Summer Camps


Imagine what a week in Shenandoah National Park would be like for a child from Yonkers. Or Washington, DC. Or Boston or Richmond. Would it be scary? At first. Would it be life-changing? Most certainly.

Your philanthropy will fund urban youth (high school-aged) for week-long summer camps in Shenandoah National Park. Most of these kids have never spent a night outside. They come to the park worried about being separated from their cell phones for a week, wondering how big the bugs are and if they’ll like the food. They leave Shenandoah asking when they can come back.

Our camps bring kids from different cities together for the week. Over the course of five days, they learn to live together, work together (they take on a service project—like cleaning campsites) and play together. They learn about careers in the National Park Service—everything from Park Rangers to accountants to maintenance crews.

These are transformational experiences for these teens. In fact, a number of our campers have gone on to become student leaders who help guide other underserved teens on trips to national parks. And more than a few have expressed a desire to become park rangers.

Your gift today will keep these camps running and these opportunities flowing. If you know a young person who could benefit from this program, please contact Ruth Hayes at or call (434) 293-2728.