A $75,000 grant from an anonymous donor is helping us bring our popular Step Up to the Great Outdoors program to even more underserved children. We launched Step Up four years ago with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Club. Within four years, the program grew from 12 kids to over 200. With this new infusion of funding, we’ll connect even more children with Shenandoah National Park. How does it work?
Step Up introduces underserved youth to their “backyard” national park in three phases:
Step #1 brings Park Rangers to the children’s neighborhood for an afternoon of games; examining bird nests, deer antlers and bear fur; and conversations about what to expect when they visit the park (Lions—no! Bears—yes!)
Step #2 brings the children to the park for an easy hike and picnic lunch with “their” Park Rangers.
Step #3 is an overnight camping trip in Shenandoah. Each child receives a sleeping bag to use—and keep. Splashing under a waterfall, cooking over a campfire and watching the sunrise from a mountaintop are part of this transformational experience.
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