The Province is providing $40,000 to support youth engagement and foster a strong connection between youth and BC Parks.
Get Outside BC empowers youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to develop outdoor skills and build the confidence and leadership skills they need to inspire other young adults to appreciate parks and spend time in the outdoors.
This year, in an effort to provide youth participants with a local mentor and support network in their communities, youth with a passion for the outdoors from Prince George, Kelowna, Kimberley, Hope, Vancouver and Victoria are invited to apply for this exciting opportunity.
There are four phases to Get Outside BC 2013. A youth leadership summit will be held July 13-17 at Alice Lake Provincial Park. Here, 35 youth from around the province will plan their own outdoor events and community projects, learn outdoor and leadership skills and meet new friends with a shared passion for the outdoors.
After the summit, youth will host their own outdoor community events and projects in August and September. The goal of these youth-led community events is to inspire others to get outside and to provide youth with a real world experience in community leadership. Get Outside BC will provide up to $150 to support each event or project.
Some of last year's youth-led events included a four-day backpacking excursion in Monashee Provincial Park, a multi-cultural youth day at West Lake Provincial Park in Prince George and a camping trip to Goldstream Provincial Park.
Regional reunions will be held in the fall to discuss the successes and challenges of these events and to plan for the future. This reconnects the participants and gives them the opportunity to share their personal experiences. Throughout the winter and spring, participants of Get Outside BC 2013 will meet once a month with their regional groups to continue to get more youth in their communities outside.
This year, people can support Get Outside BC through BC Parks' Text to Donate program. Interested British Columbians can text "outside" to 45678 to make a $10 donation to Get Outside BC. The donation will be added to the donor's next cellphone bill and 100 per cent of every donation will go directly to Get Outside BC.
Now in its third year, this youth leadership project is offered collaboratively by BC Parks and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC), in partnership with the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. Mountain Equipment Co-op is also a partner and is contributing $15,000 for Get Outside BC 2013.
Starting tomorrow, youth can apply to be a part of Get Outside BC 2013 until April 30 by visiting: www.GetOutsideBC.ca
Terry Lake, Minister of Environment -
"The Province is proud to be a part of Get Outside BC for a third year. The additional funds provided this year will help youth cultivate a deep respect and connection to our environment and parks system, as well as empower B.C.'s leaders of tomorrow through fun and educational community events and projects around the province that they create and deliver."
Nicola Hill, executive director CPAWS-BC -
"We live in this beautiful province, but we have an entire generation of youth who aren't spending time outside. Through Get Outside BC, we're encouraging young people from all over the province to experience the many benefits of spending time in nature. The closer youth become with nature, the more likely they will be to protect it."
- Get Outside BC brings youth into BC Parks and creates a safe and inclusive environment for them to learn about nature.
- This program is the first of its kind in Canada and has now been replicated in New Brunswick and Ontario.
- The United Nations' International Youth Day is held every year on August 12 to celebrate the achievements of the world's youth and to encourage their participation in enhancing society.
To apply to Get Outside BC, please visit: www.getoutsidebc.ca
If you are a youth looking to become more engaged, please visit the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada's Natural Leaders Alliance at: http://childnature.ca/natural-leaders-alliance
For more information about BC Parks' Text to Donate program, please visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/partnerships/t2d/
For more information about B.C.'s provincial parks, please visit: www.bcparks.ca
Ministry of Environment