We’ve missed getting outdoors with you and are humbled by the amazing work you’ve been doing in your communities. Thank you for continuing to serve your community members in such vital ways.
As you know, we’ve taken a hiatus from leading in-person programming since COVID-19 hit. We have used that time to reimagine the way we work with partners so that we can increase opportunities for families to get outdoors together close to home. We are excited to share two big changes. First, we are now going to fall within the newly created Center for Outdoor Learning and Leadership (COLL). COLL is not a physical place-it is a unifying structure within which Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) volunteers and staff offer Conservation Knowledge, Outdoor Skills, and Leadership Training programs throughout our region encompassing the Northeast and Mid- Atlantic. We will be transitioning to the name Families Outdoors to reflect our main mission of helping families get outdoors no matter where they are.
Second, we are shifting our model from being reliant on paid staff offering programs to an approach where staff support and coach trained volunteers in a variety of roles. We believe this will increase our capacity to support partners and to offer Families Outdoors programming both in our current communities, and across AMC’s region. Our 12 volunteer-led chapters already offer nearly 6,000 programs every year with trained volunteers both close to home and further away. We plan to share what we know about volunteer recruitment and training to equip parents, volunteers, and staff to offer the same high quality close to home programs, but in more communities and we hope with more frequency. The AMC has a proven track record of high success when working with volunteers, and we are excited to continue moving forward and growing our reach!
In the coming month we will be sending a longer update of what this will look like, but as we form our next steps for Families Outdoors it will help us to get a better sense of how we can best work with you. You are the steadfast supporters of our programming, and we truly could not still be here without you. If you wouldn’t mind, please take a few short minutes to fill out this survey to help us better understand how we can work together going forward.
We really look forward to continuing our partnership with you. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or comments.