In videos at the new Get Inspired Outdoors website, teenagers getting their first taste of the natural world talk happily about learning to kayak or fish and trying rock-climbing.
But they’re not just focused on fun. These teens, all participants in summer youth programs connected to the outdoors, describe their hard work and accomplishments with pride too. Some have torn up old pavement and replaced it with native plants that will pull lead out of the soil. Others reflect on the joys of running a community garden, removing non-native species from local waters, creating public art for a park, or speaking up to make a difference. Ridge runners describe helping hikers by reading maps, offering first aid, and maintaining trails.
The summer programs, in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, Holyoke, Mass., and Providence, R.I., have all clearly increased the teens’ enjoyment of nature, their concern about the environment, and their skills.
The four videos that are featured on the site (plus one trailer, also above) were produced last summer by the National Park Service in conjunction with seven partner organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, including the Appalachian Mountain Club. The videos focus on young people discovering the outdoors and learning about the potential to not only enjoy nature, but also to find jobs related to outdoor recreation, education, and environmental conservation.
The page is a one-stop resource for young people searching for outdoor jobs in this part of New England.
It’s also meant to encourage video views and sharing as part of a challenge grant. The video with the most YouTube views by April 25 will win a $2,000 grant for the organization(s) involved to help fund their work.
Watching the young people speaking about their experiences, though, I found it hard to imagine voting. It’s clear they all deserve the money, and then some.
Great Kids, Great Outdoors is an Appalachian Mountain Club blog written by Heather Stephenson.
Labels: Auburn, Get Inspired Outdoors, Heather Stephenson, Holyoke, jobs, Lewiston, Maine, National Park Service, Providence, Rhode Island, teens, video, youth programs, YouTube