News

Special Use Permitting 101
Learning / Partners
13 Aug 2018

Special Use Permitting 101

Whether you’re leading a small group of teenagers on their very first backpacking trip or guiding a university climbing club on an advanced mountaineering adventure, you’ll likely need to obtain a special use permit in order to execute the trip if it occurs on U.S. Forest Service lands. While applying for a permit might seem daunting, we want to help demystify the process, which has...

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The Benefits of Program Evaluation
Learning
10 Jul 2018

The Benefits of Program Evaluation

One of the top reasons outdoor programs struggle to raise funds is that they don’t have a solid structure in place to measure the effects of their work and communicate those effects to potential funders. These measurable effects – or outcomes – are things that go beyond just getting young people outdoors; they should actually speak to making positive, measurable improvements when it comes to...

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Developing a Mountain Bike Program for Youth
Uncategorized
02 Jul 2018

Developing a Mountain Bike Program for Youth

Want to add some action sports to your outdoor programming repertoire? One of the best places to start is with mountain biking. Contrary to what it might look like to those who haven’t tried the sport, mountain biking doesn’t have to be super technical – just as with skiing or hiking, you can find trails and routes fit for every experience level. Bonus? They’re usually...

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9 Outdoor Apps to Use with Youth
Learning / Tech Tip
09 Jun 2018

9 Outdoor Apps to Use with Youth

Time outdoors offers the opportunity to disconnect from electronics and reconnect with the natural world. While we definitely encourage plenty of screen-free time, we also recognize that sometimes the use of phones and electronic tablets actually boosts our ability to learn about what we’re seeing out there. In that spirit, here are recommendations for several apps that can support your outdoor activities and lesson plans...

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How to Launch an Angling Program
Learning
06 Jun 2018

How to Launch an Angling Program

The lazy days of summer offer the perfect excuse to head out to your favorite lake, stream, or river and try your hand at catching a few fish. It’s also a great time to share your love of angling with others, so we put together these tips – inspired by our brand new Angling Path on the TYO website, created in partnership with the U.S. Fish...

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photo by Peter Lloyd
Learning / News / Partners
15 May 2018

How Do We Measure the Health Benefits of Time Outdoors?

If you’re reading this, chances are you not only enjoy spending time outside, but you also feel that there are both physical and mental benefits to doing so. The question, then, is how do we quantify these benefits so that we can advocate for more outdoor programming, more funding for outdoor initiatives, and more equitable access to outdoor spaces? The great news is, there are people...

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photo by David Close
Learning
14 May 2018

Creating a Theory of Change for Your Program

So, you feel like you’re out there doing good work – but how do you actually measure and prove that you’re doing good work? By creating a theory of change, a tool that will help define your program or organization’s overall strategy for creating a positive impact. WHAT EXACTLY IS A THEORY OF CHANGE? A theory of change is an organizational tool that will help you...

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photo by Cindy Chen
Learning
18 Apr 2018

How to Develop a Rock Climbing Program for Youth

  The warmer weather and longer days of springtime offer the perfect opportunity to head outdoors. One way to enjoy all of that extra sunshine is to implement a rock climbing program with a focus on safety, education, and fun. Of course, you can teach rock climbing indoors, as well – but we’ll take any excuse to get kids (and ourselves) outside! Here are some...

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5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day in Your Program
Learning / Stewardship
17 Apr 2018

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day in Your Program

Each year on April 22nd, we observe Earth Day, a celebration of the environment. The concept has grown since its inception in 1970 to include weeklong and even month-long activities and conversation, creating a wealth of opportunities (and resources) to teach and engage in principles of environmental protection and stewardship. With the phrase “Earth Day is every day” in mind, here are five ways you...

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photo by Ian Schneider
Learning
19 Mar 2018

12 Dream Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Careers

The number of amazing jobs and careers available working both in the outdoors and on behalf of the outdoors is staggering. But with such a bounty of options, which one is right for you? We pulled together a list of twelve dream outdoor recreation and conservation careers to serve as inspiration while you carve out your own pathway. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means...

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photo by Niko Soikkeli
Learning
07 Mar 2018

Introduction to Grant Writing

Fundraising can feel like one of the most vexing components of running an outdoor program. It can seem difficult to know exactly where to look for funds and how to apply for them, especially with the threat of rejection looming with each grant application. The thing is – you have to ask for funding in order to receive it, so it’s always worth giving it...

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Four Steps to Building an Outdoor Program
Learning / Uncategorized
15 Feb 2018

Four Steps to Building an Outdoor Program

Are you interested in building an outdoor program at your school, in your community, or within an existing organization? Consider these four steps a starter kit that will help you understand what it takes to develop curriculum, build partnerships, recruit participants, and launch a successful outdoor program. DEVELOPING A CURRICULUM Most programs begin with a great idea, but the most successful programs also begin with...

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CAMP CHAT: Elyse Rylander of OUT There Adventures
Success Stories / Uncategorized
14 Feb 2018

CAMP CHAT: Elyse Rylander of OUT There Adventures

As Elyse Rylander wrapped up her undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin, she had a clear vision about the road ahead: she would channel her enthusiasm for the outdoors, personal understanding of its healing powers, and experiences as a member of the queer community to work with an organization that helped LGBTQ youth forge a positive connection with the natural world. When a clear...

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Tips and Tricks for a Successful Digital Media Strategy
Learning / Tech Tip
17 Jan 2018

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Digital Media Strategy

Most of us would probably rather spend our workday out in the field instead of glued to a computer. Even so, digital media can offer an incredibly useful toolkit to help support the work we do outdoors, so it’s worth learning how to harness its power for good. Here, we offer some tips and tricks to help you navigate the digital waters. ASSESS YOUR CURRENT...

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14 Must-Read Books for People Who Work with Youth Outdoors
Learning
17 Jan 2018

14 Must-Read Books for People Who Work with Youth Outdoors

If you enjoy spending time outside, chances are your bookshelves are already stuffed with environmental tomes and tales of outdoor adventure. We suggest you add to that collection with these must-have books relevant to anyone who works with youth outdoors. BOOKS ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION Whether or not you work in a traditional outdoor education setting, these books will help strengthen your knowledge base and inspire...

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Photo by Wu Jianxiong on Unsplash
Learning
15 Dec 2017

Tips for Successful Strategic Planning in the New Year

As we approach the year’s end, many people are already looking forward to 2018, thinking about what personal goals they might hope to achieve: picking up a new hobby, saving for a big vacation, or perhaps simply getting outside more. Just as you look inward when the new year approaches, it’s a great idea to also reflect on your organization, program, or project to see...

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Go All-In on Black Friday by Choosing to #OptOutside
News / Partners
11 Nov 2017

Go All-In on Black Friday by Choosing to #OptOutside

In 2015, REI sparked conversation – and a larger movement – when they made the shocking announcement that they would not only close their stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but that they would also pay their 12,000+ employees to essentially play outside that day instead. The idea was to encourage people to skip the traditional shopping rush on what’s become known as “Black Friday”...

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How To Combine Stewardship Into Recreation Programming
Learning / Stewardship
09 Nov 2017

How To Combine Stewardship Into Recreation Programming

Whether by leading a hike, hosting a campout, teaching climbing skills, or coordinating an environmental education class, outdoor educators, and program leaders are responsible for helping others form lifelong connections to the natural world. However, it’s also important to remember our responsibility to help preserve and protect the places where we teach and play by weaving the concept of stewardship into programming whenever possible. All...

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