ARVADA, Colo. (May 2, 2023) – Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a leading provider of immersive nature-based experiences for youth for more than 30 years, is pleased to announce the launch of the BCM Leaders Program. The Leaders Program is aimed at answering the question of “what’s next” for the young people who participate in BCM’s programming.
The Leaders Program offers BCM alumni the opportunity to advance their leadership skills, enhance their outdoor technical skills, and gives them connections and access to build a career in the outdoor industry. As part of the program, Leaders will participate in career exploration days with outdoor industry leaders, attend skill-building workshops, join in specific backcountry expeditions and support other BCM programs as peer leaders.
“The launch of our Leaders Program is a great step forward in advancing inclusion and representation in the outdoors and in the outdoor industry,” said David Taus, BCM Executive Director. “We intend for this program to serve as a scalable model that will help young people develop the necessary skills and social capital to deepen their personal connection with nature, enhance their own leadership and social-emotional capacities, and eventually pursue careers in the outdoors.”
BCM alumni who participate in the Leaders Program will receive a scholarship and gear package to support their exploration of the outdoors and continued education. In addition to the monetary and equipment support, each member of the Leaders Program will join other BCM expeditions as a peer leader and begin to create the experience for others. Leaders will also document their experiences via photos, video, and writing this summer with the intention of sharing the content publicly.
The Leaders Program is selective and only open to BCM expedition alumni ages sixteen and older. The 2023 inaugural cohort will include 16 participants. The Leaders Program is being piloted in BCM’s California and Colorado regions in 2023 and is planned to expand nationwide in 2024 and include up to 40 youth.
To learn more about the Leaders Program, please visit www.bigcitymountaineers.org/programs/leaders-program. Additionally, you can learn more by following Big City Mountaineers on Facebook and Instagram.
To download images representing BCM, please click the following link: https://inbackbonemedia.box.com/s/822k60vflm5ium1j98a0537gby3jh1xr
About Big City Mountaineers (BCM)
BCM provides free, fully outfitted, and professionally led backpacking trips, paddling expeditions, and camps so youth from disinvested communities can access the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of being connected to nature. Research shows that experiences in nature reduce stress, improve physical health, advance education outcomes and build civic mindedness. Unfortunately, not every young person has the same opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and are unable to experience all the benefits of a connection to nature in an equitable way. BCM’s model removes material and social barriers to participation outdoors by acting as a hub between the outdoor industry, youth-serving community-based organizations, caring adult volunteers, and professional experiential educators.
To learn more, please visit https://bigcitymountaineers.org/ or follow BCM at @bigcitymountaineers on social media.