Washington DC (March 14, 2012)– Outdoor Nation, the outdoor movement led by members of the Millennial Generation, announced today its call for applicants for the 2012 Outdoor Nation Summits held this summer and fall in 10 U.S. cities. Each two-day Summit will bring together the next generation of outdoor activists, ages 16 to 28, to identify pressing outdoor issues, discuss and develop strategies to address these barriers and commit to taking action together. In addition, participants will receive training from top experts, covering such topics as community organizing, media relations and fundraising. During every Summit, Outdoor Nation will fund the top project ideas – investing as much as $100,000 in on-the-ground projects.
The 2012 Outdoor Nation Summits will be held in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and San Francisco – with several taking on a special focus. The Boston Summit will center on the connection between health and the outdoors – in partnership with Massachusetts State Parks. In Salt Lake City, the Summit will be tied to Outdoor Retailer and bring young industry leaders together for the first time, and in Washington DC, Outdoor Nation Ambassadors will set a national agenda, receive training and meet with key stakeholders in Congress and the Administration.
Summit delegates will brainstorm project ideas that address the regional issues preventing Millennials and younger Americans from spending time outdoors, including cultural relevance, access, cost, safety and the environmental health of local outdoor spaces. Delegates will select the most creative and impactful projects to receive funding and support from The Outdoor Foundation. Following each Summit, participants will work together in local communities -- spearheading the projects, influencing decision-makers and mobilizing people to get active and outdoors. Ultimately, the goal is to create long-term change in the relationships young people have with the outdoors.
“Outdoor Nation Summits equip and empower young outdoor champions to determine and pursue their own agenda,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation, the organization that launched Outdoor Nation. “We hope this initiative ensures the Millennial Generation and all future generations will enjoy and benefit from a strong connection with the outdoors.”
Passionate young outdoor advocates interested in participating can apply online to be a delegate through Outdoor Nation’s community website at www.OutdoorNation.org. The Summit is free to participants.
The 2012 Outdoor Nation Summits are presented by The North Face, The REI Foundation and The Conservation Fund, and supported by many other notable organizations including Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, America’s State Parks, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Creative Artists Agency, National Park Service, Merrell, CamelBak, Johnson and Johnson, CIGNA, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Circadence, Sierra Club, Natural Leaders Network, National Wildlife Federation, YMCA and more than 100 invested organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
About the Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action oriented outreach, and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.
Over the last several decades, American youth have become increasingly alienated from the natural world, contributing to the national crisis in children’s health as well as the considerable decline in environmental literacy. In 2005, Richard Louv published his seminal work, Last Child in the Woods, which highlighted the separation of young people from nature and engaged many stakeholders in a meaningful discussion about ways to address this nature deficit disorder. But these conversations largely overlooked the most important stakeholder group essential to success: young people. To address this major oversight and capitalize on the extraordinary opportunity, The Outdoor Foundation launched Outdoor Nation to empower Millennials to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities.
In June 2010, Outdoor Nation convened the largest and most diverse National Summit on the Outdoors in New York’s Central Park, bringing together 500 young leaders from across the country to set a national agenda, outline top priorities and commit to youth-led actions. In 2011, a movement was on the move. Building on the momentum, Outdoor Nation hosted five Regional Summits — bringing together more than one thousand young people to identify top outdoors issues, brainstorm impactful solutions and ultimately commit to championing change on campuses and in communities. Over the last year, Outdoor Nation has invested more than $150,000 into youth-led projects that reconnect a new generation with the outdoors.
For Outdoor Nation