This weekend we travelled to Central Park in New York City to take part in the world's first Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival. This event united young people from across the country with a common mission: To champion the outdoors and start a youth-driven movement. 500 young people from all 50 states came out to take part in a ground-breaking Outdoor Youth Summit-where young leaders develop a national agenda, set priorities and outline strategies to champion the outdoors as athletes, artists, advocates, and ambassadors. Outdoor Nation is supported by a coalition of more than 40 organizations including The Outdoor Foundation, The North Face, REI, and the National Park Service.
One of the main issues discussed was how to get more urban youth outdoors and build their connection with nature. Children ages 6-11 years old are spending an average of 30 hours a week in front of a screen, whether it is for homework, television, or video games. This summit provided a platform to explore ways to break this trend and encourage children to get outside more! The discussions were focused on several different areas including diversity, outdoor careers, health and active lifestyles, media and culture, outdoor service, and recreation and education.
It is so exciting to be a part of such a ground-breaking movement in the outdoor industry. The youth involved in this summit should be commended for their efforts towards building a larger outdoor nation! Stay tuned for more information, as we watch this group work towards creating initiatives that will change the lives of America's youth.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy