Blue Sky Fund
The mission of Blue Sky Fund is to provide transformational experiences for urban youth through outdoor education. We support the missions of local schools, faith-based, and community organizations by developing and implementing experiential education programs that target cross-cultural leadership, academic achievement, outdoor awareness, and/or spiritual discovery.
Our vision is to give every young person the opportunity to discover themselves. To this end, we have three main program tracks that cater to the following: outdoor leadership, environmental education, and outdoor adventure. Additionally, we also host our annual Church Hill Games event (free neighborhood sports clinc) and send approximately 100 urban youth to summer camp each year. Our primary programs (and volunteer opportunities!) are described below. For more information, please visit our website: www.blueskyfund.org
The Outdoor Leadership Institute is an intensive leadership training opportunity that brings together youth from all over the city of Richmond to engage in leadership excercises, outdoor adventures, and community service. The core of this program is a 5-day wilderness backpacking trip that requires participants to overcome challenges, work together, and emerge confident and skilled. Participants continue to learn and grow beyond this discrete event by engaging in monthly community service projects throughout the year.
Explorers is our experiential environmental education program. Currently, we partner with eight elementary schools within the Richmond Public School (RPS) system. The third grade class at each partner school participates in eight monthly field trips in the Richmond area; these trips incorporate team-building activities, experiential lessons correlated to standardized tests, and nature exploration. We are excited to expose participants to the great natural and historic resources that Richmond offers, thus making standardized education locally relevant.
Finally, our Adventuring program operates on a weekly basis and teaches participants basic outdoor skills such as starting a fire, wilderness first-aid, rock climbing technique, or preparing for a backpacking trip. Each six-week session has a general theme (ie biking, hiking, backpacking, or rock climbing) and culminates in a challenging expedition during which participants put their new skills to use. For many of our participants, this is the only means through which they can experience these unique outdoor activities.
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