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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. 


Breakout Session Descriptions

Session descriptions for Thursday, October 18th

Day 2 of the Summit

st. peter's church 3567 cook hill road, murphy, north carolina rsvp 828-835-0285 (2).png

session 1: 10:40 AM

Garrett Dempsey, 
Detroit outdoors

Low hanging fruit: The "easy" elements to implement that will bring your program energy and funding

Most communities contain the necessary elements for a camping program: outdoors space, youth, organizations serving those youth. How those elements are woven together to create overnight camping experiences will vary by locale. This session will explore how Detroit Outdoors aligned the missions of neighborhood groups, non-profits, and government agencies to create an opportunity for collective impact and launched a youth camping program that gets Detroit youth camping inside their own city.

Zak Klein,
Quimby family foundation

First steps: How to design an urban campground for success

We’ll review considerations and insights based on the development of San Francisco’s Rob Hill campground, from pre-construction through first 4 years of operation. Who should be involved, key questions to explore, planning for the unexpected and keeping your cool when operating a publicly-oriented asset.

SEssion 2: 11:15 AM

Amanda Fong & Grant Armour,
Three Rivers Park District

Responsive Programming: Making your site work for your community

Three Rivers Park District--west of Minneapolis, MN--is new to the camping gear model, but our pilot leader training already revealed ways in which we need to adapt our approach. Our training, for instance, started nearly two hours later than planned and had over half our participants register the day of the event. But when we rolled with it, things worked great! We'll briefly share our story of making onsite modifications to our training timeline and activities. Then we'll facilitate a discussion to learn from one another and jointly brainstorm how to best adapt programming to meet community needs.


Ian Dulin,
Youth Opportunities Prog. Appalachian Mountain Club

Self-Serve Gear Libraries: Keeping gear local and accessible

Sometimes the biggest barrier is getting to the gear library. In setting a priority for accessible gear in multiple locations, YOP has established 6 of their 10 gear libraries on site for ease of use, all of which support camping trips, and 4 with the bonus of canoeing gear for those that are certified. Come discuss the benefits and the challenges to establishing and maintaining remote gear libraries.

st. peter's church 3567 cook hill road, murphy, north carolina rsvp 828-835-0285 (4).png

session 1: 10:40 AM

Kyle Macdonald, OEN & Andrew Pringle, Washington Trails Association

Challenges of managing a growing gear inventory for loans to your community

Andrew Pringle, Program Manager for Washington Trails Association's Outdoor Leadership Training program will join Kyle Macdonald, OEN Executive Director to discuss policies and practices that meet the everyday challenges of loaning outdoor gear. From scheduling to gear repair, to anticipating supply and demand for items on the shelves. Come learn from some pros and share your tips too!

Becca Katz,
Get Outdoors leadville (GOL)

Taking Kids Outdoors (TKO): Supporting the adults who work with kids everyday to take them out everyday!

TKO is an interactive, outdoor workshop for youth program providers of all stripes – from teachers to after school club leaders to summer activity staff – who want to take kids outdoors.

This session will focus on the value of everyday experiences in the "backyard" rather than "backcountry" and how you can work with educators and youth program providers to get kids to spend more time outdoors every day!

SEssion 2: 11:15 AM

Sebastien Venuat, Youth Opportunities Prog. Appalachian Mountain Club

Training and retaining outdoor leaders

YOP's Outdoor Leadership Training's put participants into the role of leaders, so that they can learn experientially. Course instructors then lead powerful debriefs that pull in participants experience to help reinforce and deepen learning for everyone. YOP staff will describe the specifics of this cycle, and why it is so crucial to ensuring that adult leaders are confident and competent with the youth that they will, in turn, take outdoors.


Training & Gear Libraries for Families: The Journey of FIN.

Families in Nature trains volunteers to take groups of families, including their own, outdoors. These trainings, and the gear library that supports them, deal with the unique nuances of ensuring that volunteer guides have the knowledge and resources they need to lead groups of all ages, genders, and family structures, and support equitable access to nature for all. Sara Gordon, FIN’s Program Coordinator, will outline how they teach ways to engage all kinds of participants at the same time while encouraging the guides to share the knowledge they have learned with those they lead along the way.