Dolphins are REAL?!

Dolphins are REAL?!

I need your help. The kids need your help. We're planning Wilderness Youth Project’s summer camps. 

It's a life-transforming opportunity for kids in the community to spend some quality time outdoors. To interact with nature. To learn a thing or two about themselves and their world.

With your help, I hope to send 660 kids out into nature this summer at our summer camp. More than half of these kids need scholarships to attend.

Here is how you can pitch in: It costs about $455 to provide a camp scholarship for a child from a low-income family, ensuring that local children can participate in Wilderness Youth Project without money stopping them.. To ensure that scholarships are available to all children in need, please consider donating by June 30.

In the midst of Santa Barbara's beauty, I urge you to consider the personal struggles and pain that children often carry with them to Wilderness Youth Project's summer camp.

Maria's Story

Take Maria, for example. She's a good student with a lot of potential. However, this summer may be tough for her. With her single parent working full-time, Maria often finds herself alone, disconnected from her peers, and spending too much time on social media. This only worsens her feelings of isolation.

I bet you know a kid like Maria. It’s why the Surgeon General says that youth mental health is the defining public crisis of our time. 

How are the kids doing these days?

As we prepare for summer camp, I asked our program staff: how are the kids doing these days, compared to the summer before Covid? The answers I got:

The kids are…

  • Way more anxious.
  • Don’t know how to get along with peers.
  • Afraid of trying new things.
  • Scared of the outdoors.
  • Way worse at communicating.

It’s not just from the staff. I’m hearing it directly from the kids too. This is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever heard from a kid on a camp scholarship…

A group of kids in summer camp were spending the day playing at Hendry’s Beach. Suddenly they noticed dolphins leaping in the surf. They all stopped and stared. Transfixed. 

Then one of them said “Dolphins are REAL?” It's a magical moment, seeing dolphins in the wild. Can you imagine a kid living in Santa Barbara and not knowing that dolphins are real?

Indoor Childhood

It’s because kids spend most of their time indoors and glued to screens. 

But that is the way kids live these days.

Children and their peers typically only spend four to seven minutes of unstructured outdoor play per day.. They spend an average of seven and a half hours in front of electronic screens. 

Anxiety. Depression. Chronic absenteeism. Learning loss. It’s not only a national epidemic, it’s happening right here in Santa Barbara. I know you don’t want to sit by and watch our children suffer, watch our future be threatened.

That’s why I’m writing you today-- to ask you to help the kids.

You can help

Two of the things I love about this community are how much we love the natural beauty around us and how much we care about our kids. By enabling kids to attend summer camp this year, you'll help them grow into smarter, happier, and healthier people.

Your small actions will make a big difference. It’s time-tested and proven:  Wilderness Youth Project camps make kids smarter, healthier, and happier. This program fights the toxic stress that kids experience these days.

You can connect our youth with the natural world, caring mentors, their peers, and themselves. You can provide scholarships and other year-round programs for children in need. You can put happiness and health in reach for kids.

Your kind donation will be a beacon of hope and inspiration for children, offering local youth a safe haven where they can thrive, grow, and discover the wonders of the natural world.

Will you contribute today?

Please donate today. Together, let's fill this summer with laughter, exploration, and endless possibilities. Your gift can make a difference in the lives of children, ensuring that nature shines bright in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.

YES! I want to chip in to make sure Santa Barbara kids can go to camp this year. Please use my donation to give deserving kids scholarships and outdoor programs all year.

You can support us in many ways...

  • CREDIT CARDGive online today
  • CHECK: Mail a check to Wilderness Youth Project at 2040 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 224, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
  • INVITE OTHERS: Share this blog with your loved ones and encourage others to give
  • BE SOCIAL: Like us on Instagram & Facebook and share our message with your circle
  • TRANSFER STOCKSGift stocks, bonds, and mutual funds

We can’t do it without you!

Your support allows us to continue to give out scholarships and fund community programs. We have faith that you and our community will come forward to make sure we can keep building wellness, curiosity, and connection.