by Rodrick Irby, current BEET Intern
The CommunityGrows BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens), as well as high school teens from all across the Bay Area, attended the Backyard Bound overnight camping trip in the Presidio on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, 2014. The purpose of this trip was not only to build bonds of friendship and trust between all attending youth, but also to brainstorm ways to get more youth into their local national park.
Saturday began with a number of different outdoor activities and discussions. These activities included but were not limited to a ropes course, a foot race, exploring native plants, as well as a hike. Youth were assigned to one of over eight different activities. No matter which was chosen, everyone got the opportunity to spend their whole morning out in nature. Later that day, youth attended a campfire where s’mores were roasted and a talent show was held. Venyse Sims, a second semester BEETS Intern, said, “I enjoyed exploring Rob Hill and the talent show was a lot of fun too.”
The second day was a day of reflection. Sunday consisted of youth breaking off into four groups to attend different panels to discuss different pressing environmental issues. The one that caught my eye dealt with getting more youth into national parks. It blows my mind that everyone is not taking the time to visit their local park, there is never a dull moment out in nature. This youth summit ended with an emotional closing ceremony that allowed everyone to share what they learned in their panels, take one last group picture and say farewell to new friends.
“I like that I got the opportunity to make new friends and experience outdoor activities,” Wendy Guan, BEETS intern.
Backyard Bound is an annual youth-developed and youth-led summit planned with the community for the community. Over 100 Bay Area youth convene at the Rob Hill Campground in the Golden Gate National Parks during Earth Week to explore youth leadership’s role in the conversation of the environment.
Crissy Field Center programs encourage new generations to become bold leaders for thriving parks, healthy communities, and a more environmentally just society.
The Crissy Field Center is a partnership of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Presidio Trust, and the National Park Service.