Meg Feeney wrote -
Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative’s mission is to get more youth outdoors and experiencing Idaho’s remarkable wilderness through camping and backpacking trips.
How?: The two most common barriers to getting outdoors are lack of training and little or no access to appropriate gear (boots, sleeping bags, packs and much more). Idaho Youth Wilderness (IYWI) is launching its first wilderness training in just a few months by adopting a proven and national model for preparing educators to lead kids on overnight trips and adventures! In addition, once trained, youth leaders and educators will automatically have access to a FREE gear library - in Boise - which will allow them to properly outfit their trips, making for the most meaningful and safe experience possible.
Why?: Do you know that children today spend an average of 6 hours in front of a computer or TV screen, and less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play? Numerous studies document the adverse effects of time spent indoors and in front of screens. These adverse effects include increased childhood obesity, attention disorders, decreased self-confidence and even poor academic performance. Increased exposure to nature is a proven method for mitigating many of these symptoms! In addition, when kids are encouraged to connect with the outdoors they develop a general sense of well-being and become better problem-solvers, independent thinkers, and environmental stewards.
How Can You Help?: Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative will use nature as a tool for youth development. And as it turns out, Idaho has plenty of nature! Your contribution to this campaign will help IYWI complete its growing gear library, and launch our first training in summer of 2015! IYWI is an affiliate of the Outdoors Empowered Network (OEN), and will utilize the effective model of other OEN affiliates such as the Bay Area Wilderness Training and Los Angeles Wilderness Training. For every 1 adult trained, roughly 15 kids get outside!
IYWI is a project of The Children Are Our Future (TCAOF). Therefore, donations made to this campaign will go through TCAOF, but will benefit Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative.
Thank you for your support and for seeing value in getting kids outside!