Getting youth into the wilderness has always been important, and experiencing this with a trusted group through a summer camp experience only increases the benefits. It’s transformative. Reveling in the wonder that comes with travel in the natural world. Harnessing the power resulting from working as a team to meet goals and realize accomplishments -- accomplishments that perhaps they did not think that they could achieve. The benefits have always been real and profound. But it has never, never been more important than it is now.
Try to wrap your head around what the last twenty-months have been like and how life has changed. It is almost impossible to quantify. As adults, we have the capacity to view this surreal time period through a rational and comparative lens. For the vast, vast majority of our lives, we were without “masks,” “PCR tests,” “social-distancing,” and “close contacts” as part of our regular lexicon. We also carry with us the clear view of what normal was and will be again.
Now peer through the lens of the adolescent and young adult. Their perspective is so much narrower as our current situation has taken over a far more formative part of their lives. This impact has been far greater and more substantial than we can often fathom. It is imperative that we provide the chance for them to venture from the world of screens and Zoom and onto lakes and trails. To enjoy the fresh air, cool waters, and trodden paths with others is crucial now more than ever. As an educator for almost 25-years, there has been a fundamental shift over the past two years as a result of the realities and repercussions of Covid. Now, as we see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, we have an incredible opportunity to (re)engage kids with the outdoors.
This opportunity should be available to all, and the Red Canoe Foundation is committed to providing scholarship support so that more kids can be on the waters and trails -- and in that space they will grow physically, mentally, and establish bonds that are deep and true and lasting.
Most sincerely and appreciatively,
Jason Lewis, Chair Constituent Relations