youth and the outdoors

Earlier this week I did something a bit different and attended the inaugural “Outdoor Summit for Youth” BLM conference with a couple other CLM interns.  There were lots of BLM staff and representatives from other governmental agencies and non-profits in attendance.  The conference was put on by the BLM in California with a goal of finding ways to improve young people’s access to and connection with the outdoors.  The BLM wants to better educate, engage, and employ youth to inspire interest in natural resources and to cultivate future leaders.  I’m very excited to see that the BLM recognizes the challenges they face in reaching younger people, especially in underserved communities.  Like most CLM interns, I already have a love for the outdoors and want to work in the environmental field.  It’s hard to say which experiences sparked my interest, but I think it’s important that everyone be given the opportunity to go on a hike for a field trip or go camping or help out with a restoration project or really do anything that creates some curiosity about the outdoors.  I’m already aware of how many incredibly opportunities this internship program has given me to grow and gain new experiences.  However, attending this conference made me realize just how lucky I am and how important it is for others to gain access to similar opportunities.  I’m curious to see what sorts of ideas the BLM took away from the summit but am also glad to be out of a conference room and back at the PMC.

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