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Common Ground with Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation

In 2021, the Foundation’s Board of Directors chose ten organizations that promote conservation, encourage youth and veteran participation in outdoor sports, and work to improve diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. The recipients received over $600,000 in grant funding. Now, we’re doing a deep dive into the organization so our employees and external stakeholders can learn more about the Foundation’s partners, their missions and how they put their grant to use. This month’s Common Ground feature highlights Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation (OTF).

Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, Southlake, TX

Why Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation
“The Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation plays an important role in properly educating people on the outdoors, life skills and conservation worldwide,” said Jason Nash, VP of Marketing at Federal. “The organization takes an innovative approach to introduce kids to the outdoors through an in-school curriculum. The Outdoor Adventures program is important to ensuring that people have the knowledge and skills to enjoy hunting, fishing and the outdoors for generations to come. This makes the organization a perfect fit to receive support from the Vista Outdoor Foundation.”

Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation’s Mission:
Teach outdoor education and to promote and fund conservation of wildlife worldwide.

About Outdoor Adventures
Outdoor Adventures gets kids outside! A dozen years ago, Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation began implementing Outdoor Adventures as a fully accredited in-school physical education class. Every day Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation fulfills its mission in mor than 900 public and private schools across 45 states.

Here are some key numbers for Outdoor Adventures:

80,000- kindergarten through 12th grade students annually in more than 900 public and private schools across 45 states.
25,000- students getting out of the classroom and into the field every year, going on their first hunt or catching their first fish.
$470,000- in equipment grants to schools.
480,000- Outdoor Adventures graduates since 2009
16,000,000 outdoor education classroom hours annually
15,000- hunter education certifications in Texas alone last year
30% year over year increase in Outdoor Adventures enrollment (100% growth since 2018)

Key goals of Outdoor Adventures:

  • Reverse the increasing disconnect between young people and the outdoors, caused by our increasingly urbanized and technology-driven society.
  • Reverse the downward trend of participating in angling and hunting, which negatively impacts the funding available for conservation nationwide.
  • Encourage students to pursue careers in the outdoor industry, including wildlife and habitat conservation.

Outdoor Adventures has been proven to increase student attendance and academic achievement with many students finding their niche in archery, angling, or simply in gaining an understanding of the outdoors and wildlife that they never had before. Outdoor Adventures has also spawned numerous competitive shooting, archery, and fishing teams across the country.

Grant Power
The support from Vista Outdoor to Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation has allowed the organization to develop a strategic growth plan that will double and then redouble the number of schools that teach Outdoor Adventures over the next several years.

“By the end of 2023 100,000- kids annually will be receiving a comprehensive outdoor education that includes everything from camping and backpacking to hunting and fishing, paddle sports, mountain biking, rock climbing, and much more. There is not another program like Outdoor Adventures, and Vista Foundation’s support is key to creating the next generation of outdoor recreationists, conservationists, and outdoor industry professionals,” said Sean McLelland, Executive Director, Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation.