More Than 2,500 Adults Pledge to Take Kids Outside

More than 2,500 members of The Outdoor Industry took the I Will pledge during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market to take at least two children outside during the next year to experience any outdoor recreation activity.
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More than 2,500 members of The Outdoor Industry took a pledge during Outdoor Retailer Summer Market to take at least two children outside during the next year to experience any outdoor recreation activity. The pledge – which supports healthier children, communities and businesses – was an opportunity for individuals and businesses to connect youth with the outdoors and to help reverse downward participation trends in outdoor recreation.

“The pledge was an enormous success,” said Christine Fanning, the executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “We were energized by the support it received by industry leaders and we are excited to watch the pledge grow over the next year and beyond.”

The pledge, which is part of the I WILL campaign, was launched to the outdoor industry on August 8 at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, and The Foundation is now reaching out to the general public to get involved. All Americans are invited to go to www.outdoorfoundation.org/iwill to sign the pledge and become part of this exciting effort.

“We all have tremendous power to affect change and dramatically increase participation in outdoor activities by getting kids engaged and involved with the outdoors,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of Outdoor Industry Association and board member of The Outdoor Foundation. “Our kids deserve our unwavering support and attention.”

The pledge is part of the I WILL campaign, which calls on Americans to:
• Become aware of the downward participation trends among today's youth.
• Take responsibility for what can be done – by individuals and companies to stem the tide of inactivity among America's youth.
• Use the abundant resources of the outdoor industry and other industries to proactively work to create positive change.

The mission of the Outdoor Foundation is to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Because the vision is audacious - to be a driving force behind a massive increase in outdoor recreation in America – The Foundation's board of directors has focused on expanding to the following core competencies:

• Convening: Establishing an annual Youth Summit to connect existing outreach groups with funders from around the country and educate these groups on best practices.

• Researching: Producing the very best active lifestyle research.

• Grant making: Providing multi-year funding for proven organizations and programs that build capacity, are increasingly self-sufficient, connect key players, and have significant ROI.

Research confirms that outdoor activities like camping, hiking, paddling sports, and biking are youth gateway activities – excellent opportunities to introduce outdoor recreation. Participation in gateway activities often leads to participation in a wide variety of other outdoor activities and can lead to transformational nature discovery experiences.

That's why everyone needs to get involved. Today.

For more information about the I WILL campaign and to sign the pledge, please visit www.outdoorfoundation.org today.

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 established by Outdoor Industry Association to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. The Foundation introduces youth to outdoor recreation through nationwide youth programming and produces high-quality, groundbreaking research that quantifies the extent and quality of participation in outdoor recreation as well as its economic impact on the U.S. For more information visit http://www.outdoorfoundation.org or call 303.444.3353

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