The Treasures of Nature
You are the reason kids are out in nature exploring, playing, learning, and growing with us at Wilderness Youth Project. You help children open their eyes to the treasures of nature while supporting their mental and physical health.
You are with a group of young Treefrog campers, ages 6-8. You are all excitedly jumping out of the 15-passenger WYP van at Toro Canyon in Carpinteria. As you arrive, it doesn’t look much different than other parks in the area with a dry creek bed, scattered oak trees, and picnic tables. Your mentor Ulises invites the group to sit under one of these big oak trees and tells you a story:
Here at Toro Canyon we will be exploring some secret pathways behind us that will lead to an area with large rock formations. Legend has it that here lies a sleeping bull disguised as a giant rock who is guarding a treasure here.
Immediately, the kids start asking questions. “What kind of treasure? Is it gold? Where is it? Can we see it?” The group heads towards the rocks and begins to explore. The kids investigate the area looking for clues to find the treasure. Even the most skeptical among them eventually joins in. They are stumped and cannot find anything. Ulises encourages them, “Look for clues and think about what treasure means to YOU? It isn’t always gold.”
While they continued to comb the area for clues, several kids chime in with their answers to what is treasure:
Kid #1: “What if the treasure is just that we get to live life here?”
Kid #2: “The climbing is the treasure!”
Kid #3: “Look at the view! That is the treasure.”
Kid #4: “Behind the rock, over here, the treasure….It’s my friends!”
Kid #5: “I see a graffiti letter J. J…is for justice! The treasure is justice!”
What does treasure mean to you?
What would you have said? Have you been on your own search for secret treasures in nature?
It turns out that when you connect a child to nature, you give them a treasure. Your donation will provide hope; just what our youth need.
Our full scholarship program, “Bridge to Nature” serves about 825 kids from low-income families by meeting them where they are already at during the school year in-school and at our community partner sites and during the summer with scholarships to summer camp. We need your help right now, because this fall we still have a funding gap to provide the school year programs free of cost to families. On average, each scholarship costs $313 per child and we need to provide 450 more scholarships this year!
Will you contribute today?
If you, our supporters, come together and raise $140,900 by December 31, you will provide the funds needed for 450 more scholarships for the kids who are already enrolled in Bridge to Nature programs.
Please donate today. Get kids outdoors, reconnect them with the treasures of the natural world. With each other, and their caring mentors. It will help heal them and help them learn.
You can support us in many ways...
We can’t do it without you!
Your support allows us to continue to give out scholarships and fund community programs. We have faith that you and our community will come forward to make sure we can keep building wellness, curiosity, and connection.