We're rallying community spotlight support for nonprofit youth-in-nature programs.


Congratulations to our 2015 Awardees and Finalists!!

Click here to see awards event images.

Scroll down to view the 3 Awardees and 12 Finalists below. These Kids Outside Alliance beneficiaries collectively estimate that they will play a key role in connecting over 100,000 youth with nature this year, and they need your help!

2015 Awardees were publicly announced on May 9, 2015 during the Campfire Hoopla awards event.

The core objective of Kids Outside Alliance is to inspire members of our community to support current needs of all of our targeted beneficiaries.

Every bite counts! "Bite-sized" needs listed by the Awardees and Finalists include recruiting for volunteers and/or staff, cash donations for specific items, or spreading the word to certain groups of people.

Do you think it’s important to connect youth with nature? Then please:

  • Download and view a list of Awardees' and Finalists' needs (PDF): download
  • Take action to support one org according to their needs requests
  • Contact orgs using the email addresses in the PDF (or the links below)
  • Share (via email, Twitter, FB, or airplane towing a banner…) our web site address and the needs list PDF with others who you think will want to help!

2015 Awardees

Nature Vision Youth-in-nature immersion: “Nature Vision brings place-based, experiential nature education programs directly to schools and green spaces to reach as many students as possible. We work to ensure that all students receive quality nature connections where they need them the most.” (email)

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center Youth-in-nature immersion: “We provide dynamic environmental education programming for kids on our 225-acre property in the Snoqualmie Valley. Kids primarily aged 4-12 explore and harvest produce directly from our fields during school field trips and summer camps.” (email)

Seattle ICO Youth-in-nature immersion: “Seattle ICO works in partnership with nine public schools in King County to provide 60+ wilderness outings for 800 youth participants annually.” (email)

2015 Finalists

Bike Works Youth-in-nature immersion: “Bike Works serves youth ages 9-18 in Southeast Seattle and surrounding communities. In our bicycle-centered programs participants explore outdoor environments ranging from local parks to the Kitsap Peninsula and Washington’s islands.” (email)

Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation Youth-in-nature immersion: “Our summer camps, elementary school bike riding classes and middle school after-school programs teach kids how to incorporate being outside into their day-to-day life by teaching biking for fun, fitness and transportation.” (email)

Environmental Science Center Youth-in-nature immersion: “Environmental Science Center gets young scientists outdoors. Programs serve K-12th grade students of South King County. Our students are primarily from low-income, ethnically diverse families. We connect students to salmon streams and tidepools to promote stewardship.” (email)

Forterra Youth-in-nature immersion: “Forterra hosts volunteer restoration events, which include youth participation, throughout the region on properties we own or help to manage. We also have school groups which utilize our preserves to explore and study local flora and fauna.” (email)

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust Youth-in-nature immersion: “For the past 15 years the Mountains to Sound Greenway has been providing outdoor education programs to 4th - 12th grade students from schools located throughout King County.” (email)

North Cascades Institute Youth-in-nature immersion: “North Cascades Institute’s Youth Leadership Adventures program immerses 14-18 year olds from King County on our backcountry courses. Youth spend 8-16 days exploring the spectacular North Cascades, developing leadership skills and a lifelong conservation ethic with a supportive peer group.” (email)

Rite of Passage Journeys Youth-in-nature immersion: “Our experiential learning fosters self-discovery, and connection with the natural world. Participants safely experience the outdoors, including campfires, storytelling, stargazing, and the beauty of the Pacific NW wilderness and beaches.” (email)

Sound Experience Youth-in-nature immersion: “Sound Experience delivers programming to K-12 young people throughout the Puget Sound region. Approximately 40-50% of the young people who participate in our day and overnight shipboard programs live in King County.” (email)

Terra-Forma Education Youth-in-nature immersion: “Our summer day camp program for 6 to 10-year-olds is outdoors every day to explore wetlands, tide pools, forests, streams and ponds. In our year-long, once per month rite of passage program for tweeners, youth build their own community to engage in restoration projects, snowshoeing, ropes challenge courses, camping, backpacking, or whatever they would like! We also offer specialized youth programs to meet any group or situation.” (email)

The Mountaineers Youth-in-nature immersion: “We provide outdoor experiences for youth, grades k-12. 65% of the youth programming is outdoor time. Of the 5587 youth experiences in fiscal 2014, 80% of those programs were in nature.” (email)

Washington Trails Association Youth-in-nature immersion: “WTA engages youth ages 10 and up in volunteer trail maintenance projects on public lands. Whether coming out with their parents for a day or on a week-long Youth Vacation in the summer, youth are giving back to hiking trails all across the state.” (email)

Wilderness Awareness School Youth-in-nature immersion: “Youth Outdoor Programs in King County: Summer week-long day camps, overnight camps, and expeditions (ages 6-18); Monthly school-year weekend adventures (6-13 and 14-18); Weekly school-year Preschool (4-6) and Homeschools (7-9, 10-13, and 14-18).” (email)

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Thank you to our 2015 Spotlight Partners!

What are Spotlight Partners?

  • The collective community communications reach of our alliance of Spotlight Partners is one of the primary sources of the value that Kids Outside Alliance aims to deliver to its beneficiary youth-in-nature nonprofits.
  • Each Spotlight Partner is an organization that commits to participate in a coalition of support for all qualified Kids Outside Alliance beneficiaries.
  • Spotlight Partner organizations each have a large constituency - thousands of people within or near King County, WA - that they can easily reach via their communications channels (e.g. newsletters, email, Twitter, Facebook).
  • Some Spotlight Partners have their own youth-in-nature programs, and yet they generously step up to help us support all of our targeted beneficiaries...that's the selfless community spirit that we're fostering, one Spotlight Partner at a time!

2015 Spotlight Partner scope

  • Event participation: Each Spotlight Partner team captain will ensure that they plus 9 guests (10 total) attends the 2015 Campfire Hoopla.
  • Spotlight communication: During the year following the 2015 Campfire Hoopla, Spotlight Partners will receive 4-6 Kids Outside Alliance update emails that include messaging about news/announcements. Each Spotlight Partner team captain will ensure that their organization forwards the messaging to their community of consituents (employees, volunteers, members, etc.) through communications such as newsletters, group emails, social media, and conventional media (e.g. press releases). Each Spotlight Partner is also encouraged to spread the word about why/how they are supporting the Kids Outside Alliance.

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Thank you to our 2015 Campfire Hoopla attendees and supporters!

Click here to see event images (Flickr web).

The 2015 Campfire Hoopla was an evening bash that featured an inspiring awards ceremony along with trail snacks and light dinner-ish camper fare, hosted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, live instrumental music from Buckshot tuned perfectly for the scene, and of course...roast-your-own s'mores!

2015 Campfire Hoopla basics:

  • Saturday, May 9, 2015, 7:00pm-11:00pm
  • Hosted at the brewery/HQ of Georgetown Brewing Company
  • This was a celebration of 15 nonprofit organizations ("Finalists") that connect Seattle-area youth with the natural outdoors, as well as our first Spotlight Partners and everyone else who has supported the launch of the Kids Outside Alliance
  • Our awards presenter Ben Klasky, President & CEO of IslandWood, introduced 3 high-impact Awardees selected by our seven esteemed Judges

The 2015 Campfire Hoopla was our inaugural event, so we took baby steps by limiting the total number of participants this year to just over 150.

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The Kids Outside Alliance exists to deliver valuable support for nonprofit organizations that connect Seattle-area youth with the natural outdoors. We are accomplishing this with support from a regional coalition of allies called Spotlight Partners.

While our ultimate objective is to benefit all targeted beneficiaries, the 2015 award program is experimenting with the approach of focusing some of the "spotlight" attention upon three Awardees to maximize potential positive impact.

2015 Awardee prize

Most nonprofit youth-in-nature programs need more than just additional operational funding. The right kind of increased visibility within their regional community about some of their high-priority needs can be of valuable support to these organizations.

Three 2015 Awardees have been selected by our Judges. The Awardees' 2015 prize is enhanced spotlight focus, which aims to provide a special degree of community awareness about the Awardees and their needs.

2015 Spotlight focus

  • Award presentation: Each Awardee’s objective and submitted three high-priority needs was highlighted at the Campfire Hoopla event on May 9, 2015.
  • Media promotion: During the rest of 2015 the Awardees will receive ongoing regional public visibility via conventional media as well as through social communication channels (social media, newsletters, e-mailings, etc.) with support from our Spotlight Partners and other fans of youth-in-nature nonprofits.
  • Web placement: Awardees have received primary positioning in the Beneficiaries section of this web site during the rest of 2015.
  • Complimentary event tickets: Each Awardee received tickets to the Campfire Hoopla, at no cost to the Awardees
  • Additional event tickets: Awardees were each assigned a pool of Campfire Hoopla tickets that could be purchased by Awardee-approved guests (tickets sale proceeds went to Kids Outside Alliance for operations costs).
  • Promotional materials: A custom Kids Outside Alliance slide deck - highlighting the juding criteria by which they were selected - will be produced for each Awardee at no cost to the Awardees.

2015 Awardee benefits

  • Specific non-financial support: Broadens potential community awareness and assistance for high-priority needs other than funding (volunteer recruitment, team role recruitment, other types of participation, non-cash donations, etc.).
  • Specific fundraising support: Awardee needs to be promoted may include requests for funds associated with a designated item or purpose (not general operations).
  • General fundraising support: Raises the familiarity and credibility of Awardees with potential donors, and “2015 Awardee” status enhances credibility/differentiation when submitting grant applications.
  • Fan base development: Increases Awardee familiarity and credibility with existing and potential long-term community supporters.
  • Team mojo building: Gives a well-deserved public high-five to Awardee volunteers, staff and others who had contributed to the “high-impact” performance that merited the special degree of recognition.

2015 Finalist support

  • Recognition: Our objective is to build community support for all of our targeted beneficiaries over time, therefore, every applicant that qualifies as a nominee will deservedly earn “winner” status as a Finalist to recognize the significant value their services provide for our community and planet.
  • Visibility: All Finalists will be listed in the Beneficiaries section of this site, and will be given some other visibility in a variety of ways - for example, at the Campfire Hoopla event - during the remainder of 2015 following the Campfire Hoopla.

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2015 nominations are now completed.

All organizations that qualified as 2015 Kids Outside Alliance nominees provide tremendous value to our community and to the benefit of our natural outdoor places!

If you would like to be updated infrequently about the Kids Outside Alliance, including when 2016 nominations will be open, then sign up for our newsletter.

2015 Schedule

  • 3/1/15: Nomination applications due
  • 3/3/15: Finalists informed
  • 3/20/15: Judging complete
  • 4/1/15: Awardees informed
  • 5/9/15: Awardees announced publicly (at Campfire Hoopla event)

2015 Overview

  • All nominations are "self-nomination" applications.
  • Judges select 3 Awardees from among the 2015 Finalists.
  • Nominees are “qualified” if they meet all nomination criteria (as described below), and properly submit a nomination application before the application deadline noted above.
  • Judges each review the application responses of the Finalists and vote by assigning scores within each award criterion.
  • Awardees are selected based on highest total scores (ties will be broken through a vote by the judges).
  • Nomination application information relies largely upon an honor system; random phone call interview audits might be conducted by the Kids Outside Alliance team.

2015 Qualification

Prospective nominees must be able to answer “yes” to both of the questions below in order to qualify for application submittal (“qualified nominee” status):

  • Is the nominated organization a registered 501(c)(3) “charitable organization” (e.g. not a governmental, religious, or general education entity)?
  • Does the organization provide youth (grades K-12) living within King County, WA with activities/programs that immerse them in the natural outdoors?

2015 Criteria

Following is the criteria that our judges will use to select the Awardees:

  • Nature focus: Degree to which the organization’s youth program activities occur within nature.
  • Nature impact: Estimated average % of nature activity time that is unstructured (i.e. free play, exploration) in nature, versus structured time (e.g. instruction, outdoor activity skills development, coordinated activities, personal growth programs).
  • Current & future program impact: Number of youth connected to nature (past one-year plus forecasts for 2015 and 2016; nominees may count multiple instances for individual youth).
  • Historical program impact: Aggregate number of times individual youth connected to nature from 2005-2014 (e.g. if 10 youth per event, and if 10 events occurred per year over 10 years, then the total is 1,000; nominees may count multiple instances for individual youth).
  • Potential benefit to awardee: Potential degree of positive impact on the organization resulting from award selection and a helpful “spotlight” on their impact and three stated needs.

2015 Needs

Each organization will be asked to list three needs that Kids Outside Alliance will promote via the Spotlight service if the organization becomes and Awardee.

  • These needs may not include: Cash funds for general operations
  • These needs may include, for example:
    • Recruiting of volunteers, staff, board members, or other support personnel.
    • Awareness among targeted groups such as teachers or parents.
    • One of the needs may be for cash funds in support of a specific one-time need (e.g. activity-related gear, or fees associated with a certain outing); such cash funds may not total more than $5,000.

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Kids Outside Alliance is fortunate to have recruited a group of judges who collectively bring a healthy range of relevant backgrounds and experiences to the process to selecting the three 2015 awardees.

Below is a list of our 2015 judges, with links to their bio’s and brief statements about how their backgrounds are particularly relevant to judging this program.

Please see the Nominate section of this web site for details on the judging criteria, award process schedule, nomination procedures, etc.

2015 Judges

Manny Chao, Co-founder/Georgetown Brewing Company - Program founder and outings volunteer for a Franklin High School (Seattle, WA) youth-in-nature program, and continuously provides sponsorship support for Seattle area youth-in-nature programs.

Robin Chiles, Leadership Development Director/Metrocenter YMCA - 10+ years helping kids get outside, first with Passages Northwest and now with the YMCA, where she oversees the admissions process for the outdoor leadership programs. Robin has spoken with thousands of parents and kids just before they head out on their first wilderness trip.

Karen Daubert, Executive Director/Washington Trails Association - 12+ years leading nonprofits that provide/promote youth outdoor activities: 9+ years as ED of Seattle Parks Foundation and 3+ years as ED of Washington Trails Association.

Maria Flack, Teacher/Showalter Middle School (Tukwila, WA) - Seattle area youth-in-nature program volunteer for 2 years, then 10+ years as a founder and teacher representative for the program at her Tukwila schools.

Martinique Grigg, Executive Director/The Mountaineers - The Mountaineers is the largest volunteer climbing organization in the U.S. and a leading publisher of books and resources on outdoor recreation as well as outdoor programs for adults and youth.

Garrett Kephart, Member of the Board of Directors at the Seattle Parks Foundation, Sustainable Seattle, the Willowmoor Foundation, and the Keewaydin Foundation - Garrett spent 16 years at Keewaydin Canoe Camp in Temagami, Ontario as a camper and staff, and currently leads their Adult program.

Martin LeBlanc, SVP External Affairs/IslandWood, BOD Northwest Outward Bound, BOD Metrocenter YMCA, VP Emeritus BOD/Children in Nature Network - In addition to his roles listed above, Martin is former Sierra Club Director of everything that involved getting kids outside across the U.S. He is also a regular at White House summits on kids outdoors.

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A group-hug of gratitude for our 2015 sponsors!

Jason Karas & Miriam Marcus

2015 operations donation

David & Sophia McShea

2015 operations donation

Jameson & Christine Morrell

2015 operations donation

The Willowmoor Foundation

2015 operations donation

Georgetown Brewing Company

2015 awards event venue & beer donation

Sponsor's Website

Central Co-op

2015 awards event refreshments donation

Sponsor's Website

Theo Chocolate

2015 awards event refreshments donation

Sponsor's Website

Sponsorship of our operational and event costs is critical to the success of this program. Donations are tax-deductible through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor Sustainable Seattle.

If you are interested in sponsoring the Kids Outside Alliance: email us

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Kids Outside Alliance is a WA nonprofit corporation that was launched in 2014 to:

Rally regional community spotlight support for the needs of 501(c)(3) nonprofits that connect Seattle-area K-12 youth with the natural outdoors.

We are accomplishing this objective by developing and delivering an evolving set of services with the help of a coalition of organizations that we refer to as Spotlight Partners.

The first stage in this effort was the launch of a 2015 awards program and the recruitment of our first Spotlight Partners.

We're facing a nature deficit epidemic! According to Ben Klasky of IslandWood:

  • Chickens and inmates get more time outside than our kids do
  • 30% of kids get less than 15 minutes outside per day
  • On average, kids get 7 hours 40 minutes of screen time per day
  • In one generation, obesity is up 300% and Ritalin usage up 3000%, while outdoor time for kids has been cut in half

If these stats bother you, then please support the needs of our beneficiaries.

Our partners, sponsors and volunteers are familiar with - and inspired by - the benefits that accrue to the health of individual participants, our communities, and our planet as a result of our beneficiaries' programs.

Sustainable Seattle, with a mission that is aligned with the objectives of the Kids Outside Alliance, has stepped up as our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, as a Spotlight Partner, and as an event management advisor for the 2015 Campfire Hoopla.

Natalie Angelillo, advisor/communications

Terri Butler, advisor/fiscal sponsor

John Daly, founder & executive director

Steve Dubiel, advisor/program strategy

David Harms, advisor/misc. nerdy technical help

Andrew Jay, advisor/2015 nomination & judging strategy

Michelle Ruiz, advisor/2015 event coordination

Brett Tanis-Likkel, advisor/web & graphic design

Katherine Tomkins, advisor/sponsorship

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