IDAHO STATE PARKS HOST FREE WINTER EXPLORER DAY CAMP FOR IDAHO YOUTH Made Possible by North Face Explore Fund Grant
IDAHO (January 9, 2013) – Sixty Idaho youth will get an opportunity to try their hand at snowshoeing during a free Winter Explorer Day Camp at two state park locations this Saturday, January 12.
The Winter Explorer Day Camp was made possible by a North Face Explore Fund Grant received by Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) and Be Outside, Idaho. Priest Lake State Park in Coolin, Idaho and Castle Rocks State Park/City of Rocks National Reserve near Almo, Idaho will both host events.
The 2013 Winter Explorer Day Camps will include: transportation to and from state parks, snowshoe fitting and use, guided snowshoe hikes, winter ecology talks, scavenger hunts, warming bonfires, and hearty lunches - all provided completely free of cost for attendees and volunteers. IDPR rangers and staff will lead the Winter Explorer Day Camps.
The grant was designed to give Idaho youth a chance to experience a winter recreational offerings they might not otherwise be exposed to, as well as encourage youth to play outside and establish a connection to nature. Currently, both events are at capacity for attendees and volunteers. In the future, IDPR hopes to expand the event.
“Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is so proud to be offering this event,” said IDPR Director, Nancy Merrill, “We have always supported the goals of Be Outside, Idaho and really believe it is crucial to find ways to connect our youth with our public lands. It’s going to be a wonderful day for attendees, volunteers, and our staff. We are really looking forward to it.”
IDPR and Be Outside, Idaho also partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Idaho to facilitate the event. Youth attendees and volunteer staffers for the Winter Explorer Day Camps have been recruited from of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Magic Valley and Kootenai County.
“There can be so many barriers to getting kids outdoors, whether it be a disability, health resources or simply a lack of access. A large percentage of the grants went toward funding organizations that are addressing these issues by providing access and education,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We believe that if you can get kids to love the outdoors, not only will they develop skills that will help them throughout life, but they will grow up to care about their natural world, protecting and conserving the wild places they explore.”