PROVINCETOWN – Dunes’ Edge campground is one of three camps to receive $25,000 in camping gear this summer for youth who don’t have access to quality outdoor spaces.
The Trustees of Reservations, the nation’s first non-profit land conservation organization, is partnering with NEMO Equipment, a New Hampshire-based outdoor equipment company, to provide equipment and expertise.
Besides Dunes’ Edge in Provincetown, Rocky Woods campground in Medfield and Tully Lake campground in Royalston receive equipment. All three camps are owned by The Trustees.
more:Cape Cod Pond Mission: How Much Can You Swim During the Summer?
The initiative aims to expand access to overnight camping and outdoor experiences to Boston-area youth, for whom camping is unreasonable due to the cost of equipment. This is the second year that Trustees have made more “a concerted effort to reach under-resourced youth,” said Trustees’ Outdoor Experience Program Director, Jane Klein.
Helping city kids discover camping
Klein said the organization wants to “allow young people from the city with opportunities to experience what the camps are like, and then give them the opportunity to see parts of the states that they might not otherwise be able to get to because of the accessibility.”
The Trustees of Reservations were founded in Boston in 1890 by landscape architect Charles Eliot. It now operates 123 sites or preserves in Massachusetts that encompass more than 27,000 acres.
Reservations attracts more than 2 million visitors annually and hosts 5,000 shows with more than 250,000 participants, according to the nonprofit’s website.
more:10 Free Things to Do During Family Week in Provincetown
Regarding the Provincetown location, Klein said that few young people from Greater Boston visit the Cape very often, even though it’s only a ferry ride.
The Trustees work with Big City Mountaineers, an organization that provides outdoor camping and recreational experiences to young people from under-resourced communities. By partnering with the nonprofit organization, and receiving grant funding from REI, the trustees were able to fund transportation costs for young people to take the ferry from Boston to Provincetown. From the ferry that landed to Dunes Edge camp, Klein said, it’s only about a half-mile walk.
Make trips abroad easier
Klein said the goal is to make sure the trip isn’t a one-time experience for the kids.
“We are able to give them vouchers to go back with their friends and family so it doesn’t just turn out to be a one-off,” she said.
The organization finds young people to participate in this initiative in many different ways. Organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club contact the organization directly. Trustees connect with organizations such as YES Boston and networks always play a role in finding new youth organizations or schools that want to get their children outdoors and in nature.
more:How cold is the water in Cape Cod? Here’s a swimmer trying to get an answer
“What the (COVID-19) pandemic has really highlighted is the discrepancy between access for those who have the means and those who don’t,” Klein said. And so as an organization, and for me personally, I think I’ve done that and made it our mission as an organization to do everything we can to flip this narrative and say that the outdoors really is for everyone.”