Through Human Outreach Project, good is being done globally in the various destinations we trek. One project that is particularly close to us is our HOP Outdoors Program based in our home state of Utah; this program helps get at-risk youth in our community into the wilderness and teaches them how to live an active lifestyle. We have found over the years that this program often serves as children’s first experience on a trail, spending a day in nature. The lasting and positive impact it has transcends into the homes of these families and has ripple effects teaching healthy ways to spend more time being active and exploring.
While hiking is typically a low-cost activity, there are necessities for long periods of hiking and exploring that add some cost. These expenses partially get covered by our community partners generously giving through donations. We partner with The North Face for the day-use backpacks, handing one out to each child for use during the day to carry water, lunch, and any other miscellaneous items that are needed. Having reliable bags each time we adventure ensures everyone’s equipped and offers us sturdy packs to use year after year. We also partner with Utah Food Services, which donates the food and water we use to prepare the lunch packs, saving our program tremendous amounts each year. Our third main community partner is Snowbird Ski Resort, which donates tram passes to our program and allows us to take the children to the top of the Snowbird. For some, this unique experience shows Utah from a perspective they’ve never held before. The help of our generous donors and partners is integral to the success and thriving nature of HOP Outdoors, and we are very proud and thankful to work with them.
For the entire summer, two 15-seat passenger vans will travel to a local school to pick up 10-12 children twice a week with everything ready. The children only need to grab their daypack before hitting the trail, as lunches, water, and backpacks will have been prepared ahead of school pickup, keeping the entire process seamless for the children. With the assistance of two chaperones, Trent White (HOP Outdoors Guide) embarks on a journey he says “is special to watch.” Being able to create and instill a passion for exercise and exploring nature is something few experience, but being able to enter the Wasatch Mountains with a group of wonder-filled children for most of their first time is remarkable.
With our HOP Outdoors Program in full swing, it has been an exciting summer to watch so many of our youth take to the trail, often returning for a second or third visit because of enjoying it so much. The success of HOP Outdoors wouldn’t be possible without the continued dedication of our Human Outreach Project Team and our gracious donors who share our passion for nature and uplifting communities. If you want to get involved or donate, please visit https://humanoutreachproject.org/get-involved/.