Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a leading provider of wilderness experiences for youth in the outdoors for more than 30 years, is pleased to announce the appointment of David Taus, a lifelong educator and outdoor advocate, as the organization’s new executive director.
“We are thrilled David is joining Big City Mountaineers,” said BCM Board President, Paul Thompson. “His experience in education, passion for the outdoors and alignment with BCM’s mission of creating transformative experiences for young people through the outdoors made him an outstanding candidate for this position. Our team is confident he will strengthen our organization and help us connect more youth with nature.”
The executive director plays a critical role on the BCM staff, not only leading BCM through decision making and management, but also inspiring, growing and driving the organization forward to fulfill its mission. In looking at candidates for this position, it was critical for applicants to demonstrate the ability to lead and implement a strategic vision, while also having experience with justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
In addition to the tactical skills needed to lead the organization, the executive director must be able to elevate the skills and passions of the BCM staff and understand the unique challenges young people face. Taus’ professional background, outdoor skills and passion for education put him in a position to lead BCM into the future while continuing to push the mission forward.
Taus previously held leadership roles in education-focused nonprofits, and most recently worked as an independent education and nonprofit consultant. In this role, he advised and supported schools, small nonprofits, and education focused organizations. Prior to his consulting work, Taus served as the Vice President of Talent and Operations with Denver Kids Inc, the Director of Programs and Recruitment for the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program and co-founded a tutoring-focused nonprofit before that.
“My career has always placed me at the intersection of public education, nonprofits, youth development, equity, social justice and outdoor education. I thus was drawn to Big City Mountaineers’ work as soon as I learned of it,” said Taus. “Without question, the most impactful learning and growth experiences I have
ever participated in have been immersive experiences in the natural world — such as the ones that BCM provides — and the thought of personally dedicating myself to support such experiences for youth who might not always have access to these opportunities carries great personal meaning.”
Big City Mountaineers (BCM) provides free – fully outfitted and professionally led – backpacking trips, paddling expeditions, and camps so all youth 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/