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Open Roads and A Thousand Summers have joined together to create a transformational experience that combines leadership training and wilderness skill building opportunities for a new, more diverse, generation of outdoor educators. All of the participants in this training had a camp scholarship experience in their youth, and are now ready to make the jump to becoming leaders, counselors, and guides 


We recognize that too many young adults from lower-income communities do not have positive experiences in the outdoors, nor are there many cultural narratives that encourage them make nature part of their lives. We felt strongly that this needed to change and that having mentors and outdoor trip leaders who have walked in their shoes would be an ideal way to start a new story.

 The program focuses on equipping a cohort of between 8 and 12 participants with the fundamentals of outdoor leadership, Wilderness First Aid and Leave No Trace training and certification, trip planning, and interpersonal and leadership skills that are highly coveted in the outdoor industry, and in other professional settings. Following the summer expedition, we work with the participants to identify relevant work opportunities and provide assistance with applications to secure future employment at summer camp, travel program, or the broader outdoor industry.

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