Special Initiatives


Avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts Don and Sue Gaines provided the lead financial support to launch our Outdoor Leadership Program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound in the spring of 2019. The spring session was held at the Schatz Branch, and the second summer session was conducted at the Milgard Family Eastside Branch. Through a variety of adventure activities youth develop technical and teambuilding skills, foster a strong sense of environment stewardship, and learn about careers and professions in the Outdoor Education field.

  • The mission of the program is to expose youth to the health benefits of the outdoors, increase their outdoor skills and awareness of local park resources, increase awareness of careers in the outdoors, and foster environmental stewardship.

  • There will be 4 sessions (fall, winter, spring, summer) of 4-8 weeks consisting of experiential lessons including at least one field trip a session to parks where youth will compete in challenges, practice skills learned, and experience the benefits of nature. (Fall 2020 will be virtual field trips)

  • Lessons will have a weekly theme and each skill will build on the next (public lands, hiking, environmental stewardship, careers in the outdoors, and safety/preparedness/survival). This project is designed in partnership with Mt. Rainier National Park and will include 3-6 visits from Rangers.

  • Field trips will present opportunities to apply skills: using equipment, outdoor safety, first aid, survival, shelters, gardening, reading a map, using a compass, and knowing what to do if you get lost. Field trip options include Washington State Parks (Penrose Point, Nolte, Kopachuck, Dash Point, Saltwater) and Metro Parks Tacoma (Swan Creek, Northwest Trek, Point Defiance). Each session will culminate in a field trip to Mt. Rainier National Park and a recognition event.

Program Schedule

Fall Session: September-December

Location: Virtually through our Virtual Club2Go Program

When: 4-5pm | Tuesdays (School Age) Thursdays (Teens)

  • Alternating every other week starting September 22nd & 24th (6 Weeks Total)

Come join Club staff and volunteers virtually every other week to learn all about the great outdoors. Members will experience virtual field trips and have the opportunity to earn badges and cool prizes.

More information coming soon:

Winter Session: January-March

Spring Session: April-June

Summer Session: June-August