If you have never been to the North Cascades it is time to take a drive and put on your boots and find out how NCI is supporting youth and are stewards of this environment.
Each summer the North Cascades Institute takes high school students on a two-week adventure into the mountains, including a hike up Desolation Peak where Jack Kerouac once sojourned. I met some in Devils Canyon, a heavenly grotto where Ross Lake winds back into Devils Creek gorge. The sun, dancing on the clear water, cast undulating light waves on the surrounding cliffs and their hanging gardens of fern and trees.
Because of the generosity of supporters like you, we have raised more than $158,000 over the past month for our transformative youth programs: Mountain School and Youth Leadership Adventures! We need to raise $17,000 over the next 72 hours to meet our goal — can we count on you to help us make it?
Every dollar raised goes directly towards providing scholarships for young people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to get outdoors, learning about stewardship, natural and cultural history and, most notably, the leadership potential they have.
If you’ve been to any of our recent book launch celebrations for the new North Cascades book, you were likely impressed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist William Dietrich’s presentation. In his essay “The Wild Nearby,” he writes about visiting our Youth Leadership Adventures students on Ross Lake:
“The mountains stretched out like a map,” Sherwin Shabder of Olympia told me, describing the view from Desolation that he’d risen at 5:00 a.m. to climb. “The mountains looked like they could fit in your pocket.”
“You can listen to yourself,” said Cristina Gonzalez of Burlington. “I learned who I am as a person.”
Jeanette Johnson of Olympia had jotted down her impressions: “The big hard sun is up there to beat down. The big green reaches toward the sky. The good earth breathes.”
What these students found was life changing. “I want to help the environment so people can experience what I’ve experienced,” said Richard Perkins of Kelso.
“One person really can change the world,” said Jenny Wall of Walla Walla.
Then they went back ashore and slipped into the forest, absorbed into the mountains once again.
This work of leading young people into our local Wild Nearby, of providing them opportunities and mentorship for personal growth and transformation, of inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards is more vital today than ever before.
You can directly impact the next generation by donating to the Campaign for Youth right now at www.ncascades.org/support. If you haven’t yet contributed , remember that your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar — up to $25,000 — with support from the National Park Service Challenge Program.
Donate today http://ncascades.org/support/campaign-for-youth