In case you missed it, Teens to Trails was selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change: Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders” for our efforts to engage communities and youth in environmental stewardship and conservation. We were honored this week on March 18, 2014 by the White House along with 13 other heroes who, through innovative approaches, are creating opportunities for the next generation of Americans to take part in outdoor recreation and physical activity.
Here’s my recap of the trip:
Lindsay and T3 staffers Mckenzie & Jane accompanied me to the Eisenhower Exec Office Building for Tuesday’s Champions of Change event (so, we were not actually in the White House, but this wonderful old building sits just next to the White House lawn! Obama did not wander into the ceremony). I did get to meet and give a T3 t-shirt to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell – she was the best speaker of the morning.
If you missed the live streaming (what else would you have to do on a Tuesday morning?!), it is not too late to get a feel for the celebration. You can watch the event on White House YouTube Channel — you can fast forward to the place where Secretary Sally Jewell introduces me at 26:30 minutes and I do my 3-minute talk as part of the panel at 52:28 minutes——- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2XVT2I_hbg
After the ceremony, we headed for the Dept of Interior building where we had an appointment with the Director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis. He spent about 1/2 hour with us — very cool! — and I presented him with a request to consider fee waivers into national parks for bona-fide high school Outing Clubs — had to come prepared to ASK him for something, right?!
Bad luck that Congress was in recess, but we stopped by to chat with Chellie Pingree and Angus King’s staff and leave T3 propaganda. A wonderful exhausting day. A short article even showed up in the Boston Globe!
We put some photos from the adventure on our T3 Flickr site and our Facebook page that are downloadable. Check out the White House website while the current “Champions of Change: Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders” are still featured —- http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions — you can see all 14 Champions – quite an honor to be among them for sure! Here’s a link to the T3 profile on the White House Page!
Lindsay & I headed home Tuesday evening leaving Jane & Mckenzie in Wash DC to meet with National Park Service youth leaders on Wednesday! I’m sure they were inspirational.