill, producer of Play Again, a powerful new film about screen addicted teenagers getting into wilderness for the first time. From the White house to your house, the movement is growing.
Thanks for being a part of it!
Written by Kyle Macdonald, BAWT Founder
Climbing for Kids 2011 is underway
$500 worth of Mountain Hardware Gear & Mt. Whitney is Back
Big Changes are afoot for our Climbing for Kids Program in 2011. We’ve totally revamped climbingforkids.org, lowered the deposit to register, lowered the overall fundraising goals, and we’ve added more flexibility for climbers to get the great gear they want. With all this going on, and the economy turning around, slots are filling quickly this year, so…. Make climbing Mt. Rainier, Shasta or Whitney, your the highlight of your summer, and jump on board for a challenge you’ll never forget!
Oakland Teachers Learn to Take Kids Outdoors
The Front Country Leadership Training held in October for teachers of the Oakland Unified School District was a fun-filled learning experience for all. Teachers arrived early Saturday morning to Mount Diablo State Park for a weekend of team-building games, hiking, risk management, map reading, and Leave No Trace skills.
The day kicked off with a group agreement circle. Laughing, problem solving, and inclusion were just some of the elements the group wanted for the weekend. Tarantulas, which frequent the park, were semi-included as we wanted to see them but didn’t want them in our sleeping bags. We then shaped the rope that had been passed around into a circle and then to a map of the United States. Everyone stood on a spot on the map where they had had a memorable outdoor experience. Lessons were then taught on how to set up tents, risk management, and outdoor kitchen skills. After lunch, map reading was translated to lines drawn on knuckles to give a 3D visual for topography. Participants were split into groups and put their map reading skills to use while leading a hike to Rock City. One of the groups even encountered a baby rattlesnake! After dinner a workshop on how to build a fire without a lighter or paper was held. Followed by Leave No Trace skits, where principals were acted out for the group. Sunday was wrap-up and despite some drizzle the group remained in high spirits. Kitchen kit organization was taught by one of the groups who illustrated through song, dance, and the playing of a drum atop a picnic table how to properly put the kit away. The workshop ended with a closing circle just in time for the sky to break open and the rain to start.
Written by Jamie Rose
A Banner Year for CAP- Camping at the Presidio gets 2,400 Kids Camping
On October 31st, 2010 the Camping at the Presidio Program (CAP) celebrated the end of its first season in the newly renovated Rob Hill Campground. Situated alongside the Golden Gate Bridge and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the campground has hosted 3,968 CAP nights (adults and youth) since the May 1st grand opening. With two public sites and two CAP sites, Rob Hill features state of the art facilities and is a hub of many trails and historic landmarks. Other features include the Great Room, an indoor pavilion for education programs and workshops. CAP groups can now also roast their marshmallows at the 100-person campfire ring and amphitheatre.
Amidst the move to Rob Hill, CAP proudly hosted four Leadership Trainings, training a total of 70 teachers and youth serving adults. CAP welcomed many returning groups as well as first time users from Edgewood Family Services, Seneca Center, GLIDE, Hamilton Family Center, and City of Dreams.
2011 promises to be another exciting season of growth as CAP continues to fulfill and exceed its mission of fostering meaningful (and for many participants, unprecedented) overnight camping experiences for Bay Area youth. Visit BAWT’s website for more information on upcoming trainings and ways you can get involved with CAP. Happy camping!
Written by Grace Malango-Blake
Last Chance to Snowshoe!
BAWT’s 2011 Snowshoe Basics course hits this week! Wednesday evening classroom session followed by a day on some fresh snow in Tahoe Saturday, Jan 5th. Register today!
Check out new events on the bawt.org website!