Connecting Youth with Nature
Outdoor Ambassadors is a program that began last year through a partnership between Northwest Youth Corps and the Forest Service. The intent of Outdoor Ambassadors (OA) is to provide youth, who have historically been underrepresented in the outdoor industry, access to resources. This includes giving youth the opportunity to experience and have fun in nature. Last year OA organized hikes, tree climbing trips and snowshoeing all at zero cost to the youth involved. This year, OA will expand its list of activities and will seek a much broader audience. In addition to recreation, the Outdoor Ambassadors program seeks to provide the youth it serves with education and vocational information. One of our goals is to make the youth aware of the job opportunities in the outdoor field.
Each outing of Outdoor Ambassadors is very different. Every time we visit and speak with the youth involved in our program, we always ask one question: “what do you want?” We seek to empower the youth and attempt to tailor each program specifically for the participants going on each outing.
Everyone deserves equal access and enjoyment of the outdoors. The partners (Northwest Youth Corps and the US Forest Service) are committed to fostering more inclusive participation and leadership in outdoor recreation and natural resource careers. With fun and educational field trips, we will create a positive connection between diverse, urban youth and the natural world. Our goal is to inspire youth and families to become more active in the outdoors and to explore careers in natural resources and recreation.
Snacks will be provided, but we ask that each participant pack a lunch. A field trip will include a recreational activity such as rafting, tree-climbing, hiking etc. Forest Service scientists can be brought out to discuss the environment, their work, and how to make a difference with the youth. Information about careers with the two organizations can be presented as well.
For more information contact (541) 743-8594
Thank you to our granters (Outdoor Youth Connections), and businesses (Safeway, Bi-Mart, Toby’s Family Foods, Capella Market, Humble Bagel) which contributed food or sponsored advertising (Sundance Natural Foods) for Outdoor Ambassadors. Also thank you Columbia Sportswear Company which allowed us to provide participants with the necessary outdoor clothing.