Outdoor Educators Institute

2019 OEI Application


Surveying the Field: Outdoor Educators Institute

2018 OEI Evaluation



Support our work to ensure all youth have access to life-changing experiences in the outdoors.


Our Success: A Year of Impact

2018 Annual Report


Deepening Commitments:

Working Toward Equity and Inclusion When Connecting Youth to the Outdoors

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Strategic Programs

Youth Outside builds organizational capacity and develops future leaders through the following three programs: The Outdoor Educators Institute, a 4-month-long professional and workforce development program for young adults from diverse backgrounds; the Rising Leaders Fellowship, which supports the professional development of diverse, rising leaders; and then for organizations, we offer the Cultural Relevancy Series, a set of comprehensive workshops, paired with coaching.

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Youth Outside invests in the following types of programs that connect youth with the outdoors: Programs that provide "first encounters" with the outdoors, whether it be a trip to the ocean or Yosemite, or a first opportunity to sleep under the stars; programs that prioritize culturally relevant outdoor programming for underserved and underrepresented youth; and/or emerging stewardship and conservation programs at community-based organizations that work with underserved youth.

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Field Leadership

Youth Outside embraces its leadership role in the field of youth outdoor education and programming. We continue to convene the field around critical issues like cultural relevancy, the link between health and outdoor access, as well as building the next generation of environmental stewards. We are measuring grantee programs as well as our own programs and widely sharing our findings with the field. Youth Outside also bridge gaps across sectors to form innovative partnerships which result in increased impact.

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“We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” - Maya Angelou

Our Mission

We strive to ensure that the lived experience of all youth is honored as part of the outdoor experience. We provide grantmaking, capacity-building and training to promote healthy lives and inspire future champions of the planet. 

Our Vision

Our vision is for all youth to have the opportunity for meaningful experiences in nature.

Core Values

We create environments and opportunities that embrace difference and honor the whole person in their connection to nature, so that they feel welcomed, valued, and supported to fully and authentically participate in being champions for the planet.

We listen and learn so that we can remain relevant and effective, using our leadership role to address needs as they arise.

Radical Transformation
We expect more of our work, creating new pathways to transform the way youth interact with, appreciate, and care for the outdoors.

Our leadership role demands that we adapt with an open mind and heart, keeping lines of communication open, and making adjustments to achieve shared goals and to embrace opportunities.

We ignite momentum and rally support for a cause that demands attention and action by asking hard questions and facilitating difficult conversations needed to drive broader change across the outdoor field.

We prioritize creating access and opportunities for historically and systematically excluded individuals and communities in order to guarantee fair treatment within the outdoors, and to ensure that equitable access to nature, green jobs, and healthful and fulfilling lives can be achieved by all members of society.

We advocate for access to the benefits of the outdoors in order to increase the health and wholistic wellness of all people and for the collective commitment to ensure the health of our planet.

Help us connect youth with the outdoors today for a healthier California tomorrow.

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