Why It Matters: Bridging the Gap
As a community we agree that connection to nature, positive outdoor activity and adventurous experiences are impactful for our generation of youth. However, we face great challenge to make outdoor programs commonplace.
This is due to a number of factors:
1. Outdoor programs are perceived as high risk and therefore dismissed.
2. Outdoor programs are considered "for fun" or "recreational", as opposed to recognized for their full value.
3. Accepted practices are not widely embraced, and can lead to unnecessary accidents and tragedies. This creates fear and can dismiss outdoor programs before they are experienced in the field.
4. Outdoor programs are chronically underfunded and under supported in Manitoba.
5. Manitoba hasn't traditionally had a strong outdoor leadership development system.
6. Local organizations and stakeholders have been operating independently, competing or unaware of each other, rather than collaborating (including summer camps, Parks Canada, schools, outfitters, and local funders).
The Youth Outdoors Project matters because...
The project effectively addresses each of these barriers. Alongside committed partners, we are able to take the fear out of outdoor experiences and lead programs that are a strong balance of safety, program quality and challenge. We are able to take a holistic approach to outdoor events and increase their value through dynamic instruction from trained leaders and tangible hands on experiences to match learning outcomes for youth organizations. We ensure that our leaders have the appropriate skills, training, certification, and experience to intentionally lead with focus on participants.
We partner with local businesses, individuals, and foundations to fund our ongoing programs and committed to leveraging every dollar. We proudly operate with a budget the fraction of similar camping programs and yet provide an enhanced experience. We ensure money is invested into professional leadership training, providing quality outdoor programs and that the project creates a sustainable outflow of reaching our intended outcomes. This all to connect local groups of youth who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
The Youth Outdoors Project matters because Manitoba has had a massive deficit of community champions that are willing or able to successfully create a solution for safe, engaging and impactful outdoor experiences. Until now...