We did it!
"As a gear library manager, it was extremely helpful to speak with and brainstorm with operators of other gear libraries around the country. I was able to broaden my perspective and see the bigger picture. I got tons of useful and practical ideas that I am going to try to implement at work here in the Bay Area."-
Ashley, Bay Area Wilderness Training Equipment Manager
This month, ten organizations from across the country came together in California to attend the first ever Outdoors Empowered Network National Summit!
Nestled in the gear room of our local affiliate, Bay Area Wilderness Training, we swapped stories, discussed challenges, and planned for progress. With each organization presenting on their current work and hopes for the future our common missions and goals came to the forefront of the conversation. As a growing network made up of organizations with incredibly varied capacities, working in very different parts of our organizational life cycles, peer groups formed. As a growing network made up of organizations with incredibly varied capacities working in different regions, peer groups formed between organizations, and as action oriented as this crowd is, calls were set up that will take place this month. These exciting, early conversations will continue!
Ultimately, we were all there for one reason - to connect and grow our network that empowers youth through the outdoors, by training and providing gear to the adults that work with them everyday.
Soon, resources were being shared and challenges sought to be overcome through
encouragement and collaboration. We received fabulous insight from thought leaders like Mary Roscoe and Dr. Nina Roberts only to have their words spark more ideas and methodology.
On our final day, we toured the Camping at the Presidio Program to witness first hand what a campground placed in the middle of a city could look like. Our guide Zak spoke to every aspect of running an urban camping program: how to manage the land, store gear, and build community involvement.
Over the course of the three days, our energy only grew stronger, and the words "We are the Network" kept coming to fruition in all conversations. Through partnerships and friendships we watched our Network grow enormously in three short days - and we're still looking up.
If you missed the action and want to learn more - we want to share with you. Take a look at our Summit Resources to learn from the presentations and handouts. Or scan our photo gallery to see what this year's activities looked like. If you know of a person or organization who might like to be involved, we'd love to hear from you!