SUCCESSFUL Friend-Raiser!

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Our youngest friends checking out the tent

Mother nature pulled it together just in time for us this past Sunday, melting the snow and waking up the sun to provide a brilliant spring day for our event.  We estimate that 40-50 people joined us at Holcomb Farm in Granby, CT to share beautiful food, community, and laughter. A presentation, about Outside Perspectives and how community members can support us, rounded out the day.

Friends of Friend-Raiser

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A beautiful day in the sun!

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Guests spent time during the event meeting other community members, playing games, and checking out our newly donated backpacking equipment, including our youngest friends who took a particular liking to the fort-like tent. As the picture (above left) shows, it didn’t take long after their arrival for our kid-guests to flee their boots unleashing their caged winter feet. It was such a pleasure to see them running around the field enjoying being outside and in each other’s company.

17426082_1388292857881235_4698261183949390142_nNo spring gathering is complete without some delicious food to share. We are grateful to some incredibly generous (and DELICIOUS) donations we received for the event including a split pea soup from Heirloom Kitchen, sourdough pizza crusts from Hungry Ghost, and a freshly harvested spinach salad from Holcomb Farm.  There were plenty of willing hands that contributed to making and baking (AND EATING) homemade pizzas in the outdoor brick oven as well. With full bellies, we took the party inside to learn more about Outside Perspectives and how interested folks can support our mission.  

The event was a great success as we were able to gain a new board member, were offered t-shirt donations for two expeditions this summer and learned many great ideas for moving forward with new partnerships.  We will be contacting people soon to set up meetings as we plan our next actions steps.

We want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to those who participated in our event. It was a great reminder of the power of community and that we have a GREAT one behind us! Thank you for your generous donations as well. We had enough cover the cost of the event and were able to put a little away! If you were unable to attend and have ideas or questions for us, please feel free to reach out!

Until next time….HAPPY SPRING!

Announcing Friend-Raising Event!

ANNOUNCING FRIEND-RAISING EVENT!! 

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We are hosting a FRIEND-RAISING event on April 2nd from 12:00-3:00 pm at the beautiful and historic Holcomb Farm property in Granby, CT. There are no obligations, financial or otherwise, for attending this event. We promise fun along with information.

What is a “FRIEND-RAISING” you ask? 

It is a gathering for folks like yourself who have expressed interest, curiosity or support of Outside Perspectives.  It is a chance to learn about the program, to share and eat delicious food together, and to meet and connect with others who are invested in getting youth outdoors! We’re looking for community connections with people who are interested in our mission and who might be in a position to help us.  Support could look like moral support (we need a lot of that :)) introductions to youth organizations, sharing our mission via word of mouth, connecting us with potential funders, becoming a board member or offering some other expertise you may have.

We will begin the afternoon with lunch. We’ll be enjoying locally sourced food including home-made brick oven pizzas with crusts generously donated by HUNGRY GHOST BAKERY, salad donated from HOLCOMB FARM CSA and delicious soup (hopefully from HEIRLOOM KITCHEN). Following lunch, we will give a presentation about Outside Perspectives followed by a Q&A. To round out the day, we will practice what we preach and go outside. All will be welcome to go on an optional guided or independent stroll on the woods trails around the farm.

If you know of anyone else who might be interested in joining us for this event, feel free to share this announcement. We’d love to meet them! Kids are welcome as well. RSVP to nicky@outsideperspectives.org or shannon@outsideperspective.org.

The event will take place at Holcomb Farm workshop space at 113 Simsbury Rd, West Granby, CT 06090 from 12:00-3:00 pm on April 2nd, 2017. As we will have some time outdoors, it is recommended to dress accordingly. You are welcome to stay as little or as long as you like. We have reserved a heated indoor space with restrooms for the presentation.

We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Friend-Raising Event!

Nicky, OP Director, and Maya, world’s greatest office dog.
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Shannon, Program Manager, taking a break to get some air in the fresh new powder.

FINALLY… winter in New England! After 16+ inches of fresh powder we’re just beginning to earn our spring fever. We’ve been spending LOTS of time indoors preparing for this upcoming seasons expeditions! 

In between phone calls with perspective partners, we find ourselves excitedly peering out the window awaiting our newest backpacking equipment deliveries! Another box of sleeping bags and sleeping pads should arrive in the next couple of weeks making our gear stores complete for 13 participants!  We’re feeling deep gratitude for the wonderful and generous people who supported our Gear Raiser this past fall. We would not be where we are today without your support!!

ANNOUNCING FRIEND-RAISING EVENT!! 

farm-crew-2015-for-web holcomb

We are hosting a FRIEND-RAISING event on April 2nd from 12:00-3:00 pm at the beautiful and historic Holcomb Farm property in Granby, CT. There are no obligations, financial or otherwise, for attending this event. We promise fun along with information.

What is a “FRIEND-RAISING” you ask? 

It is a gathering for folks like yourself who have expressed interest, curiosity or support of Outside Perspectives.  It is a chance to learn about the program, to share and eat delicious food together, and to meet and connect with others who are invested in getting youth outdoors! We’re looking for community connections with people who are interested in our mission and who might be in a position to help us.  Support could look like introductions to youth organizations, connections with possible funders, becoming a board member, keeping an eye out for opportunities to help us in the future, and sharing our mission via word of mouth. Our itinerary will include a  short presentation, Q&A, conversation, home-made brick oven pizzas (made on the spot!), and to practice what we preach, an optional stroll in the woods and fields around the farm. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in joining us for this event, feel free to share this announcement. We’d love to meet them! Kids are welcome as well. RSVP to nicky@outsideperspectives.org.

The event will take place at Holcomb Farm workshop space at 113 Simsbury Rd, West Granby, CT 06090 from 12:00-3:00 pm on April 2nd, 2017. As we will have some optional time outdoors, it is recommended to dress accordingly. You are welcome to stay as little or as long as you like. We have reserved a heated indoor space with restrooms.

We hope to see you there!

Waterbury YSB gives back!

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October 7th, a group of curious and caring youth from Waterbury YSB joined Outside Perspectives on a day off from school for some exciting games, initiatives, and an opportunity to give back to a local park. After meeting new friends and getting to know each other a little better through some ice breakers we tested their ability to work together as a team. These folks caught on quickly using some newly acquired communication skills to solve problems together.

We learned about some of the natural and wild surroundings in the local community and rallied together to remove SEVEN OVERFLOWING BAGS of trash from Fulton Park. Much of the garbage had clearly been polluting the beautiful park pond for many months, if not years. We were so grateful that these youth were willing to put in such a strong effort to help their community with a job many would choose to avoid. The youth made a HUGE difference while also having some fun!

When the trash picking was done, no one was too shy or too old to take a turn on the swings! We had so much fun with these guys and we hope to see them again soon!

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“Future Leaders” Group Embarks on Epic Harriman State Park Expedition

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On August 9th, four intrepid Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 10.48.27 AMyouth from the Future Leaders program, loaded into a van at The Bronx Zoo and headed up the Hudson River to Harriman State Park.

The Future Leaders program is a youth and workforce development program that:

  • Supports participants in developing their sense of social responsibility;
  • Teaches critical life skills necessary for success in academics and/or employment pursuits; and
  • Contributes tools for becoming effective leaders in communities and around the world.

A little unsure of what to expect, participants packed their belongings, food, and gear into backpacks, and took off into the back country for four days. While members of this crew knew each other before the expedition, the group grew closer as they supported one another and began working as a team. The team was completely self supported, carrying everything it needed to survive. Participants cooked their own food, learned to read maps, found a new appreciation for nature, and slept in tents each night (even in the rain).IMG_8154

The crew backpacked more then 12 miles up and down steep mountains and rocky scrambles over the course of the expedition. They saw beautiful views with a distant New York City skyline, dipped their toes in mountain lakes, and even watched a sunrise. While working hard as a team on long hikes, participants pushed their limits and learned about their true inner strength. Each participant talked about how he or she would be able to use the skills learned on the expedition to push themselves through the difficult and exciting times ahead.

IMG_8178This journey was much more then just a camping trip. Participants were just a week or so away from starting college, and as the journey progressed, they were able to reflect upon the significant transition they were about to embark upon. The expedition provided everyone an opportunity to get away from their usual lives, giving them a new perspective on all that they have accomplished during their time with Future Leaders.

Outside Perspectives was thrilled to get the opportunity to work with these amazing young adults. What became clear to us through this expedition, was that each one of them is an engaging, caring and thoughtful individual with tremendous opportunities and bright futures ahead.

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Thank you to Ferney Giraldo for joining us on this journey! Also, special thanks to both Ferney and Sa’Dia Chance for playing pivotal roles in securing funds and for completing a lot of the background preparations for the expedition.

We also would like to thank The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program for providing the gear and helping with planning for this expedition.

And finally, a HUGE thank you to the Future Leaders youth….for your tremendous courage to join us, for your unflappable positive attitudes, sense of humor, and for reminding us to never underestimate what is possible with a team. It was a GREAT course with so many positive memories. Best of luck in the coming weeks as you begin your college journeys. We have full confidence in each of you! And we’ll look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Cheers, to the first of many expeditions to come with Future Leaders!

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Future Leaders Program Manager, Ferney Giraldo (center) with Outside Perspectives Director Nicky Wood (right) and Outside Perspectives Program Manager Shannon Zich (left)

Waterbury Youth Spend Two Days Exploring Local Parks with Outside Perspectives

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PVC pipes with textOutside Perspectives facilitated two team-building days with a group of inspiring individuals from Waterbury Youth Services on July 26th at Hamilton Park and August 9th at Fulton Park, in Waterbury. The team brought great energy both days and a willingness to step up, diving into the challenges presented to them. As a group, we explored some of Waterbury’s hidden natural spaces, laughed a lot, soaked up sun, got to know odd and interesting things about each other, and successfully completed several group initiatives, including Pipeline (see image to the left). The youth stepped up to the challenge, supporting each other as things got tough, and participating fully in every activity.

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Treasure found! A Geocache treasure hunt, requiring individuals to decode a clue and to use navigational skills to find a “cache,” brought out a great spirit of adventure.

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By the end of the days together, the youth expressed a desire to participate in more challenging outdoor experiences in the future, including an overnight expedition. As they look forward to the upcoming school year, these participants will be able to use some of these experiences to help them overcome the challenges that await them as seniors. In addition, the bond formed between these young people will ensure a support system that they will be able to utilize throughout the year.

Outside Perspectives would like to thank Olivia Jefferson for helping to organize the courses and participating in some of the activities. We hope that this is the beginning of an ongoing partnership that might include future courses, and maybe even an overnight adventure or expedition.

Check out Waterbury Youth Services Facebook page where they commented on their experiences with us.

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OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVES

Outside Perspectives (one-year old!) has been fortunate for the support in raising $15,000 earlier this year. We are stretching our funds far and are continuing to seek out grants and foundations to help us raise the remaining amount. We are very optimistic moving forward as we continue to build significant relationships with new partners. Several of these partnerships are so committed to working with Outside Perspectives that they are applying for grants for their youth on our behalf!

We are at an exciting point in our evolution as an organization as we now require our own expedition gear in order to provide for the new groups coming on board. We are announcing a GEAR-RAISING CAMPAIGN to reach out to our community and to those who believe in our mission. In this unique drive, we are providing a simple way for donors to purchase specific gear items so that you know exactly where your money is going. We have secured a wholesale retailer to supply us with quality gear at low prices. You might be surprised at how little we need to move past this barrier to getting youth outside!

To thank donors we will be attaching a name patch with the donor’s name (or a name/word of his or her choice) to some of the larger items. This will remind us of the community support we are receiving along the way and will help us distinguish the gear while in the field.  In a way, our donors will be with us in the woods climbing every mountain!

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Sample Name Patch


Ok, so here is a racap of the bottom line….in order to take youth on backpacking trips, we need to provide backpacking gear. We aim to prepare youth to safely take on challenges and to not give up in the face of adversity. To do this we must be able to keep them safe, dry and warm, regardless of conditions. Some participants arrive on course with cotton sleeping bags, dollar store plastic ponchos, cotton hoodies as their only layer, and single use water bottles (which, we have found, easily break in packs).

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So why this campaign?

  • To ensure opportunities for affordable and accessible expeditions for all participants regardless of financial situation.
  • To ensure safe and quality experiences.
  • To avoid canceling courses due to weather.

 

 

One very important partner that will benefit from this endeavor is the CT Youth Excellence Program (YEP). An amazing program working with adolescent boys who are in foster care, receiving services from the Department of Children and Families, or who are adopted through the child welfare system. These young men do monthly overnight camping trips. We gathered and scrounged together enough gear to take them on an overnight course earlier this summer. It was a HUGE success! YEP is working to hire us monthly for next year, as well as, for a week long expedition next August. To make this a reality, we must be able to provide backpacking gear.

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For those of you wondering: what happened to the partnership with gear-lender Youth Opportunities Program (YOP)? I thought you already had access to gear?! For our New York City youth, we are still able to  borrow gear from YOP.  However, for the youth we are beginning to serve in CT and distances further from New York City, this borrowing strategy is not financially feasible for them due to the distance. We are also finding that without our own gear, we are not able to offer the type of “bridge programming” from shorter to longer expeditions which is what will allow us to build relationships with new partner organizations.


If you are willing to donate today — a big thank you! — please follow the four simple steps below:

‪1. You can find the donation form here. Please click on the link and complete the form.‬

‪2. After filling out the form, click on the link at the bottom to make your payment through PayPal.

3. Once completed, please post on Facebook to tell all your friends and family about this great cause. (Optional and can be done even if you don’t donate.)

‪4. Feel awesome knowing you helped our participants have safe and transformative expeditions!‬

Thank you for your time and your continued support of Outside Perspectives.

And a HUGE THANK YOU to 

The Connecticut Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who recently donated $500.00 for 22 rain jackets!