Climbing for Kids- A Successful 2011 kick-starts 2012! The Grand Teton is back!
The 2011 Climbing for Kids Fundraiser was a great success with 32 climbers raising in excess of $121,000 for Bay Area Wilderness Training! These exceptional individuals had the unique opportunity to explore the summits of some of the most sought after peaks in the United States, all while raising money to get youth outdoors. For every climber who raised their minimum goal of $3,200+, BAWT was able to support 32+ youth getting outdoors, all on multi-night trips. With the funds raised this year through Climbing for Kids, 220 trips went out with tents, sleeping bags, hiking boots, etc, and over 170 Bay Area youth workers and teachers graduated our Wilderness Leadership and Frontcountry Leadership Training courses. Huge thanks to the climber/fundraisers who took on Mt. Whitney, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Rainier!
The 2012 Climbing for Kids season launches at the end of November. This year we have climbs on Mount Whitney, Mount Shasta, Mount Rainier and Grand Teton. There are only 50 slots available, so make sure to register ASAP.
Results are in… More kids, more trips than ever! Here’s a story from one.
We’ve had another huge season of getting kids outdoors. We’ve supported over 220 trips and we’ve got two months still to go. One example of what happens on these trips is this inspiring story from Kara Mirmelstein, a youth worker with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy who runs a Restoration Youth Crew:
This summer I led a group of 15 high school students on a 3-day backpacking trip to Point Reyes National Seashore. On the second day of the trip we had a long, steady climb to reach our campsite. We gave a personal challenge to one of our kids who was always clipping at the leaders’ heels. Faizan was to bring up the rear and not pass anyone, and was followed only by me, the trailing crew leader. There was another student, Alisha, who tended toward the back. She had never been backpacking before, and the climb was a struggle. Although Alisha was athletic, hiking was a new sport for her and she was unaccustomed to the shifting weight of a full pack.
Anticipating the monster climb, I placed myself in the back on purpose; ready to encourage any crew members who struggled. But I didn’t account for the patience and strength Faizan would show at the back of the group. He lifted Alisha’s burden, resting with her when she needed it and encouraging her all the way to the top, refusing to pass her even when she invited him to. He was persistent enough to remain a steady presence, but was gentle enough for the victory to remain hers. By encouraging and inspiring Alisha, he encouraged and inspired me, too. I was excited to see him call on his personal experience and share in the leadership role by his own volition.
We ended the hike with a brief, silent solo hike, and set up camp speaking only in hushed tones. We had come together as a team. For the rest of the summer, our crew would call back to that day, that hike, and that climb, using it as a source of strength for the new obstacles we faced.
Notes from the Trail
Terry’s story of the Lucky Bear Canister
Last October, one of our youth workers took their kids on a trip to Tahoe National Forest. The day after they got there they woke up with their stuff covered in snow. So they decided to head for a nice warm cabin (that our youth worker wisely had as a backup). They warmed up, hung out, had dinner in the nice warm cabin and were ready for dessert. They started looking in the bear canisters and then realized they had left a bear canister covered in the snow full of s’mores goodies back at their snow covered site. We were having fun imagining a bear finding it in the summer, madly trying to get to the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers that could be seen through the clear plastic of the canister.
Well, instead of a bear, it seems we were lucky enough to have it found by Ed Nolan at Placer County Search and Rescue. Not only did he look up BAWT, he figured out it was from the South Bay and sent it back with some goodies, including 20 cool new whistles. How lucky is that!
Terry Nail is BAWT’s South Bay Programs Manager, and would love your help!
for more on volunteer opportunities in and around our Milpitas Office
There are some upcoming dates for Gear Corps, where you can come help out in the gear library. Gear Corps is every Tuesday evening from 5:30-8:30pm. You don’t have to stay the whole time, it is drop-in and no prior experience necessary. For more info click here.
This committee meets monthly (4th Wednesday evening) and works to get the word out about all the awesome work BAWT does. We need your creativity and expertise! E-mail Kyle for more information.