In 2014, the Department of the Interior announced a national Youth Initiative; and in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC) and YMCA of the USA, will coordinate efforts to provide essential outdoor programming to youth. We bridge the growing disconnect between young people and the great outdoors by creating meaningful connections to nature for millions of children, young adults and veterans in communities across the country through Y Rangers (formerly called "Let's Move: Outside!" and "Play, Learn, Serve, Work"). And with its Centennial in 2016, the National Park Service is working closely with partners such the Y to ensure there are opportunities for all to explore, learn, be inspired or to simply have fun through community-based recreation, conservation, and programs in the next century. We're proud to be leading this incredible and essential program!
The Play, Learn, Serve, Work Initiative
Connect young people to the outdoors through recreational, education, volunteerism and employment programs in YMCA summer camps focusing on natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources
- Create opportunities for local communities to increase connections to the outdoors in partnership with public, private and nonprofit organizations
Lay the groundwork for young adults to become the 21st Century stewards of our cultural, historical, scientific and recreational legacies
Develop model program and outreach strategies that expand opportunities for youth to play, learn, serve and work outdoors and on public lands
Provide youth with career and leadership opportunities via mentorship, volunteerism, internships and employment
Local Approach in the Bay Area
We have a 2020 Vision that the healthiest children in America will live in the Bay Area, building skills and habits for a healthy life, and enabling them to reach their highest potential through the strength of the communities we serve. This vision focuses upon strategic partnerships, holistic and innovative programs, early intervention, and leadership development- all critical components of the Play, Learn, Serve, Work initiative.
Leveraging the Y’s “Togetherhood” initiative (a signature program encouraging volunteer leadership in the community), we will reach 10,000-20,000 volunteers and youth over the next year.