The WNC Group of the N.C. Sierra Club has recently revived its Kids’ Adventure Club after a pandemic-driven hiatus.
The club is part of the Sierra Club's “Inspiring Connections Outdoors” program for young people from underserved communities. The WNC Group's main goal is to help kids have a fun experience outdoors with their friends. If a young person thinks of the outdoors as a place they enjoy and like to share time in with people they care about, then a love of the outdoors, a desire to learn more about it, and the intention to preserve natural areas may well follow.
The Kids' Adventure Club has been working with youth centers in Asheville to take groups on several outings this summer and two so far this fall. These included visits to the WNC Nature Center, WNC Arboretum, UNCA Botanical Gardens, and the Cradle of Forestry. Adventure Club members got to interact with animals, learn about plants and local ecology, wade in streams, hike, go on scavenger hunts, and much more.
WNC Group volunteers are excited about plans to expand the program to include a local middle school hiking club. The proposal, earmarked to start next spring, would have students joining the Kids' Adventure Club on afternoons after school as well as on weekdays when school is not in session. In addition to helping the students develop their knowledge of and affinity for nature, it will allow WNC volunteers to develop mentoring relationships with the kids.
The WNC Sierra Club hopes to team up with more groups, develop new relationships with outings programmers, and enlist more volunteers to help provide our kids with opportunities for fun, adventure, and connection in our natural world! If you'd like to explore ways to get involved, contact WNC Group Chair Judy Mattox.