Outdoor Nation Announces REI Foundation will be a 2012 Partner

Outdoor Nation, an outdoor movement spearheaded by thousands of young leaders, today announced that REI Foundation has signed on as a 2012 Presenting Partner for the second year in a row.


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Mike Collins




Outdoor Nation Announces REI Foundation will be a 2012 Presenting Partner

Industry Icon Continues Commitment to Empowering New Generation of Outdoor Leaders

Washington, DC (April 10, 2012) – Outdoor Nation, an outdoor movement spearheaded by thousands of young leaders, today announced that REI Foundation has signed on as a 2012 Presenting Partner for the second year in a row. REI Foundation’s contribution will, in part, support 10 Summits held this summer and fall in cities across the United States. Each two-day Summit will bring together the next generation of outdoor leaders and activists, ages 16 to 28, to identify pressing outdoor issues, develop strategies to address these barriers and commit to taking action together. REI Foundation funding will also help underwrite Activation Grants that are awarded to young leaders for on-the-ground projects as well as support the expansion of the Campus Club Project, which connects college outdoor programs with youth in local communities.

“Outdoor Nation invests in the ideas and innovation of the Millennial Generation,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation, the organization that launched Outdoor Nation. “REI Foundation has been an incredible partner from the beginning – providing critical early support as a founding partner in 2010. Thanks to REI Foundation’s continued commitment, our youth-led outdoor movement is one of the fastest growing in the US and making a real and lasting difference in hundreds of communities and campuses across the country.”

The 2012 Outdoor Nation Summits will be held in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition to tackling the issues keeping their generation indoors, participants will receive training from top experts, covering such topics as community organizing, media relations and fundraising. Through the Summits as well as through online Activation Grants, Outdoor Nation will fund the top project ideas that get America’s young people outside and active – investing $250,000 in youth-led projects. Passionate young outdoor advocates interested in attending one of the free Summits can register through Outdoor Nation’s website at OutdoorNation.org.

“The REI Foundation is excited about Outdoor Nation because it taps young people as leaders and asks them to bring their creativity and passion to working on the important issue of connecting young people to nature and the outdoors” said Mike Collins, REI Foundation President. “We’ve been impressed with the quality of ideas that have come from Outdoor Nation and the opportunity to bring more people into this important movement.”

Initial funding from REI Foundation in 2010 helped launch Outdoor Nation – providing critical support for the initiative’s innovation online platform and research vehicle. In 2011, with continued support from REI Foundation as a Presenting Partner, a movement was on the move. Last year, Outdoor Nation hosted five Regional Summits — bringing together more than 1,000 young people to identify top outdoors issues, brainstorm impactful solutions and ultimately commit to championing change on campuses and in communities. Over the last year, Outdoor Nation has invested more than $250,000 into youth-led projects that reconnect a new generation with the outdoors.

Outdoor Nation 2012 is presented by the REI Foundation, The North Face and The Conservation Fund, and supported by many other notable organizations including Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, America’s State Parks, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Creative Artists Agency, National Park Service, Merrell, CamelBak, Johnson and Johnson, CIGNA, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Circadence, Sierra Club, Natural Leaders Network, National Wildlife Federation, YMCA and more than 100 invested organizations from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation and was founded with initial support from the REI Foundation, The North Face, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service.

About the Outdoor Foundation 

The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and empowerment and effective grant-making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that empowers young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. To date, the successful initiative has engaged tens of thousands of youth and invested more than $200,000 in over 50 innovative projects spearheaded by young leaders and change-makers. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.

About REI Foundation 

The REI Foundation was founded and supported by Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) in 1993. The Foundation's mission is to help ensure that tomorrow’s outdoor enthusiasts and conservation stewards reflect the diversity of America. Recognizing that most people with a love of the outdoors discover the natural world early in their life, the Foundation's primary efforts are in encouraging active outdoor participation by young people and their families. The REI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information visit: Rei.com/Reigives.