The American Camp Association® (ACA) is pleased to announce that the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program, a unique partnership between Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, has been awarded a 2009 Special Recognition Award.
Special Recognition Awards are presented annually by the American Camp Association to honor groups, organizations or individuals for their efforts to promote camping with a profound significance on a national level.
PEAK provides the ABC’s of environmental literacy to the next generation. Since 2002, nearly 575,000 children have been taught Leave No Trace principles through the PEAK program, an educational curriculum that teaches young people to be active stewards of outdoor recreational resources. The interactive program, available in English and Spanish, incorporates a series of hands-on and fun games, activities and lessons that are relevant for elementary school children and teens.
The development and implementation of PEAK is an outstanding contribution to the advancement of camping for a number of reasons.
• Every summer camp has an environment that could benefit from careful use. Island, forest, desert, mountain, woods, ocean, lake, meadow, park, and even landscaped locations benefit from campers who understand and apply Leave No Trace principles.
• PEAK has the power to pique the interest of youth attending summer camp. PEAK trainers and REI employees deliver PEAK to youth in many urban settings.
• The PEAK program inspires participants to get outside and enjoy outdoor pursuits responsibly so that shared natural spaces can be enjoyed by future generations. After experiencing PEAK, children are more likely to go camping, or find themselves on the trail with their youth groups and/or families.
• PEAK reflects REI’s long-standing commitment to provide opportunities for young people to experience the joys of outdoor recreation and learn how to care for open spaces and shared public lands.
The American Camp Association (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.
About the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
The award-winning Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is the international leader in sustainable recreation practices. The nonprofit organization teaches children and adults vital skills to minimize their impacts when they are outdoors. The Center's goal is to connect people to the natural world by providing tools and training to help them enjoy the natural world in an environmentally sustainable way. Leave No Trace is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics message used today on public lands across the nation by all types of outdoor recreationists.
For more information about the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics or PEAK program, visit http://www.lnt.org/ and http://lnt.org/programs/peak.php.