The EYES program is the youth leadership arm within Seattle ICO. The program offers high school youth an outstanding opportunity to develop their leadership skills in an outdoors-oriented context. A team of adult leaders works with the EYES youth leaders to teach skills in leadership, trip planning, communication, mentorship, and outdoor activities. EYES youth leaders are thus empowered to take an active role on ICO outings, engage in skill development activities within the EYES team, and participate in the larger ICO organization through activities such as fundraising, leadership training, or community service. The hours spent in this program fulfills the graduation requirement specified by the public school system.
EYES Leaders participate in both ICO outings and EYES outings. The EYES team meets several times a year. A few of those are business meetings, fundraising meetings, and community service projects. Two of the meetings are camping trips, one of them involving organizational planning. The summer meeting is usually a backpacking or other sort of extended outdoor experience. This outing is used as the new youth leader induction/training. As many leaders as possible participate and help the new youth leaders through the oft rigorous trip.
For their participation, youth can receive “volunteer hours” to fulfill their requisite hours toward High School graduation. They also receive at no cost, leadership training, some outdoor gear, use of ICO gear and equipment for trips, and opportunities for first aid training and attendance at local outdoor leadership conferences. If you are interested in becoming an EYES leader, please make sure to download BOTH the application form and the faculty/staff recommendation form and send both to the email address on the forms.