Supporting nonprofit youth-in-nature programs through public celebration.


Kids Outside Awards exists to shine a helpful public spotlight on needy, high-impact nonprofits that are connecting Seattle-area youth with the natural outdoors.

Most nonprofit youth-in-nature programs need more than just additional funds. The right kind of increased visibility within their regional community can provide these organizations with valuable support for an array of top-priority needs.

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

2015 Awardee “spotlight” prize

  • Award presentation: Each Awardee’s profile, “impact”, and submitted top three needs will be highlighted at the Campfire Hoopla event
  • Media promotion: During the course of the following year 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 partners and the Spotlight Teams (with associated organizations such as Sustainable Seattle and IslandWood)
  • Web placement: Primary positioning in the Results section of this web site, including: visible promotion of the top three needs submitted by each Awardee (and occasional status updates); brief description of each Awardee; link to each Awardee’s preferred web site page
  • Complimentary event tickets: Each Awardee will receive tickets to the Campfire Hoopla, at no cost to the Awardees
  • Additional event tickets: Awardees will each be assigned a pool of Campfire Hoopla tickets that can be purchased by Awardee-approved guests (100% of tickets sale proceeds go to Kids Outside Awards for event costs)
  • Promotional video: A custom Kids Outside Awards video - highlighting their “impact” and stated top three needs - 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: High-priority Awardee needs to be promoted may include requests for funds associated with a designated item or purpose (not for 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 recognition

2015 Finalist & Semi-finalist support

  • Public recognition: Our objective is to build community support for all qualified nominees over time, therefore, every qualified nominee will deservedly earn “winner” status as a Semi-finalist to recognize the significant value their services provide for our community and planet
  • Semi-finalist visibility: All Semi-finalists will be listed on this site, and will be given some other visibility in a variety of ways - for example, through our supporters’ social media, announcements to conventional media, and at the Campfire Hoopla event - until next year’s award nomination period begins
  • Finalist visibility: Secondary positioning in the Results section of this web site, including a link to each Finalist’s preferred web site page, and access to viewing each Finalist’s submitted top three needs


The the 2015 nomination application deadline is March 1, 2015

All organizations that qualify as Kids Outside Awards nominees provide tremendous value to our community and to the benefit of our natural outdoor places.

The Kids Outside Awards program annually shines a public spotlight primarily on three Awardees selected by our judges from a group of ten Finalists. We're using this focused approach in order to increase the potential benefit of the Kids Outside Awards upon a few needy organizations each year, versus a more “watered-down” attempt to equally support all qualified nominees.


  • 3/1/15: Nomination applications due
  • 3/3/15: Semi-finalists announced
  • 3/13/15: Finalists announced
  • 3/20/15: Judging complete
  • 4/1/15: Awardees announced


  • 10 Finalists and 3 Awardees from among the Finalists will be selected in 2015
  • Kids Outside Awards team members will select 10 Finalists from among all qualified nominees based on relevance to the Awardee selection criteria
  • Nominees are “qualified” if they meet all nomination criteria (as described below), and properly submit a nomination application before the application deadline noted above
  • All qualified nominees will earn Semi-finalist status
  • Judges will each review the application responses of the 10 Finalists and vote by assigning scores within each award criterion
  • Awardees will be selected based on highest total scores (ties will be broken through a vote by the judges)
  • Nomination application information will rely largely upon an honor system; random phone call interview audits might be conducted by the Kids Outside Awards team


Do you wish to nominate an organization? If so, then:

  • You must be authorized to apply on behalf of the organization (typically this means someone associated with the organization)
  • The organization must meet the two nomination criteria (listed below)
  • Read all of the information below and review the Award section of this web site before applying (a short-term investment that may save you time and effort in the long-run)
  • To help you save more time/effort we strongly recommend that you download the 2015 KOA Nomination Application Prep document, which will help you prepare your answers prior to using our online application form (a link to the document download can be found at the bottom this page)
  • Once your answers are prepared, apply using our online application (link at bottom of this page)


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?


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


Each organization will be asked to list three needs that Kids Outside Awards would spotlight (via publicity) 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


Have you fully read, and do you understand, the information above? If so, and if your prospective nominee meets qualification criteria, then begin the nomination application by doing the following:

  • First, download the following document (PDF) and use it to help you prepare your application answers: click here to download
  • After you’ve prepared your answers, complete our online application form: click here to apply


The Campfire Hoopla is an evening bash to be held in a setting that’s relevant to the spirit of the Kids Outside Awards. The event will feature an inspiring awards ceremony along with scrumptious light appetizers, hosted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, live instrumental music from Buckshot tuned perfectly for the scene, and of course...campfires!

We have selected a date in the spring and a venue for the 2015 Campfire Hoopla. We’re working with advisors including Sustainable Seattle to finalize details, which will soon be posted on this site.

The 2015 Campfire Hoopla is our inaugural event, so we’re taking baby steps by limiting the total number of attendees to less than 200. Ticket sales will occur through our Awardees and Spotlight Teams.

Thank you to the Spotlight Team Captains of the 2015 Campfire Hoopla!

  • Jason Karas & Miriam Marcus
  • David & Sophia McShea
  • Jameson & Christine Morrell
  • IslandWood about
  • Sustainable Seattle about

Here is a Spotlight Team information document (PDF): click here to download


Kids Outside Awards is fortunate to have recruited a group of 2015 judges who collectively bring a healthy range of relevant backgrounds and experiences to the award selection process.

Below is a current 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 more details on the judging criteria, award process schedule, nomination details, etc.

Here is a judging information document (PDF): click here to download

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.

Ed Ewing, Director of Major Taylor Project, Diversity & Inclusion/Cascade Bicycle Club - Cascade Bicycle Club is the largest cycling club in the U.S. Ed helps to engage young people from all backgrounds in cycling and helps them prepare for epic adventures such as the +/- 200-mile Seattle to Portland (STP) ride.

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.

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.


A group-hug of gratitude for our 2015 Campfire Hoopla sponsors!

Georgetown Brewing Company

In-kind donation

About Sponsor

We’re actively recruiting sponsors (event operations funding, and certain in-kind categories) that are 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 Campfire Hoopla: email us


Kids Outside Awards is an all-volunteer WA nonprofit corporation with one simple objective: To shine a helpful public spotlight on needy, high-impact nonprofits that are connecting Seattle-area youth with the natural outdoors.

Our first three awards will be presented in 2015. Our aspiration is that, over time, the benefits of this annual program will cumulatively bring significant incremental support to our entire community of qualified Kids Outside Awards nominees.

Sustainable Seattle is our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Given our aligned missions, Sustainable Seattle has generously offered to partner with us in support of Campfire Hoopla event production, and it is an understatement to say that this is an invaluable service to the Kids Outside Awards program.

John Daly, founder & executive director

Terri Butler, advisor/Sustainable Seattle

Michelle Ruiz, advisor/Sustainable Seattle

Andrew Jay, advisor/nominations & judging

Natalie Angelillo, advisor/community spotlight

Cori Ready, advisor/event coordination

Katherine Tomkins, advisor/sponsorship

Brett Tanis-Likkel, advisor/web & graphic design

David Harms, advisor/misc. nerdy technical help


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