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Opportunities for teens to get outside

Posted by Kdooley at Feb 02, 2011 11:00 AM |

Teen volunteer opportunities this summer

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about warmer weather and planning how we are going to spend our summer. Luckily WTA has some great options to get  high school students ages 14-18 outside and enjoying trails. Youth Volunteer Vacations offer a unique experience for teens to spend a week camping and giving back to the hiking community.

This summer there is something for every interest. Youth volunteers will enjoy front country locations in the Columbia River Gorge, North Cascades, Central Cascades, Olympic Peninsula, and near Mount Adams.

For those youth with previous trail maintenance experience, advanced backcountry locations might be more appealing. This year youth on backcountry trips will find themselves near Lake Chelan, in Mount Rainier, along the Pacific Crest Trail, and exploring the Alpine Lakes and Henry M Jackson Wilderness.

A couple special trips to note are the all-girls front country trip at Beacon Rock State Park and a "hybrid" at Mount Rainier. The Mount Rainier trip includes a six mile hike to camp, but all of the gear will be transported in to the campsite. It will be a fun way to be in the backcountry, yet still be able to bring some fun items from home.

Why do teens want to spend a week with WTA this summer? It’s a great way to meet new people. They learn new skills and enjoy living outdoors in beautiful locations, plus they earn up to 40 hours of community service. Click here for more youth perspectives.

This year WTA is offering several scholarships as well. We believe every teen should be able to get outside. If you know a high school student who would enjoy spending a week with WTA this summer that may need some assistance we can help. Youth Volunteer scholarships will be granted based on financial need and outdoor interest. The initial application deadline is March 1, 2011. If spaces still remain open after the deadline, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Space has been reserved on six trips for scholarship applicants.

Contact Krista Dooley, Youth Programs Coordinator at for more information about Youth Volunteer Vacations or scholarship program.

Registration for Youth Volunteer Vacations begin Feb. 7 at 10am. Click here for the preview of the 2011 spring/summer schedule.