Natural Leaders facilitate outdoor activities that bring people together in nature, building community connections and a sense of responsibility for natural places.
Legacy Camp is our signature leadership training for diverse, emerging leaders between the ages of 18 and 26 years-old. Participants in this multi-day intensive training leave camp with the skills and support they need to develop community-driven action plans to increase nature access for children, families and communities.
Legacy Camp curriculum is built upon four foundational pillars:
- The power of personal narrative
- Leadership development
- Community organizing
- Action planning
We recruit and select Legacy Camp participants through a competitive process. By providing these emerging leaders with training, tools and ongoing mentorship, we increase their ability to influence and improve nature connections in their communities.
Our Natural Leaders Initiative offers multiple Legacy Camps each year, in regions across the US. Each camp is co-led by graduates of our Legacy Camp Instructor Training from the same region. This regional Legacy Camp approach creates teams of Natural Leaders who work together to build Community Action Plans and the partnerships needed to increase nature access for all.
Legacy Camp Instructor Training
Participants in Legacy Camp may be invited to further their leadership development by participating in Legacy Camp Instructor Training. Graduates return to their communities ready to co-lead regional Legacy Camps and build capacity for the children and nature movement.
Instructor training offers a thorough overview of the logistical planning required to implement a successful Legacy Camp; provides time for teams to develop regional plans; and “trains the trainers” in Legacy Camp’s curriculum. Participants leave Instructor Training empowered and prepared to return as a team to plan, implement and co-lead Legacy Camp in their regions.
“Legacy Camp Instructor Training conveys the heart of Legacy Camp: the strategies, traditions, time for reflection — and the warm welcome offered to everyone.” CJ Goulding, Natural Leaders Network and Legacy Camps
Thank you to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their support, offering their beautiful training facilities for Legacy Camp Instructor Training at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Customized Natural Leaders Training
Our Natural Leaders Initiative offers customized Legacy Camp training in partnership with organizations and communities. An example is our Legacy Camp partnership with Great Outdoors Colorado’s (GOCO) Inspire Initiative, a five-year strategy aimed at inspiring Coloradans, particularity children, to appreciate, enjoy, and take care of Colorado’s great outdoors.
If you are interested in partnering with the Natural Leaders Network to sponsor a Legacy Camp in your community, please contact our Natural Leaders Initiative Assistant Director.
Natural Leaders Changemakers
As a twenty-something with Hispanic heritage, I loved camping, hiking and kayaking. I noticed that I did not see as many people who looked like me when I was recreating outside. From this realization came my inspiration for North Texas Kids OutsideVictoria Serna
Through Victoria’s leadership, Texas Outdoor Family, sponsored by Natural Leaders Network, hosted 54 children and families for a first-of- its-kind camping workshop. Bilingual volunteers assisted rangers in engaging with and interpreting for the diverse population of North Texas.
The energy and passion from the trainers and other camp participants throughout the Natural Leaders Legacy Camp was both inspiring and applicable. Since returning home, I have channeled that energy into creativity, drive, and a renewed focus for how I engage and support my community by connecting children and families with nature.Perri Rae Davis
I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Legacy Camp. As a young professional, this training gave me the skills, confidence and support I needed to fight for something that I know will benefit my community.Sophie Sarkar
Sophie played a role in driving district-level policy change in West Philadelphia, PA, to engage local students in water-based outdoor activities in nature. She champions nature access and greenway planning efforts for the Rivers and Trails Conservation Association. She also serves on the board of the Children & Nature Network.