What images come to mind when you think of summer? I’ll bet family vacations are at the top of the list. Even as you read this, millions of American families across the country are hitting the road. And a whole lot of them will make their way to our amazing national parks. America’s national parks offer great opportunities to learn about nature and history in glorious settings. Unfortunately, many kids served by Boys & Girls Clubs have never had the chance to visit a national park. That’s about to change.
On July 18, Boys & Girls Clubs of America entered into a partnership with the National Park Service to develop youth programs promoting outdoor activities and citizen stewardship. It was a real privilege to witness the beginning of this exciting new collaboration, which will bring both education and fun to kids in Clubs throughout the country as well as in affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide.
Even better, the National Park Service’s values perfectly align with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s vision for kids. Together, we will create recreational, educational and developmental programs that emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles – our three priority outcome areas for Club members. The partnership will foster academic success by teaching kids about history and the land; develop good character and citizenship by instilling a healthy reverence for nature; and promote healthy lifestyles through field trips, play and experiencing the outdoors.
From hands-on environmental service projects to behind-the-scenes field trips with park rangers and apprenticeship programs, the sky is the limit for Club members. We are grateful to the National Park Service for providing youth with these memorable and valuable learning experiences that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.