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Use the form on the right to contact us.

We're excited to hear what you're up to!  

P.O. Box 347171
San Francisco


We are a growing NETWORK of local organizations using training and outdoor gear libraries to help connect kids to the outdoors across America. 



The Outdoors Empowered Network Blog is a great way to keep up with our work! 


Winter Outdoor Retailer lands with a splash in Denver!


Day 1 of Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show...that's a wrap!


The Wrap from and OEN Perspective 

This winter's OR show, set in Denver, CO for the first time ever, was many things: Exciting, disorienting, bigger, and hopefully, for our work, full of promise. I started the show at a party thrown by a dozen plus conservation groups in Denver's civic center.; The CO governer Hickenlooper was there, lots of beer, and some great food was there.  And a really exciting feeling that this state was where the industry show should be. Instead of Utah, where we all just got up and left on short notice, because the politicians in that fine state put oil and gas extraction in front of public lands.

Our warming climate took center stage, and all kinds of speakers, workshops and party's pushed us all to figure out how to contribute towards addressing this global challenge. It felt great to be involved in an industry that sees this as a top priority.

Jackie Radilla, Get Outdoors Leadville HUB coordinator joined me for days 2 and 3- Then she showed me around some Leadville, CO trails on snowshoes as I head up to the highcountry to support our new member's efforts (right)!  Jackie was greeted with glee by the incoming Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Foundation, Lise Aangeenbrug, who also just happened to be the founder of the GOCO Inspire Initiative.  That's the very funder that brought Get Outdoors Leadville to that fabulous mountain town. Read the full press release about Lise's hiring.  This is a good thing, as the foundation stands at an inflection point, and has an opportunity, with a new leader in place, to make systemic change.  And of course, we're ready to help!

Shout out to Adventure Medical Kits, who ran a fundraiser for OEN, and Osprey, GSI, Thermarest, White Sierra, Columbia and Leki, who all welcomed Jackie and enthusiastically listened to our news and pledged their continued support.

Saturday included the usual Diversity Luncheon, put on by Kenji Harotunian @kenjiharo.  This was the biggest turn out of any of the 9 lunches there have been.  It was exciting to see more people, from more communities (i.e. LGBTQ, Native, etc) showing up and sharing their enthusiasm and frustration.  As Jose Gonzales said "we've got to be able to hold both...." because we've got a long way to go before the industry reflects our country, and we've made some serious strides! 

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Big thanks to Kenji for keeping the dialogue alive and growing! 

For any of you out there, volunteer, brand supporter or otherwise, thinking about attending the show in July, its time to start planning!  If you're a member, you'll get another follow up.  If you're not, reach out and lets connect ahead of time to make sure you have the best show you can! 

Read more about the show, including news regarding the state level Outdoor Czar's that met for the first time at the OR website

The 2017 National Summit was the Best One Yet!


New, best practices, an amazing Pacific Coast setting and some terrific new Coloradans highlight our 4th annual gathering of member organizations. 

 Happy faces make up a growing network of people working to connect youth to the power of the outdoors. Pt. Bonita YMCA, Marin County, CA. 

Happy faces make up a growing network of people working to connect youth to the power of the outdoors. Pt. Bonita YMCA, Marin County, CA. 

After a great summit in Chicago in 2016, the network met back in the SF Bay Area in November 2017, for our 4th annual summit.  This year we attempted something that only a network can accomplish: A set of best practices, articulated and vetted, as a guide for all those employing this program model.  And while most of  these are the "inside baseball" type particulars that may seem less than exciting from the outside, the process used to come to agreement on these illuminated some really important reasons for why we do things the way we do them.  One Summit participant said 

Best practices was super helpful. It re-focused my priorities as I’m developing systems and policies.

We also heard from two member programs who are working towards incorporating practices that make them more inclusive.  The Appalachian Mountain Club, and Bay Area Wilderness Training shared their successes, and many challenges as they go about shifting the way they do their work, so that they might be as inclusive as possible.  BAWT has even changed its mission, vision and values to reflect their work to "dismantle racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression that stand in the way of all people fully participating in outdoor activities".  Read BAWT's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement here

Some morning, name game hilarity infused plenty of fun! 

The most useful thing the Summit provides to people is always a sense of community.  Because our member organizations are almost always the only agencies running gear libraries and training programs in their region, its incredibly helpful for staff to connect to other staff, to break down any feelings of isolation.  

Amazingly dedicated people from Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Leadville, Los Angeles and the Bay all came to contribute, and celebrate.  And celebrate we did.  The final night of the Summit was filled with a Lighthouse Tour and fundraising reception that turned out to be a huge success. 

I heard again and again "That was a special night!"  With inspiring words from Jose Gonzales, Founder of Latino Outdoors and Zatunde Morton, from Oakland's Ujima Foundation, people gave generously to help OEN raise $20,000 on the night! 

I felt very proud to be a part of it!

said one Summit participant. 

Me too! 

Thanks to everyone working, volunteering, contributing, to get young people outdoors!  And thanks to everyone for another terrific Outdoors Empowered Network Summit! 

For even more pictures from the Summit and the Outside Lights! Reception, visit our Facebook Page


WTA's Gear Library Grows to Meet Increasing Demand for Outdoor Experiences



Originally Posted by Rachel Wendling for WTA on at Sep 08, 2017 04:01 PM

We are excited to share that our Outdoor Leadership Training gear library now has a new home in a larger space. It will better accommodate the growing community of program partners and the ever-increasing amount of items available to borrow.

The new space is in the Atlantic neighborhood of Seattle and is accessible via transit and from I-90 and I-5. The larger space will allow program staff to work more efficiently and will provide a better hub for workshops and gear library orientations.

It also allows us room to grow and provide more gear to help kids get outside. This year, our gear library has already supported 39 different schools and community organizations that have led 67 outings with borrowed gear. And we’re excited to see that number keep growing.

We want to thank WTA’s members and donors who continue to support this incredible program and have made its expansion possible. To learn more about the Outdoor Leadership Training program and our gear library, visit

“We are thrilled about the new space and look forward to becoming a growing community resource for youth groups,” said Krista Dooley, youth programs director.


 The new digs!! 

The new digs!! 

Lending some Adventure


Gear libraries are making it easier for more kids to get outdoors

Article, written by Alison Torres Burtka, appears in Sierra Magazine- online (July 3, 2017) 



Kids who spend  time in wild nature reap all kinds of benefits, including improved physical and mental health, lower stress, and higher confidence. Yet many kids and their families have never camped nor hiked. The biggest  barrier to getting in the woods? The significant cost of outdoor gear. Now, “gear libraries” across the United States are addressing this challenge by enabling many organizations serving youths to use borrowed gear—for free.  Read the full article.