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Youth Ambassador Program Reaches New Heights

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Jun 20, 2017 04:19 PM |

Over the past nine months, WTA's youth ambassadors have blown us away with their creativity, hard-work and dedication to the hiking community. Whether they hail from Darrington, Olympia, Yakima or Stanwood, our ambassadors have been giving back in more ways than we could have ever imagined.

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The ambassadors volunteered for a day of trail work in Federation Forest State Park after the annual ambassador reunion. Photo by Rachel Wendling

This spring marks the end of the fifth successful year of WTA’s Youth Ambassador Program. In mid-November, WTA welcomed 16 youth leaders to our annual Youth Ambassador Summit with the goal of giving teens an opportunity to meet like-minded peers from around the state and to provide an introduction to continued involvement with WTA and information on jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities with outdoor and environmental organizations.

Leaders in their communities

Over the past nine months, these teens have blown us away with their creativity, hard-work and dedication to the hiking community. Whether they hail from Darrington, Olympia, Yakima or Stanwood, our ambassadors have been giving back in more ways than we could have imagined, together, donating over 900 hours of their time, and 365 days on trail.

This May, our 2016-2017 cohort joined us again for a fun-filled reunion weekend at Federation Forest State Park, complete with trail work, slack-lining, hammock-lounging, and reflection on a jam-packed year of projects and presentations.

In total, these teens have presented to more than 1,200 students, peers and community members. They have organized numerous trail work parties, created hiking clubs at their schools, shared their passion for trails with state legislators, attended outreach events and led hikes for local school groups. Their accomplishments have even been featured in our very own Washington Trails magazine, the Yakima Herald, and the Washington Alpine Club newsletter.

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The ambassadors shared their feedback on the program, and how WTA can continue to foster great youth leaders for years to come. Photo by current youth ambassador, Thomas Meade.

This coming fall, we look forward to welcoming the next cohort of Youth Ambassadors and seeing how the program continues to grow and improve. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their time and energy to this program, and for blazing a path for Pacific Northwest youth to access trails and outdoor experiences.

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