Virginians Look to the Future of Outdoors
Virginia State Parks in partnership with Outdoor Nation, the millennial-led movement championing the outdoors, will host three youth summits this summer where millennial leaders will connect with local peers to identify regional outdoor issues, develop strategies and receive leadership training, the Smith Mountain Eagle reported.
The three-day Outdoor Nation Summits will gather more than 100 attendees. Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 28. "Millennials" is a term generally used to describe young people born between 1980 and the late 1990s.
The summits are being held in partnership with America's State Parks Foundation's Ambassador Program and Outdoor Nation. Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Summits will take place at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield June 7-9, First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach July 12-14 and Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield Aug. 1-3. During the Pocahontas State Park event, summit participants will be invited to work with the nonprofit Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainment during a performance by Dark Star Orchestra, Saturday, Aug. 3.
"This is an exciting opportunity for outdoor-minded young people to gather and gain valuable information they can take back to their campuses and communities as they work to inspire others to get outside," said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. "We are exceptionally pleased to be involved with this innovative partnership. This is going to be a great summer for hundreds of future leaders as they learn about beneficial tools to help them become champions of the outdoors and the environment."
There is no cost for participants to attend the Outdoor Nation Summits – food and materials will be provided. Participants are responsible for their travel to and from the event. Campsites are available for summit participants, but they will need to bring a tent, sleeping bag and personal items. Tents can be provided upon request. To register for a summit, visit http://outdoornation.org/vsp.
Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nation is a national initiative of the Outdoor Foundation that empowers millennials to champion the outdoors – as athletes, artists, advocates and ambassadors.
"Outdoor Nation Summits empower young outdoor advocates to pursue their agenda with regard to outdoor engagement," said Ivan Levin, director of Outdoor Nation. "We're excited to partner with Virginia State Parks to ensure the Millennial Generation and all future generations will enjoy a strong connection with the outdoors."
Launched in 2009, the America's State Parks Foundation is a national initiative inspired by the National Association of State Park Directors representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The foundation's mission is to reenergize the state parks movement and the public's awareness of the health, environmental and economic benefits of state parks to the nation.
The America's State Park Ambassador Program, designed and developed by public and private partners and with sponsorship support from corporations such as Coca-Cola and Stihl, encourages the involvement of young adults in state parks across the country and has participants in all 50 states. Ambassadors visit parks and write blogs, create videos and post photographs online. For more information about the program, visit www.americasstateparks.org/Ambassadors.