City Kids Wilderness Project Turns 20, Looks Forward to Its Next Decade

Landing at the airport in Jackson Hole in 1996 was a breathless experience: I was immediately transformed by the cool, crisp mountain air and clear sky that was devoid of Washington, DC’s congestion, honking horns, and tall buildings. I was in Jackson scouting for the perfect place to start a summer camp for under-resourced DC youth, and when I found Broken Arrow Ranch nestled between the Hoback River and the mountains, I knew that I had found just the right place.

I grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and struggled all throughout school—learning the conventional way was challenging for me, and the lack of support and positive reinforcement affected my confidence. Because learning the traditional way wasn’t working for me, my parents and I looked for a school that offered a more empirical experience. So at 16, I headed west to a school that had an outdoor leadership program and something clicked when my learning environment changed.

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