Kids wanting to get outside just got a boost from outdoor gear manufacturer McNett, which recently donated $4,000 in equipment to the North Cascades Institute’s gear locker as a part of its Take a Kid Outside initiative.
The gear will help get kids outdoors through youth programs like Mountain School and Youth Leadership Adventures, which focuses on educating youth about outdoor stewardship and leadership. In all, McNett has donated over $22,000 in outdoor gear to the NCI Gear Locker to-date.
“We are so appreciative of McNett for being such a crucial supporter of Youth Leadership Adventures in the past few years,” says the program’s Amy Brown, adding that the company’s Gear Aid™ repair products help keep the equipment in shape.
The donated items included tents, sleeping bags, water shoes, insulated rain boots and more. McNett staff also held a repair clinic to fix used tents, boots and packs with the NCI Youth Leadership team. The repair clinic helped fix used gear from year’s prior and prep gear for the upcoming summer season.
“The next generation is our future and will always be a high priority for us,” says McNett CEO Travis Huisman. “We want them to appreciate and care for the outdoors as much as we do.”
The North Cascades Institute and McNett have similar goals in providing kids with gear to better enjoy the outdoors. The NCI youth programs build the next generation of conservation leaders by providing transformational experiences to those who lack access to similar opportunities. The goals are to provide a gateway to jump-start lifelong engagement with nature, stewardship and community and to provide an opportunity for personal, professional and academic growth.
Last year, over 78 students contributed 2,688 service hours initiating several service related projects including fire ring installations, 12 miles of trail maintenance, 11 sign installations, new trail construction, invasive species removal and campsite bear box additions as part of the program. More than 90 percent of students reported being very interested in protecting or restoring the environment, either by volunteering or as a career.