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How To Raise An Outdoor Kid

A special series brought to you by BACKPACKER and the Outdoor Foundation

The disease has been diagnosed: nature deficit disorder. The patient is all around us: today’s youth. Now here’s the cure: step-by-step guides packed with proven tips for engaging kids in healthy, active outdoor sports. Starting in April 2009, BACKPACKER and the Outdoor Foundation present six DIY modules for parents, mentors, and youth leaders looking for new ideas and techniques. The series will also include an exclusive report on the best cities in America for raising an outdoor kid. Have ideas of your own, or methods that have worked for you? Leave us a comment at the bottom of any page.


Teaching kids to enjoy the outdoors is a rewarding experience for both kids and mentors. But while you may be able to paddle Class V rapids, make an all-day climb of a snow-capped peak, and spend a full week in the wilderness backpacking, can you lead and manage a group of teenagers on a local day hike?

This online resource, created by The Outdoor Foundation, will introduce you to the soft skills that make great outdoor leaders. The material highlights stories, advice, and lessons gathered from professional outdoor leaders around the country. We hope that their shared experiences inspire you and help you grow as an outdoor leader.

The Outdoor Foundation will release resources for all six activities
listed below over the next few months.
The first release focuses
on paddling. Enjoy!

Paddling Climbing Hiking
Orienteering Camping Biking

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© Copyright 2009. The Outdoor Foundation.