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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. 

Summit Structure

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Summit Structure

The fourth annual Outdoors Empowered Network Summit will be three days of engaging discussions; hikes along the impressive cliffs of the Marin Headlands; time to connect with colleagues new and old; and time to celebrate our work in the world.  Woven around topics we're calling "special sessions", covering topics that are at the forefront of our shared work, are two distinct, structured and repeating sessions:

Program Member Share Outs:  

These 20 minute sessions allow the staff of every organization attending to share about their work.  From Detroit, to Boston, to Seattle, to Leadville, CO, these popular sessions allow us to learn about each others victories and challenges.  If you're attending the summit, make sure you're prepared to share about your work.  Slides with more pictures than words are encouraged. Please contact Kyle Macdonald, summit organizer with any questions. 

Best Practices: 

Work that began in 2016, these repeating sessions will tackle the creation on suggested best practices that Network members will adopt and then document for any, all to utilize within their work setting. We will explore finding consensus around at least four major topic areas at this summit, including: Faculty & Program Staff; Program Structures and Policies; Retention (retaining those we've trained as active trip leaders) ; Pedagogy and Curricula. 

WEdnesday, November 1st

Special Sessions

Focus on Families  

Time: 9:50am

For years we have hoped that our work training youth workers and teachers, and supporting them to connect kids to the outdoors would "trickle up" to parents and translate into more families outdoors.  In this session, we'll explore how to be more deliberate about integrating our work with families for more impact.  While many of our organizations work with families in some capacity, we will be asking the question.  How do we better create inclusive, integrated programs that include families in our work?  

Facilitator: Krista Dooley, Washington Trails Association

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Krista is a Washington native who worked two years as Program Director for Camp Highland Outdoor Science in Southern California until she returned to Washington to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Education. She has a rich background in youth education, having worked in several youth programs in various regions of the US and Switzerland before joining Washington Trails Association.  She is responsible for bringing WTA's thriving Outdoor Leadership Training Program and gear library to the organization, and edits their Families Go Hiking e-newsletter.  When not at the WTA office, you can find her on trail year-round, either hiking, flyfishing, backpacking, or snowshoeing. She loves hiking at a pace that allows her to enjoy her surroundings with her young daughter. Inventory Management implementation report out

Time: 5:15pm

Presenters: Bay Area Wilderness Training Program Staff


A session especially for gear managers!  Over the past year, we've been working with, a software product specifically designed for lending libraries. Bay Area Wilderness Training is well on its way towards their public launch of the software and will be sharing about their experience in rolling out this exciting improvement that is now available to all Network members! 


Thursday, November 2nd

The YMCA- Cracking the code

Time: 1:15pm

The YMCA among a very small number of other, large national organizations is both in almost every city that we work in, and by many accounts, hard to figure out.  They are a federation, with their own distinct culture, where one Y branch can be very different from the next, even within the same association.  Lara Hitchcock will help us to understand whats behind the curtain, and how we might best create more productive, institutional partnerships with one of the organizations so many of our members already work with, even if only on an ad-hoc basis. 

Presenter: Lara Hitchcock, Executive Director of the Presidio and Pt. Bonita YMCA's

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Lara is passionate about getting youth outdoors, organizational culture, and trail running.  She has a long history of connection to our model, through both her husband, who took BAWT's first training ever (1999) and then took hundreds of youth outside, and her current work, where she serves as Community Convener for national Y-USA & the National Park Service's "Play, Learn, Serve, Work" Initiative and pilot program.  She oversees YMCAs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; the Presidio Community YMCA, a community wellness center in an urban national park, and the Point Bonita YMCA, a center for wellness in nature.


Friday November 3rd

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Two Programs' Journey's

Time: 9 am


Two Member Programs - Bay Area Wilderness Training and the Appalachian Mountain Club/Youth Opportunities Program - will share their organizations' respective journeys of organizational change as they address diversity, equity, and inclusion.  For both organizations progress has included adding revising programs and curriculum and revisioning organizational missions, visions, and values.  They will share their success and challenges and hopefully give useful anecdotes for how to create change in your organization no matter how large or small, "old" or "young" the organization is.  A discussion with Q&A from BAWT and AMC will follow their presentations.


Further reading: A blog post from Avarna Group Co-Founders Aparna Rajagopal-Durban and Ava Holliday-  Implementing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts as an Outdoor Leader!  Aparna is an OEN Board member and former National Outdoor Leadership School Director of Diversity. 

OPTIONal Friday tours (Post summit) 

Bay Area Wilderness Training Gear Library Tour

Time: 2pm - 4pm (depending on summit participant interest and size of group)
Location: 1050 E 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94606

All summit participants are welcome to enjoy a tour of the gear library -which can outfit over 500 youth at once, and is California's biggest gear library.  Big Thanks to BAWT for hosting!  

Rob hill campground and camping at the presidio Program Tour

Time: 3pm (depending on summit participant interest and size of group)
Location: 1050 E 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94606

Come see the longest standing urban camping program in the nation.  In its 10th season, the Camping at the Presidio Program has been an instrumental part of OEN's history and the model for programs in Chicago, New York and Detroit.  Big Thanks to the Crissy Field Center staff for hosting!