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

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When Resources are in the Hands of Educators

Shea Morrissey

The Washington Trails Association Outdoor Leadership Training Program launched their first snowshoe training in January with educators and youth workers from the Seattle area. One participant was Don Miller, an ELL Facilitator at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines, WA. After the training, with the skills and gear he needed, Don took his students to Longmire and Narada Falls in Mount Rainier National Park for a winter adventure. 

"My main goal was for my students to have an enjoyable first experience in a National Park and in the snow. Additionally, I wanted them to have access to make a connection with this land since all of them were born in other countries. The minute we pulled into the park I knew these goals had been met. 

It was so great to see students playing and having fun with one another regardless if they spoke the same language or not. The fact that they were all exchanging numbers at the end of the trip so they could share photos really showed me how these students may spend the majority of the day together, but rarely do they get a chance to connect.

Without the help of the WTA Gear Library and Mini-Grant, this trip would have never happened."
- Don Miller

Thank you to Don and all those educators our there taking the time to get their youth outside! 


Photos by Amanda Sandate