Our Impact

Theory of change

Outdoor Outreach utilizes outdoor physical experiences to provide youth with the support, relationships, resources and opportunities they need to become successful adults.

Two primary drivers facilitate positive transformation in the youth we serve: the Experience and the Relationships.

1. The experience

Youth experience amazing natural environments, are challenged in a safe way, and learn to value and protect the places where they play.

Through the experiences, they garner a sense of achievement, which increases their confidence, self-esteem and resilience, and enables them to see new possibilities for their lives. Leadership training enables youth to gain job skills and employment, and contribute to their communities as advocates for the outdoors.

2. The relationship

The youth form ongoing supportive relationships through their outdoor experiences.

When the staff and volunteers model possibility and positivity, and consistently show up to support the youth, it inspires participants to see new opportunities and set and achieve high goals.

Theory of change
Youth are introduced to program
  • Exposing them to a safe, joyful and natural environment
  • Engaging in a physically, emotionally and mentally challenging outdoor activities
  • Developing positive relationships with supportive peers & mentors
Positive attitude change
  • Cultivating open mindedness
  • Improving self-image
  • Understanding that there are choices
  • Seeing the world from a different view
  • Developing hope, respect, confidence, & responsibility
Positive behavioral change
  • Becoming more open to help/outside assistance
  • Asking for help when needed/helping others
  • Trusting others
  • Setting goals
Responsible and healthy adults
  • Becoming a responsible citizen
  • Improving academic achievement
  • Engaging in post-secondary education
  • Obtaining a job
  • Environmental stewardship

Outdoor Success

the year
Of participants
  • Show improved interpersonal relationships
  • Increase their ability to set and achieve goals
  • Increase their ability to work with others
"I believe in what Outdoor Outreach stands for and want to give back as much as I can to the young members of my community. I love working with the high school students and being a part of their life, as I see a little of myself in them and can relate to where they come from."
Hoover Adventure Club,
Outdoor Outreach Board of Directors
"I feel blessed to be in the position that I’m in today. A high school graduate, employed at a job I love, about to start college and pursue a career I’m passionate about. I’m a role model now – someone that others aspire to be like. There’s no other feeling like it. I have Outdoor Outreach to thank for all of this."
Monarch School Program, Leadership Program Graduate,
Outdoor Voices Program Coordinator
"Outdoor Outreach has opened my eyes to so many things I didn’t know existed. I feel more developed as a person and much more confident. Outdoor Outreach shows kids like me there’s a world of possibilities and that’s been the biggest thing in my life. Now one of my life-long goals is to help other people in a positive way."
El Cajon Adventure Club,
Leadership Program Graduate,
Assistant Instructor
"The Leadership Program trained me to be the leader that I am today and transformed me into a confident person who is not afraid to try new things. I trust my friends in the Leadership Program, and now consider them to be a part of my family."
El Cajon Adventure Club,
Leadership Program Graduate,
Assistant Instructor
"Top-ranked schools receive thousands of applications from students with straight A’s, high test scores, and numerous positions in extracurricular clubs. The two most unique aspects about me were my background and my involvement with the Leadership Program. In fact, I’m pretty confident that without Outdoor Outreach, I wouldn’t have gotten into Stanford University or been selected as a Gates Millennial Scholar."
Crawford Adventure Club,
Leadership Program Graduate
"I've been called all sorts of things in my life: homeless, at-risk, underprivileged, troublemaker, loser. Now I'm called rock climber, surfer, snowboarder, and a role model."
First-ever Leadership Program Graduate,
Field Program Coordinator
"Outdoor Outreach took a group of us up to Big Bear for a 4-day snowboarding trip. That was my first time outside the big city and in the mountains. That was my first time ever seeing and feeling snow. That was my first time ever strapping into a snowboard. After that trip, there was something different about how I looked at my future."
Hoover Adventure Club,
Leadership Program Graduate
"I’m so much more confident in myself. I used to not like trying new things. If I wasn’t immediately good at it, or if it made me uncomfortable, I’d quit. That’s not the case for me anymore. In the beginning I wasn’t good at most of the activities I tried with Outdoor Outreach, but I kept trying. At first I was scared of rappelling – now it’s no big deal, and I love to help coach my peers down the rock wall when they’re feeling unsure at the top."
Lincoln Adventure Club,
Leadership Program Participant