CITY KIDS WILDERNESS PROJECT, PART 1:
kids in the wild
A’Lexus knows she’s not a patient person.
“I’m very blunt,” she said. “I don’t like working with people.”
People, however, are often a necessary evil. Fortunately for A’Lexus, there is City Kids Wilderness Project, a DC-based nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of young people though goal setting, environmental education and long-term engagement. Over the course of a multi-year program, participants learn outdoor skills, which teach them important life skills, including goal-setting, social justice, teamwork and overcoming challenges.
“They teach you how to work together,” said A’Lexus, 15, as she ate a sandwich during a lunch break from a City Kids canoe trip along the Anacostia River. “I’m learning to be nicer when I say things.”
Beginning at age 11, City Kids participants take part in activities that include hiking, horseback riding and white water rafting. As the program progresses, the children take on more challenging goals that, in turn, imbue them with more forward-looking skills.
“We’re throwing them into all sorts of crazy adventures,” said executive director Eloise Russo. “There’s this high level of confidence that they can do it.” (Continue to Part 2)