Outdoor Nation Youth Summit 2010: On-the-scene sights, sounds offer a peek at youth ready to champion the outdoors

The first Outdoor Nation Youth Summit brought together 500 young delegates passionate about creating a more active, healthier nation and encouraging people to get outside. Today, you’ll find a few photos and a video to introduce you to the event in New York’s Central Park -- SNEWS was there and we have more stories and photos coming.
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More than 500 youth from around the country sat together at the first Outdoor Nation Youth Summit in New York’s Central Park June 19-20 to hammer out ideas about how to get more people outside, active and healthier.

SNEWS® was there to find out first-hand about the enthusiastic and passionate youth who devoted several days to discuss their ideas with each other, to vote on the top suggestions in several categories, and to find out President Barack Obama’s staff was there to listen to their thoughts.

Below, you’ll find a short video showcasing the gathering so you too can get a better idea of the energetic gathering. Plus, the select photos below will help introduce a number of stories to come in SNEWS about the event (www.outdoornation.org) -- including several from some budding youth reporters. Who better to tell the story? We’ll also have more photos and another video.

“You guys are the first citizens of Outdoor Nation,” Chris Fanning, executive director of organizer The Outdoor Foundation, said at the event’s opening. “I couldn’t be more proud that you all came here.

“Are you ready to start a revolution? Let’s goooooo, Outdoor Nation!”

The last of the Outdoor Nation’s Youth Summit delegates and Ambassadors settle in to their tables in the massive tent in New York’s Central Park for two days of debate and discussions. Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation and event organizer, often wandered among the group to interact with the kids, mic in hand.

Steve Rendle, president of The North Face and VF Corporation’s Outdoor Americas Coalition and the presenting sponsor, welcomed the 500 delegates from around the country, telling the crowd, “The future depends on the younger generation…. We need our youth to be active and committed. This summit is your summit. We older people are going to step aside and listen.” He was met with a roar from the packed tent.

One delegate showed the studiousness that most exhibited for two full days.

A group of delegates discusses a topic prior to presenting its top ideas and suggestions about the topic to the entire group.

Ozone raps to the enthusiastic, clapping crowd. It’s not often a rapper entertains a group from the outdoor industry!

Look for more stories, photos and video in the coming days. Meanwhile, take a look below at the long list of brands, retailers and organizations who sponsored youth delegates -- and, in some cases, much more -- to the first Outdoor Youth Summit and Festival.

--Therese Iknoian

Sponsors of Outdoor Nation Youth Summit 2010 included (most paid for one or more youth delegates to attend): The North Face (presenting sponsor), Backpacker, New York City Parks and Rec Dept, The Conservation Fund, Olympus, Subway, FEED Granola, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, Morsel Munk, Camelbak, All Terrain, Merrell, SmartWool, Paddle Advisory Council, Circadence, Mountain Hardwear, Eastern Mountain Sports, River Canoe and Kayak, Confluence, US Forest Service, Legacy Paddle, WL Gore, Grand Trunk, Stewardship Council, Backwoods, Sierra Club, President's Council on Physical Fitness, Department of Labor, Red Wing, Wilderness Society, Play Outdoors, Ballou HS, Chicago Wilderness, AORE, Adventures By Design, Johnson Outdoors, American Hiking Society, and YMCA Chicago.

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