Outdoor Youth Connection
Check out the video below made by our OYC graduates!
What if you had an opportunity to learn the skills and techniques to take people on an awesome outdoor adventure? What if you could gain these skills, have a great time learning, and take a group out on an outdoor adventure? What if you could make a difference in your community and the lives of people around you? What if you could become a leader!?
Yes You Can!!!
How? With Outdoor Youth ConnectionTM (OYC)! OYC connects youth with their peers, their community, the great outdoors, and their own leadership potential.
Here’s what it is: Outdoor Youth ConnectionTM is a collaborative effort of California State Parks, California State Parks Foundation, and Pacific Leadership Institute, a San Francisco State University non-profit organization. With funding provided through the Stewardship Council, OYC provides teens ages 13 through 17 who are involved in community based organizations experience in outdoor activities, teambuilding, and camping. They are empowered with the opportunities to develop leadership and life skills. With their new skills in outdoor activities, the participants will organize and lead their own outdoor trips and projects for their peers and community.
Here's how it works: Our team provides 3 days and 2 nights of hands-on experiential training in leadership, teambuilding, adventure, and trip planning while camping at one of many beautiful California State Parks.
Here's what it's like: Well, it's fun!!! Participants learn by experience. They participate in games, problem solving initiatives, and outdoor adventures. They also get practical training in planning, organizing, and leading trips and events.
Here's what you get:
• A resource manual to help you plan outdoor adventures
• Access to the OYC network and resources
• Access to camping equipment borrowed through California State Parks' FamCamp® program including tents, pads, sleeping bags, lanterns, stoves, propane, cooking utensils, dishes, and flatware
• Life skills and habits for a healthy lifestyle
• Improved self-esteem and sense of empowerment
• Skills in leadership, teamwork, and decision making to make a difference in the community
Here's the bonus: In addition to training, OYC provides resources and support throughout and after the process. Participants can also receive “mini grants” contingent upon availability of funds. That’s money to help fund the events they will organize and lead!
Me, lead events?: Sure! What better way to enhance your new skills than by doing. After all, as a leader, this is your opportunity to lead! Within a few months of the training, the youth will use their experience and skills to organize events for their peers and communities. An OYC Regional Coordinator will follow-up with the youth participants to help them organize and deliver outings and service projects. Youth and their community organizations will plan, prepare, lead and document these events. Remember, camping equipment is provided at no cost through the California State Parks’ FamCamp® program.
If you have questions or want to learn more about our training programs, please contact:
California State Parks
Dolores L. Mejia
Associate Governmental Program Analyst
Office of Community Involvement
Office - (916) 653-5454
Fax - (916) 651-2079
Email - Dolores.Mejia@parks.ca.gov