Happy Feel Good Friday! We spent last week in Marin learning about kids in the performing arts and we're going to keep it in the Bay Area this week by going to Oakland and learning about kids in nature.
Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) provides teachers and group leaders with wilderness training and access to a gear library with the goal of getting young people out into California's wilderness areas.
The mission of BAWT, as stated on their website is "to create opportunities for youth from the San Francisco Bay Area to experience wilderness first hand. To achieve our mission, we train teachers and youth workers, provide outdoor gear loans, give financial support and foster community collaboration."
Their main course is the Wilderness Leadership Training, a five day backpacking course in which you learn all the skills you need to lead youth on a multi-day backpacking adventure. You learn these skills by backpacking in Sierra Nevada mountains and role playing with your fellow educators. There are also one day courses in subjects like water safety, map and compass reading, and games.
Once you've completed a training, you have access to the gear libraries where you and your students can rent all the equipment you need for an overnight trip (backpacks, tents, cooking supplies, shoes, etc.) for FREE! There are also opportunities for grants and scholarships to help with the cost of a trip.
The idea is that there shouldn't be any limitations on you, as an educator, bringing your students into a natural environment where they'll be able to learn things other than what can be covered in an indoor classroom.
If you want more information about BAWT you can read this article from Bay Nature or watch a 7 minute video and hear from kids who've gone on the trips. As always, like their Facebook page to stay in the loop. Who else is ready to make a plan and get outside!