Bay Area Wilderness Training recently partnered with Outward Bound to host a service-learning how-to day at our Oakland Gear Library! 

These youth are part of California Outward Bound’s Youth Leadership Corps, which brings Bay Area high school students together to develop their leadership skills and provide them with opportunities to gain service experience. After participating in a 12-day adventure expedition, the youth meet monthly to take part in different service-learning work to ultimately develop a service-learning event for their community! 

First, the youth received a “BAWT download” where they learned all about what BAWT does, why we do it, and how it gets done. As the day went on, BAWT staff and Outward Bound leaders pointed out different examples of modeling how to lead a service day, so that the youth could get ideas of how they would like to run their service learning event.

The Outward Bound youth team supported the gear library by deep cleaning all the dirty boots and “de-gendering” our hiking boots. Regular deep cleaning of the boots is essential to maintain their water-resistant qualities and ensure that all the youth who wear them out in the field look stylin’! The youth were quick to self-organize on this task and made sure to switch roles so everyone got the chance to get soaked with muddy water. 

The second task of “de-gendering” boots was a big one. To remove male/female symbols on all of our hiking boots, BAWT utilized the help of the Outward Bound team to test out a new tagging system. We believe that what gender you identify as has no correlation to the boots you should or should not be wearing. The group quickly tagged over one hundred boots and before we knew it, a new genderless boot system was born. We hope that this new system will allow the youth we serve to feel great and at home in whatever shoes they wear.

Thank you to the Outward Bound crew for a great day!