I love nature. I love working with kids. Isn’t it only natural that I would love the combination? That was what made Troy Camp so special: the combination of fun in the outdoors and making a difference. I’ve come across three neat non-profit organizations in the Bay Area that do just that. Check them out!
Bay Area Wilderness Training
In a nutshell: They train staff of youth-serving organizations to lead outdoor excursions, AND they provide equipment for free! The catch is you have to work in an organization serving students. I don’t think you an just walk in and volunteer to work with other people’s students.
Big City Mountaineers
In a nutshell: It’s an intense mentoring program that matches small groups of students from under-served areas with a small group of mentors. They’ve got a one student to one mentor ratio. The group takes a weeklong backpacking or canoeing trip. The catch is that there is a small fee, and you have to provide all your own equipment.
Sierra Club Inner City Outings
In a nutshell: It’s a completely volunteer-run organization whose members lead dayhikes, car-camping trips, snow camping excursions, and backpacking adventures for urban youth (usually through organizations that sign up). The catch is that it’s a completely volunteer-run organization!!! Just kidding. The catch is that you have to participate in three or more hikes per year to stay active.
Clearly, there is not a lack of organizations or ways to get involved with youth and the outdoors, and it’s really just a matter of figuring out which one fits the best. Let me know if you know of other organizations out there.