Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) is an all-volunteer outreach program of the Sierra Club that provides wilderness experiences for individuals who might not otherwise have them. Most participants are young people from urban communities, but ICO also conducts trips for other groups that do not have access to outdoor activities.
ICO groups vary in size and extent of activities based on the abilities of the leaders. ICO Rafting, as we call ourselves, does strictly whitewater rafting (and on-river camping). ICO Rafting is the only ICO group that specializes in whitewater rafting.
The goal of the Inspiring Connections Outdoors program is to help people discover the beauty and challenges of the wild lands we treasure, acquire the skills necessary to enjoy them safely, and learn that human activity and the natural world are interrelated. The program's success helps increase environmental awareness, interpersonal skills, and participants' self-esteem through active involvement with nature.
San Francisco Bay Chapter's ICO program is the place where ICO began, in 1971! A small group of Sierra Club outings leaders decided to take urban youth into the great outdoors. Since its founding, ICO has spread to more than 50 cities across the nation, involving hundreds of dedicated volunteers serving thousands of participants every year.