Outdoor Nation Announces Plans for 2011 Youth Summits in a City Near You
Washington, D.C. (May 4, 2011) – Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors, today announced its plans to host multiple 3-day regional youth summits and is looking for talented and passionate youth leaders from the millennial generation to take part as delegates. The summits will be held in New York City, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver and San Francisco from June 23 through July 31, 2011. Youth leaders interested in participating can apply online through Outdoor Nation’s new community website at OutdoorNation.org
In each location, delegates will brainstorm project ideas that address regional issues and ultimately engage more young people in the outdoors by removing barriers to participation. They will vote on the top ideas in each region and receive funding and training from the Outdoor Foundation to carry out these projects. Support for the events is generously provided by the Outdoor Foundation and the national presenting sponsors The North Face, REI Foundation and The Conservation Fund.
Outdoor Nation launched in June 2010 in New York’s Central Park when 500 young adults representing all 50 states gathered in what became the largest and most diverse summit to connect youth to the outdoors. The event sparked a youth-led movement that is empowering the Millennial generation to reconnect, redefine and rediscover America as an Outdoor Nation.
“After reading Richard Louv’s book, Nature Deficit Disorder
, lots of people became concerned about how America’s youth was losing its connection to nature, but most of the focus was put on creating programs for toddlers, tikes and teeny-boppers—naturally leading us to think, “Hey, what about us!?”, said Stefanie Michaelson, an Outdoor Nation Youth Ambassador from Salt Lake City, Utah. “When we got together in New York and saw the commitment and passion of so many of our peers from across the country, we agreed that we wanted to lead this revolution on our own terms, for ourselves and the generations to follow.”
The delegates also resolved to take Outdoor Nation into the community by laying the groundwork for Outdoor Nation to host 1,300 youth leaders through the 2011 Outdoor Nation Summer Summits. There is an open selection process with a brief online application that can be accessed through OutdoorNation.org
. Delegates must be 18 years of age and must provide their own transportation to and from the Summit. Outdoor Nation will make arrangements for and cover the costs of food and lodging during the event.
Outdoor Nation named America’s State Parks its national partner and top cause for 2011. Faced with deep budget cuts and unprecedented park closures, America’s state parks have been identified by the Outdoor Nation community of ‘Outsiders’ as its top advocacy issue because of their unmatched importance in America’s outdoor recreation. America’s State Parks, with more than 7,000 sites and a record 740 Million visits in 2010, were founded more than a century ago to provide close-to-home access to nature for all citizens. In addition to record visitation, America’s State Parks hit significant milestones in 2010 related to both number of protected acres and economic contribution, which topped $23 billion.
“This summer we will bring Outdoor Nation into the states and communities to address the real issues that are keeping people inside, “ said Lindsay Bourgoine, Lead Outdoor Nation Ambassador. “Our community of Outsiders will actively champion important causes like America’s State Parks – engaging new communities and inspiring new leadership across all 50 states.”
Outdoor Nation wouldn’t have the appeal that it does with the Millennial generation if it was all work and no play. Tied to every Summit is a Summer Fun Day celebration held in a nearby park to highlight the incredible range of outdoor recreation opportunities—from kayaking to rock climbing to a family fun area—that are available to us close to home. These events are open to the community and are expected to attract thousands of local residents.
The 2011 Outdoor Nation Youth Summits are being presented by The North Face, REI Foundation and The Conservation Fund, and supported by many other notable organizations including Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, America’s State Parks, the National Park Service, Merrell, Play Outdoors, CamelBak, SmartWool, Mountain Hardwear, Eastern Mountain Sports, Johnson and Johnson, CIGNA, The Presidio Trust, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State Parks, Colorado State Parks, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The Crissy Field Center and more than 100 invested organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and was founded with initial support from The North Face, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, REI Foundation, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service.