For Youth and Families
GET YOUR NATURE ON!
The Angeles Chapter provides opportunities for youth and their families to GET OUTDOORS and explore, enjoy & protect our natural world.
"Because no matter who you are, no matter where you live, our parks, our monuments, our lands, our waters -- these places are your birthright as Americans."
-- President Barack Obama
- Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO)
Inspiring Connections Outdoors is a community outreach program that provides outdoor opportunities for urban youth and adults. Through these outings, ICO promotes interpersonal skills and self-esteem by involving participants in teamwork, teaching them self-reliance outside an urban setting, and encouraging them to take an active role in protecting the environment. As its participants discover the beauty of wild lands, ICO also helps the Club build support for environmental protection in urban communities across the country.
- Little Hikers/Junior Explorers
The Angeles Chapter’s Little Hikers/Junior Explorers conducts a program of outdoor activities for families with children. Typical outings include car camps, day hikes, picnics & skiing. We provide a unique opportunity for our children to learn about conservation -- to explore, enjoy and protect the wilderness. All outings are family outings; each child must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent or other responsible adult. Events are also suitable for beginning hikers and newcomers are welcome!
EVERY KID IN A PARK! To help engage and create our next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates, the White House, in partnership with the Federal Land Management agencies, launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The immediate goal is to provide an opportunity for each and every 4th grade student across the country to experience their federal public lands and waters in person throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Beginning September 1, 2015, all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass at www.everykidinapark.gov. This pass provides free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more!
The Sierra Club has joined forces with other organizations to advance policies and implement strategies for connecting youth with the outdoors:
- Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) - Outdoors Alliance for Kids is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with the common interest of expanding the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors. The Sierra Club is the founder and chair of OAK.
- No Child Left Inside The Sierra Club is a member of the No Child Left Inside Coalition which supports incentives for incorporating environmental education into public school curricula across the nation.
Additional resources for getting your children and families outdoors:
- Children & Nature Network - The Children & Nature Network is leading a movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature.
- Nature Rocks -- This site will help you find all sorts of nature activities, plus tools to help guide and plan your adventures. You'll also find useful tips and information to help you get into nature without getting over your head. It's fast and easy so you can shut your computer down quickly, open up that door and be on your way in as little as 5 minutes. Nature is closer than you think!
- Let's Move Outside -- Regular exercise in nature is proven to improve children's physical and mental health. Outdoor activity healps kids maintain a healthy weight, boosts their immunity and bone health and lowers stress. Let's Move Outside, administered by the Department of Interior, was created to get kids and families to take advantage of America's great outdoors -- which abound in every city, town and community.
- Discover the Forest -- It's good to get outdoors! When you were a kid it was easy to spend time in nature - you didn't need anything but your imagination and the great outdoors. Today, it can be hard to break free and get out there to share that same experience with your kids. But it's worth it, and nature is closer than you think. Unplug from the daily routine and reconnect with nature, and each other! Get ideas for where to go and what to do, then grab the kids and start discovering!
- Buddy Bison -- Buddy Bison is the mascot of the National Park Trust. He encourages kids to "Explore Outdoors! The Parks Are Yours!" Site has information for kids, parents & teachers relating to our National Parks.
- Recreating with Kids -- Recreating with Kids is spearheaded by Eugene Buchanan, author of Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids, which benefits the Outdoor Foundation’s efforts to grow youth participation in outdoor recreation. Based on the book’s success, Buchanan decided to keep the message and campaign going with a web site to further help parents get their kids re-connected with outdoor recreation.
[Thanksgiving with the Ruiz Family at Big Bear Lake, header photo courtesy of Peter Ruiz]