Here at Ijams Nature Center, we have created a camp unlike any other in East Tennessee- a revolutionary hybrid of outdoor recreation and environmental education called Getting Kids Outdoors. Campers ages 8-14 spend half their day learning about the safe and proper use of outdoor recreation equipment such as bikes, tents, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards while the other half of their day is spent catching tadpoles in the pond, wading through creeks, and identifying animal tracks. We teach kids that it’s possible to have fun and play outdoors while also learning about their role in protecting the environment. With our partners, Rivers Sports Outfitters and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, we offer these opportunities primarily to kids whose outdoor experiences were limited. These funds will allow us to offer a field trip experience during a week of summer camp in the Great Smoky Mountains as well as a series of trips throughout the year for more than 125 fourth graders from local elementary schools to both the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. These funds will help cover transportation, lunch, and staffing costs.