Youth Leadership Adventures

Youth Leadership Adventures 2017 Program Report: The Next Generation of Leaders

Youth Leadership Adventures is a progression of transformational learning experiences, designed for local underserved youth to jump-start lifelong engagement with nature, stewardship, and community. Primary activities are 8-day Outdoor Leadership and 12-day Science and Sustainability Summer Courses in North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Next-step opportunities allow participants to put newly gained skills into action.

Youth Leadership program outcomes serve as the pillars for the curriculum and structure of students’ trip, they include:

Develop sense of place and community by connecting underserved students to public lands

Deepen ecological literacy through first-hand experience with field science

Cultivate leadership and communication skills through personal exploration and public speaking

Empower youth to make a difference through stewardship and workforce opportunities

View more Youth Leadership photo albums on Flickr

Participant Snapshot:

Participants are underserved, low-income, and students of color. Tuition is based on a sliding-scale and we provide clothing, gear, transportation, meals, family orientations, and gender-inclusive camp options

  • 60% of students report this is their first time in a National Park or National Forest
  • 77% live near the North Cascades Ecosystem
  • 81% first time participating in an outdoor program
  • 50% qualify for free and reduced lunch program
  • 78 youth participants
  • 86% received scholarships
  • 60% identify as People of Color
  • 23% born outside of the US
  • $80 median price paid by the student

Every year, we compile statistics on the school and communities served through this partnership program. Our 2017 Youth Leadership Program Report was published on March 9, 2018 and can be viewed below.


View the full Youth Leadership Program Report


Pathways for Youth: Next-Step Opportunities to Put Skills Into Action

2017 Youth Ambassadors
2017 Youth Ambassadors on a campus tour at Western Washington University

Youth Ambassadors provides college workshops, recreation, mentorship, leadership skills, and stewardship. In 2017,  fourteen Ambassadors volunteered 150 hours in public lands and received 70 hours preparing for college. Trips included: Skagit Land Trust work party, birding with Park Rangers, and a Western Washington University visit. The 6-month program is free and we provide transportation, meals, and a stipend.

Read trip reports by Youth Ambassadors

Youth Leadership Intern and students at Desolation Peak lookout
2017 Youth Leadership Intern, Rebecca Zhou poses with two students at the summit of Desolation Peak

Interns assist in leading summer courses while gaining work experience. Participants are inspired by interns who are of similar ages and backgrounds. Interns receive stipends, housing, meals, and Wilderness First Aid training. In 2017, we had two summer interns.

When we reached the lookout both the students and I felt an immense amount of satisfaction and joy in knowing we could reach our own goals and overcame our own challenges to meet that goal.”

— Rebecca Zhou, 2017 Youth Leadership Intern

Read the full story on our blog

Northwest Youth Leadership Summit

The Northwest Youth Leadership Summit equips students personal and professional development skills to serve the environment and communities. The free, day-long Summit includes skill-building sessions, a career fair, group reflection, and outdoor adventures. 120 students attended the Summit held at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center on November 4, 2017.

Graduate student Amy Sanchez wrote about her experience on our blog


To learn more about how you can get involved or make an impact, please visit our Support page

For more Institute reports from this and previous years, please visit our Accomplishments and Reports page

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