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WTA Joins the Outdoors Empowered Network

Posted by Andrew at Nov 20, 2014 05:00 PM |

In early November, WTA Youth Program staff headed to Oakland and San Francisco for the inaugural National Summit of the new Outdoors Empowered Network, which is helping to support established organizations sharing the Outdoor Leadership Training model and seed similar new programs across the country.

In early November, WTA's Krista Dooley and Andrew Pringle attended the inaugural National Summit of the Outdoors Empowered Network (OEN). WTA is a founding affiliate of the OEN, which works to support organizations getting youth outdoors through leadership training and gear libraries.

Sharing resources, seeding new programs, getting youth outdoors!

Now in it's second year, WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program supports Washington schools and community organizations that want to take youth groups hiking and camping by offering training, gear lending and trip assistance.

The model for our program is based, in part, on the time-tested successes of similar programs at Bay Area Wilderness Training and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program.

Now, WTA and our fellow OEN program affiliates are sharing resources and collaborating on challenges, while working with OEN staff to seed similar new programs across the country. Those programs, in turn, will help thousands more youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get outdoors.

OEN Summit 2014 Group 640px
Steve Byrne Photo

Representatives from nine organizations attended the gathering, and discussions ranged from curriculum standards to gear management systems, and from program evaluation with Dr. Nina Roberts from San Francisco State University to activating networks and launching movements with Mary Roscoe and Avery Cleary from the Children and Nature Network.

The summit was held at BAWT’s Oakland Gear Library, but the attendees also enjoyed a tour of the Camping at the Presidio Program at Rob Hill Campground in San Francisco.

OEN Summit 2014 Discussion 640 px
Steve Byrne Photo

WTA was also able to share our success in combining the Outdoor Leadership Training program with stewardship opportunities of our unique trail maintenance program.

In all, the National Summit was an invaluable way for WTA staff to collaborate with other organizations who share this unique approach to getting kids outside, to connect with other program coordinators and to map out the Network’s collective efforts for 2015.

2015 Outdoor Leadership Training workshop schedule posted

We're also excited to announce our 2015 Outdoor Leadership Training workshops are open for registration and we can’t wait to support more amazing trip leaders in their efforts to get youth out on trails.

>> Learn more about WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training

>> Learn more about the Outdoors Empowered Network