A Note from the Founder
Friends of BAWT,
Happy May! I am so very proud to announce to you the launch of an innovative new program at BAWT- the BAWTmobiles! Through our partnership with City CarShare, we’re now able to offer, not only training and gear, but minivans too – all to support educators so that they can get kids outdoors. The article and our website explain more, but this program meets a critical need for youth workers and is truly a service (and accomplishment) worth celebrating! In this edition of Trail Mix you’ll meet Teodora, an inspiring young woman who I met on a WLT in 2001 when she was 18. Seven years later, she’s still taking youth outdoors. You’ll also learn about our annual BAWT river rafting trip coming up in July and a bunch more. We hope this newsletter gives you a jolt of BAWT inspiration – and reminds you of how important your contribution and connection to BAWT is in getting youth outdoors.
It’s been well over a year in the making, and has included lots of conversations with insurers, lawyers, and City CarShare’s technology folks, but it’s finally here – theBAWTmobiles. The two, all wheel drive, Toyota minivans are now out rolling, and being used by BAWT for our May WLT, by youth workers, and by the larger City CarShare membership – which means they’re seeing a whole lot of sharing! And that’s really the point- sharing a resource like this is making transportation available to youth workers at a lower cost and with more flexibility than has ever previously existed. City CarShare (CCS) is proving to be the perfect partner; they are bringing their expertise and technology to the table to manage the vehicles and make things like online reservations, timely maintenance, and a customer service department possible. They’ve done some heavy lifting to make this partnership work… Thanks CCS!
Here’s how it works. A WLT or CAP trained youth worker enrolled in the program will go to the City CarShare website and reserve one or both of the BAWTmobiles. BAWT users will actually have priority use and will be able to reserve the vans as much as six months in advance, where the general CCS membership will only be abel to reserve them two weeks in advance. On the day of the trip, the driver will go to the vehicle (parked in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley and Richmond nieghborhood “pods”) and access it through their electronic key, called a fob. The vehicle is now ready to go with gas card in the glove compartment and helpful tips about extending reservations or getting road service in the event of a problem. Drivers pay only for their use, which will generally be an inexpensive daily rate for BAWT associated drivers. In fact, the special pricing, which always includes gas and insurance, can save some users as much as $200 on extended trips when compared to a rental car agency price, which doesn’t include the $4/gallon gasoline.
We’re thrilled to be part of yet another innovative partnership aimed at reducing barriers to the outdoors. And we are once again reminded of how lucky we are to live in a place with such fabulous people who are working hard to make the cities we live in more livable places for everyone. Read more and sign up to use theBAWTmobiles.
During a recent rafting trip, some kids had to be coaxed into the rafts. The fear of the deep, moving river overwhelmed them. Looking back at the end of the trip, Teodora remembers nothing but empty rafts. Next to them in the cold water were the outlines of heads extending out of neon life jackets. Her entire group, safely past the rapids, lay floating on their backs, sweetly gazing up at the sky.
Teodora Ildefonzo-Olmo (Thea) has an open, radiant smile and a core strength that enables her to work full time with youth and attend graduate school at San Francisco State University. Dressed in trendy clothing and high heels, Thea presents herself as a city gal. Nevertheless, her face lights up when she talks about taking youth out camping, river rafting, and snowboarding.
“Before BAWT I had only been camping once and I had never been backpacking,” said Thea, a second generation Filipino-San Francisco native. “I had no idea what to expect when I went on my WLT.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Apply for the Amy Chamberlain Scholarship for the WLT.
Imagine roasting s’mores around a campfire at night looking out towards the Golden Gate Bridge, knowing that you’re still in the city but feeling a world away. March marked the second year of Camping at the Presidio (CAP), an outdoor education program dedicated to providing youth who have not visited national parks with an overnight camping experience. Since its opening in 2007, over 60 leaders have been trained and more than 400 youth have camped at the Presidio.
This year, Rob Hill Campground is undergoing renovations to better accommodate more youth groups. During renovations, Dragonfly Creek campground is the designated CAP site, a private scenic campsite enclosed within a redwood grove. Nearby, there is a beautiful campfire ring in the open fields of Fort Scott, overlooking the Bay.
The CAP program includes an overnight stay at the Presidio, round-trip transportation to and from a community center or school, and a 2-hour, place-based interactive program led by park program staff. To be eligible for the program, leaders and educators must first complete the CAP Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT). There are only a few more slots for our May 30-31, 2008 training. If you are unable to attend our May training, save the date for our Fall OLT on October 4-5, 2008! For more information or to sign up, please visit our website or contact CAP Manager Miguel Gutierrez (415) 561-7690.
We are excited to ramp up into high gear. Spring is in the air, so it must be WLT season!
Wilderness Leadership Training (WLT)
The cost is based on a sliding scale (details here), but the full training cost for one individual is waived for organizations allowing use of a 15 person passenger van, and half the cost is waived for a 7 or 8 passenger van.
BAWT Gear Libraries
April Yamaichi is kicking off another season of Climbing for Kids by heading back to Mt. Whitney for the second year in a row. “The reward in supporting BAWT is two-fold: For youth, raising funds to help them experience, respect and understand nature through BAWT’s programs. For me, to build confidence by putting myself through challenges on a mountain that I would never experience in everyday life. I had such a positive experience with the guides, climbers and the mountain itself, that I made the decision to return and support BAWT AND make the attempt to summit Whitney again this year.”
You’re next! Would you like to climb a big mountain, but you’re not sure if you can? Would you like to earn $1500 worth of free gear? How about help a good cause: Getting at-risk youth outdoors? This event will change the way you look at the world!
Climbing for Kids is looking for folks like you to raise money for BAWT – like one of those bike-a-thons. We’ll take you up a big mountain (Whitney, Rainier, Shasta, Hood, Pico de Orizaba, or the Grand Teton) AND provide you with all the gear you’ll need, which you get to keep. Sound good? Learn more at an upcoming online information presentation.
Summer climbing season is almost here! Sign up now.
When: July 26 & 27 (Saturday & Sunday)
Camping: BAWT will have a campsite at Camp Lotus for those wishing to camp out Friday evening or Saturday evening ($9 per person). Camp Lotus has parking, hot showers, and a camp store that sells fresh baked muffins and lattes! Guest can arrive the night before and camp with BAWT and have fun around the campfire. Space is limited.
The Float: We’ll raft the “Chili Bar” section on Saturday and “the Forge” section on Sunday. Both are about 11 miles long and should take 5 to 6 hours to complete.
The Food: We will serve lunch – cold cut sandwiches, veggie pitas, fruit and melons, and soft drinks.
Where: South Fork American River, 30 miles east of Sacramento and a 2 1/2 hour drive from San Francisco. We’ll meet at Henningson Park in Coloma, California at 9am. Parking is $2 per car for the day. We encourage carpooling to this event.
Cost: Adult $100 (Children 13-15 yrs old $75) per day of rafting. (This is cheaper than commercial rafting trips.)
Who: Anyone wanting to help BAWT get youth outdoors!
Contact us by email or phone, (415) 788-3666 x156 if you have questions or, better yet, would like to fill a boat with you and 5 of your friends!!!
French Train Connector, Redwood Park Skyline Gate, Oakland Distance: 6.1 miles
You’ll feel a thousand miles away from the city on the French Trail in Oakland’s Redwood Park. It offers some of the best hiking and trail running in the Bay Area, thanks to its mixture of stunning views, rolling terrain, and well-groomed tread. Follow the trail from its flat, wide, well-trodden beginning into the deep, cool woods, where the trail narrows to perfect single-track that winds between sky-high redwoods and slowly rises out of the forest to gorgeous views of the surrounding hills.
Directions: From Redwood Park’s Skyline Gate on Skyline Boulevard, take the West Ridge Trail for 0.6 miles, then turn down the French Trail and follow it until you hit the Mill Trail. Take this left, then another left on the Stream Trail, then the Prince Trail, which drops you onto the East Ridge Trail. Take a left here and you’ll be back in the parking lot.
- What We Do
- What We Do