FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Guerin, City Kids Wilderness Project
Friday, August 6, 2021 Phone: 803.730.8628 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Kids Celebrates 25 Years of Transformational Outdoor Experiences for DC Youth
Since 1996, the Organization has Impacted +500 Youth Through DC and Wyoming Programming
Jackson Hole, WY– City Kids Wilderness Project was founded in 1996 as a camp in Jackson Hole, WY for DC youth. Since that time, the organization has expanded services to a year-round, six-year program, which has impacted the lives of +500 youth participants over the last 25 years. The program is based around three core principles: long-term youth engagement, experiential education programming with a focus on overcoming challenges, goal setting, and future planning.
“City Kids has worked for decades now to provide access to the outdoors and remove the systemic barriers of cost, transportation, and representation that keep communities of color from recreational spaces,” said Sarah Cryder, Executive Director of City Kids.
City Kids participants experience hiking, biking, and paddling in DC-area parks including the Billy Goat Trail, the C&O Canal, and Shenandoah National Park. In Jackson Hole, WY youth attend summer camp at their “home away from home,” Broken Arrow Ranch, where they hike and camp in the Sawtooth and Teton mountain ranges, horseback ride, and kayaking in Yellowstone National Park.
City Kids also provides after-school support for middle school youth; career exploration and job training, community service opportunities and social justice workshops for high school youth; and a formal College Success & Alumni program to help graduating seniors successfully navigate the postsecondary transition. Of the youth who completed the program in the last six years:
97% have graduated from high school (compared to the 68% DC graduation rate);
92% enrolled in college or vocational training or the military directly after high school;
90% report that they think about their purpose in life often;
93% report they are eager to do well in school and other activities; and
94% of families said, as a result of City Kids programming, children try again when experiencing failure.
City Kids pivoted their programming to an all-virtual experience at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, including canceling their summer camp in Jackson Hole for the first time since its founding. To remain connected to youth during this time, City Kids offered hundreds of recorded, group, and one on one virtual engagement opportunities for youth and families. In the spring of 2021, City Kids returned to in-person programming in DC and this summer, have returned to camp at Broken Arrow Ranch in Jackson.
“The impact of COVID-19 was significant for our youth and families, but we managed to stay connected to them through +400 virtual engagement opportunities,” said Cryder. “We are excited to be back in Jackson this summer, running camp, and are looking forward to using COVID protocols to safely maintain in-person programming when we return to DC this fall.”