REI Helps Kids, Families to Get Outside this Summer

This summer when parents plead with their kids to “go play outside,” they’ll have the support of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI).

Now through August, REI's Passport to Adventure program invites kids aged five to 12, and their parents to go on five kid-sized, family-friendly hikes recommended by local REI employees who want to share their passion for hiking with others. Information for parents describing each of the five hikes – none of which are too difficult for families new to hiking – along with driving directions and helpful tips are available at REI stores nationally beginning this week. While in the store, kids can pick up their own special passport-style trail hiking journal to jot down field notes, attach photos, create drawings, play games such as “Animal Tracks Match” and “Hiking Haiku!” and capture their thoughts about each hike.

In addition to the keepsake trail hiking journal, children who successfully complete the five hikes can have their “passport” stamped and will receive a free Passport to Adventure water bottle, as well as a certificate commemorating their accomplishment. At the program's conclusion in August, many REI stores across the country will be planning parties for children to celebrate their completion of the hikes with other participants.

“With parents becoming increasingly concerned about youth inactivity and childhood obesity, we hope this program provides inspiration in getting kids to set their computers and video games aside, and go outdoors to play this summer,” said Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO.

For parents such as Evon Smith, who resides with her two young sons in a Seattle area suburb, the program will provide a welcome diversion to her kids this spring and summer. “I told my kids about the program, and at first they were a bit hesitant, but once we hit the trail, the passport content generated a lot of interaction. By the end of the hike, they asked to go on another the next day, wanted to get their friends involved, and used photos from the hike as their computer screensaver,” says Smith. “The program also serves as an introduction to a new form of recreation for my oldest child who is diabetic, and has an even greater need to keep active and healthy.”

REI member Richard Louv, author of the book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, adds that some kids may be more interested in reaching the next level of a video game, than completing a hike. “But parental persistence, taking the long view, will pay off soon, in better mental and physical health for your children, and later, when your kids come to you as young adults and say, ‘Remember that time we went hiking? That was the best summer ever.'”

“We hear from parents that they want to introduce their children to outdoor recreation and to help them experience nature, but that they don't know about good places to go or how to get started. Hopefully our hike suggestions and tips for parents offered through this program will remove that barrier,” said Jewell. “Because each hike is between one and two miles round-trip, and all are considered either easy or moderate, the program is well-suited for families of all abilities.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Interviews with local family hiking experts and program participants, as well as hiking and Passport to Adventure logo images and b-roll are available upon request.


REI Inspires Kids, Families to Get Outside this Summer

With summer just around the corner, parents everywhere will soon be looking for ideas to get their kids outside and active. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) has just the solution – Passport to Adventure, a free program launching this week designed to introduce a new more

REI Invites Children to Get Outside This Summer

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) invites children, adults and families to get active in the outdoors this summer with Kids' Passport to Adventure. Designed for children ages five to 12, the national program encourages kids to participate in at least one outdoor recreational more

Ready, Set, Go Outside with REI’s Passport to Adventure!

With summer fast approaching, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national outdoor retailer, invites children and their families to explore the outdoors together with Passport to Adventure. Launching today, the free program is designed for children aged five to 12 and more

REI Programs, Events and Products Help Families Enjoy Outdoor Summer A

Whether hiking, biking, camping or paddling, REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national outdoor gear and clothing retailer, encourages families to schedule outdoor fun this summer and helps them get started by offering programs, classes, events and products.REI's Family more

REI Launches Outdoor School; Makes Getting Outside Easy

This week the outdoor gear retail cooperative Recreational Equipment, Inc., (REI) is introducing its latest program designed to get people outdoors. The new REI Outdoor School offers classes and one-day guided outings that teach the basics of hiking, cycling, kayaking and more. more

REI Programs, Classes and Products Help Families Find Summer

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, helps families reenergize their summer adventures with fun and friendly programs, events, products and resources. Launching today, REI’s Family Adventure Program (formerly the more

The North Face and REI Team up to get More Kids Outside

The North Face today announced an eleven-city Role Models Speaker Series tour in partnership with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) designed to give parents the advice and inspiration they need to get outside and active with their kids. Top athlete parents from The North Face, more

REI’s Annual Giving Efforts

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national gear and apparel retail cooperative, has dedicated a significant portion of its annual giving budget in support of local and national nonprofits that share the company's commitment to increase youth participation in outdoor more

REI Offers Remedies to Reduce Cabin Fever this Winter: Get Outside!

Winter weather brings an onset of activities for families to do together from hiking, skiing and snowboarding, to sledding, snowshoeing or building snow forts. REI is stocked with gear and apparel, classes and advice to keep everyone connected and exhilarated while recreating more