Snow Peak partnered with City Kids Wilderness Project as the official non-profit partner for the At Home Campout. Today, City Kids Executive Director Sarah Cryder shares a bit more about the organization’s mission, programming, and ways to get involved!
Tell us about the mission of City Kids Wilderness Project.
City Kids Wilderness Project’s mission is to build resiliency, broaden horizons, and ensure the skills for success for our participants through intensive, long-term youth development programming, using natural and wilderness settings to encourage personal growth.
What does a typical experience for kids look like?
During the school year, you’ll find the 100+ City Kids participants on the Billy Goat trail, biking the C&O Canal, sea kayaking in the rivers, swamps, and oceans of South Carolina, and rock climbing in nearby gyms and outdoor spaces like Shenandoah. During the summer, youth travel to Jackson Hole to participate in summer camp. The summer is filled with camping, horseback riding, backcountry hiking in the Sawtooth and Grand Tetons ranges, kayaking in Yellowstone National Park, and so much more. In addition to awesome outdoor adventures, the program provides career exploration and job training for high school youth, as well as community service opportunities and social justice workshops.
What impacts have you seen from your programming?
Of the youth who completed the City Kids program in the last six years, 97% have graduated from high school (Washington, DC graduation rate in 2019 was 70%). In the last six years, 92% enrolled in college or other formal programs such as vocational training or the military directly after high school. 90% of participants report that they think about their purpose in life often, 93% of youth report they are eager to do well in school and other activities, and 94% of families said their children more often try again when experiencing failure as a result of City Kids programming.
How can people support your work?
Become #CKCommitted by following us on Instagram @citykidswildernessproject, making a monetary or gear donation, or volunteering for weekend and after-school trips. Find information on all of these opportunities on our website www.citykidsdc.org.
Are there any exciting things coming up for City Kids Wilderness project?
There is so much going on at City Kids right now! We just accepted a brand new class of Rangers (our sixth graders) into the program, we have 16 senior JETs (our high schoolers) graduating from the program and transitioning into our alumni program, and not to bury the lead, but we are beyond excited to be heading back to our home away from home: Broken Arrow Ranch in Jackson Hole, WY-- for camp this summer! We had to cancel camp last summer because of the pandemic, and it was the first time in 25 years that we didn’t take kids to Wyoming. This summer, because of the COVID-safe precautions, will be a bit different, but we are so glad to be heading back out west. We are in the middle of our spring fundraising campaign called “Pack Your Bags” - check out our website to learn how you can get involved and support our return to Jackson!