...to support GOALS ("Get Outside And Learn Something), the non-profit organization whose mission is to INSPIRE EXPLORATION IN YOUTH THROUGH MULTI-DAY WILDERNESS RIVER TRIPS?
If you haven't, please consider this. As a young organization, we're making great strides to get as many kids into river canyons as we can throughout 2011. During our "off-season", we work very hard to a) increase our individual donor base and b) spread the word about what we're offering. I hope you'll help us reach one- if not both, of those objectives.
Very simply stated, 2010 has been an incredibly exciting year at GOALS, and 2011 promises to be the year that launches us to the forefront of outdoor education programs for youth. I feel like most people on this forum know first-hand the importance of getting kids outdoors for some imaginative exploration, and the benefits that kids receive from traveling through desert river canyons specifically. Rivers naturally inspire curiosity (what's around the next bend??), create self-confidence (for most kids, paddling a ducky through a rapid is a novel experience), create a strong sense of group camaraderie (we're all in this together!), and present an array of curricular lessons that have greater impact delivered in the canyon than they do in a classroom (history of the people who created an ancient wall of petroglyphs, geology of the canyon, etc.).
Trips like the ones we're offering to kids through GOALS make up many of my favorite childhood memories, and I'd guess you'd say the same. I looked forward to getting out and camping/exploring nature several times every year, and yet the vast majority of kids I teach everyday have nothing like that in their lives. Instead, they're simply interested in passing some video game level rather than bragging about their outdoor accomplishments. I fear that if our youngest generation isn't given experiences like we've shared, they won't fight for the protection of wild places- thus opportunities for future generations to explore such places will be diminished. We need to reverse this trend.
So far this year, we've had over 60 people sign up to become $10/month donors. This relatively small monthly donation makes a big difference when the number of donors increases- as every $10/month donor will ultimately sponsor 2 days in the canyon for a participant over the course of a year. We have 8 groups already signed up for programs in various canyons next year, and with a generous set of permits (over 30!) offered up by our sponsoring outfitters, the only thing limiting how many kids we can get out into the wilderness is the amount of money we're able to raise.
I hope you'll consider going to www.goals4youth.org/donate1.html
and joining the list of dedicated supporters who are helping us to accomplish our mission of "inspiring exploration in youth through multi-day wilderness river trips" with a $10, $25, or $50 monthly donation (you DON"T NEED to have a PayPal account, and can simply use a credit/debit card to donate through PayPal). If you aren't able to do so, and still want to help, please consider sending our website (G.O.A.L.S. - Get Outside and Learn Something
) to friends and family who share your passion for the outdoors.
Thanks very much for taking a few minutes to learn about what we're doing. If you don't have time to browse the site, please know that there are some powerful slideshows illustrating a typical GOALS program online at Clear Creek Middle School Outdoor Education
or Clear Creek Middle School 8th Grade Outdoor Education
If you are interested in using one of our permits to get a group of kids out, or if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me directly at brett at goals4youth dot org