Sierra Club
Mission Outdoors Newsletter

We Celebrated, and the Kids Loved It!

COMCO2.JPG April is the Month of the Military Child. On April 1, Mission Outdoors joined partners Armed Services YMCA, Blue Star Families, National Military Family Association, Outdoors Alliance for Kids and the National Park Service to kick off the month throwing a big outdoor party at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.

The Celebration of the Military Outdoors brought together hundreds of military kids and their families came together for a fun day of hiking, learning to fly fish and kayaking. We were joined by Sierra Club Board President Robin Mann, who helped us kick off the official launch of Mission Outdoors. National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis was on hand to make the connection between our military and public lands. Dozens of recreation and outdoor-serving organizations provided the entertainment. All were there to celebrate the children of military families, who do their part to serve this nation.

Read our blog and check out our Facebook page for more photos about the event!

It's not too late to honor our young heroes. One of the best the ways do that is to find your favorite place (while you're at it, see below), and take a military child outside! 


Earth Day = Free Trip to the Cascades! 

Sierra Club Founder John Muir believed that if you brought people outside and they fell in love with the land, they would feel inspired to protect it. For the 42nd annual Earth Day, the Sierra Club is celebrating the mountains, deserts, grasslands, forests and whitewater rapids that make up the great outdoors and remain a defining part of the American spirit.

Join some pretty famous folks, like Jessica Alba, Bob Weir, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney, Will Forte, and Coco Austin (wife of Ice-T) in wishing America a "Happy Earth Day" and share your favorite national and neighborhood wild places and open spaces in a special video produced by the Sierra Club. Submit your own clip and find out which pieces of America people hold close to their hearts.

Make a pledge to spend more time outside this year and enter to win a trip for two to the North Cascades in Washington State! Pack your boots for rustic walks to see the 312-foot Rainbow Falls, the impressive chasm of Agnes Gorge, and the glacier-clad peaks and autumn-hued mountainside from the shoulder of 8,000-foot McGregor Mountain. The trip is timed to coincide with the arrival of vibrant fall colors. 

Visit here for more information.

Inner City Outings Kids Report for Camping Duty!

ICO NYC Kids On March 10, 2012, students from Kingsbridge International High School in New York City joined CampInteractive for a new experience: challenging themselves and their team building strength at Trail Blazers in Montague, NJ. We were happy to see so many familiar faces return, and as always, happy to welcome kids out on their first trip. Our shockingly temperate winter didn't disappear entirely for our day outdoors, but I wouldn't exactly say that it was a warm day! The kids and adults alike kept their cheer, however, and faced the brisk day with positive attitudes and openness to an entirely new experience.

Upon arrival at the camp, Kingsbridge along with leaders Ray and Katie and teacher Erin, headed off into the woods to find a good place to roast some marshmallows. After a brisk 20 minute hike, we found a good fire pit and recruited the help of the kids to gather dry branches lying on the ground to build a fire. The kids were great, finding the perfect mix of small twigs for kindling, dried grass, branches, thicker branches for real heat, and longer, stronger branches for roasting the marshmallows. For many, it was their first time seeing a fire being built from scratch, and Ray did a master's job of demonstrating proper methods of building a clean, sustainable fire using just dead items lying around. Some kids were so engaged, I'm surprised they didn't take over!

Making s'mores was fantastic, and also a new experience for some of the kids. All were amused by how quickly some of the marshmallows caught fire, but everyone managed to safely make their delicious treats after we enjoyed another fantastic pasta and fruit lunch thanks to Red Rabbit. After taking as much heat as we could from the fire to sustain us for the hike back, and safely handing off fire maintenance to CampInteractive, we headed back to base camp to see what Trailblazers had in store for us.

We Were at the White House. A lot.

Celebrating Champions of Change: This month, Mission Outdoors visited the White House to honor thirteen Champions of Change who are making a difference in their communities. All of the recognized Let's Move Champs are leading projects that encourage kids to improve their health through physical activity, including making it safer and easier for kids to get outdoors. Who are the champions in your community working to get kids active and outdoors?

Celebrating Women and the Environment: In honor of Women's History Month, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson hosted a summit on Women and the Environment at the White House last month. Our National Youth Representative participated in a breakout session where women discussed the importance of broadening the environmental movement by being more inclusive and disseminating information to a wider audience.

Celebrating our Nation's Heroes: This month marks the one year anniversary of the Joining Forces Initiative. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces to support military kids, families and veterans. Mission Outdoors attended the anniversary event on the South Lawn of the White House, where Mrs. Obama reminded us that while only 1% of us serve in the military, 100% of us need to support them. Sierra Club supports military kids, families and veterans the best way we know how - by getting them outdoors. Do your part to show your gratitude to our service members, veterans and their families today and everyday.

Just a Reminder: Earth Day is Every Day. Really.

You know, you don't have to join a special event to celebrate the earth. Check out Sierra Club's Local Outings and find trail a hike or beautiful trail near you. While your at it, send in a video telling us about your favorite place.
 
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The goal of Sierra Club's Mission Outdoors initiative is to get America outdoors. Explore and enjoy! Find out more on our website.

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WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON

Let's G.O.! this April!

Sierra Club believes in the power of youth and young adults to lead this nation outdoors! This belief drives our efforts to get tens of thousands of youth outdoors over decades and across the country. That commitment is one of the reasons we are so proud to partner with Children & Nature Network’s Let's G.O.! (Get Outside) initiative. Let's G.O.! is inspiring youth to be the change makers, to get outdoors with their friends and family and build healthier communities in the process. It's about encouraging inter-generational groups of people to get outside together to be active, have fun, and connect with nature. Here at Sierra Club, we can't think of a better way to celebrate Earth Month and our founder John Muir's Birthday. So Let's G.O.! We are already lacing up those hiking boots. See you on the trail.

National Kids to Parks Day is on May 19, 2012

National Park Trust created National Kids to Parks to empower kids to discover and enjoy parks in their community with the goal to inspire healthy outdoor recreation and to cultivate our future park stewards. Last year, nearly 200 mayors coast to coast signed official proclamations and many hosted events in their community parks to celebrate the day and more than 15,300 families participated.

Get the Fun Outside

Perhaps the Outsiders put it best: if you're between the ages of 16 and 28 and want to change the world so that everyone has the chance to GTFO, register now for an Outdoor Nation Summit.


IN THE NEWS

Along with our friends, we celebrated military children.

Our National Youth Rep talks about Celebrating the Military Child.


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