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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. 

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2016 National Summit Reception

Momentum is building. Let's connect youth to Nature! 

Outdoors Empowered Network (OEN) is blessed to have played a role in the planning and implementation of programs and Gear Libraries to support the efforts of two major entities in the movement; Chicago Park District (CPD) and Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC). For this reason, OEN’s National Summit and Annual Reception  will be held in the Chicago metro region for the first time on November 3-4, 2016.

The Annual Reception will take place on the final day of the Summit at Northerly Island, and will bring together staff of Member Programs from across the U.S., key stakeholders and potential supporters from the Chicago area.  We will celebrate the work being done to create immersive outdoor experiences for metro Chicago’s youth.  Young people and youth agencies that have connected to the outdoors through these new programs will share their stories.  In addition to teachers that have participated in the program, we are pleased to have both Michael P. Kelly General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District as well as Toni Preckwinkle,  President of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, as our featured speakers.  


Through this event, we aspire to inspire and move the Chicago community to support the important, new, collaborative work being done to connect youth to nature.  

Space is limited!


Get your ticket today!


Host Committee: 

  • Matthew Freer- Chicago Park District 
  • Alison Paul - The Field Museum
  • Audrey Petty- Author, Educator 
  • Theresa Salus- REI 
  • Cynthia Moreno- Forest Preserves of Cook County
  • Jacqui Ulrich- Forest Preserves of Cook County
  • Aaron Wolf- Adventure Accessed

Honorary Host Committee Members: 

  • Yolanda Knight- Steans Family Foundation
  • Robert W. Crawford, Jr. - National Recreation Foundation


Event Sponsors  To become a sponsor, please read more here, or simply make your investment here

Summit Sponsors

Basecamp Sponsors

To become a sponsor, please read more here.