YOP Special Initiatives
YOP Summit Sites
YOP currently supports Summit Sites in five cities. This unique initiative enables YOP to work more deeply and longer term with youth serving organizations in urban centers. Organizations apply to participate in a YOP Summit Site and accepted groups receive intensive long-term support, including training scholarships, program planning support, technical assistance, mini-grants, custom trips, and more. YOP works with each organization to develop a sustainable outdoor adventure program. Collectively, YOP’s Summit Sites serve over 7,000 youth per year.
Youth Outdoor Leaders of Boston (YOLB)
This Boston based Summit Site has continued to evolve, improve, and increase the number of youth served since it began in May 2005. Working with 8 partner organizations, YOLB has now served over a total of 9,000 youth who have attended hundreds of trips and benefited from thousands of days outside, exploring, learning and leading.
Worcester Summit Site
Since 2013, AMC and YOP are tremendously pleased with the growth and start up success of the YOP Worcester Summit Site. The support of the Worcester Chapter has been instrumental in this success. Worcester’s existing youth-serving community, combined with the new energy generated by YOP’s involvement and vital resources, have already produced exciting results. The project currently has ten partner organizations and reaches over 2,000 youth.
Lowell and Lawrence Summit Site
Since 2006, YOP’s Lowell-Lawrence Summit Site has been extremely successful in expanding YOP’s services in these two Massachusetts cities with around 15 organizations now involved and serving over 1,800 youth per year. YOP works in partnership with each organization to develop a sustainable outdoor adventure program, provide outdoor leadership training for youth agency staff, provide mini-grants and scholarships, and co-lead outdoor adventures with YOP-trained agency staff. Organizations interested in learning how to use the outdoors to help urban youth develop leadership, confidence, teamwork, self-esteem, and a respect for the environment are encouraged to apply for the May-April grant year cycle.
New Haven Summit Site
Started in 2008, The New Haven Summit Site fueled YOP’s outreach into Connecticut to serve urban youth in this city. The project has grown from two to five partner organizations and reaches around 2,000 youth. YOP is continuing to look for more organizations in this area who want to expand their offerings to include outdoor programming. Partners have access to the New Haven gear site housed at Common Ground High School for their hiking, camping, backpacking, and snowshoeing needs and YOP’s staff are on hand to assist in development of outdoor adult leaders after youth workers and teachers initially take the Outdoor Leadership Training through a yearly custom trip and through resource and curriculum development.
The Youth Mountain Adventure Program (YMAP) is an initiative of YOP for youth organizations in Greater Boston. The mission of YMAP is to promote leadership development by exposing youth ages 11-18 to the wonders of the outdoors on wilderness adventures. Through three components – Winter YMAP, Summer YMAP, and Local YMAP – the program serves over 1,000 urban and at-risk youth each year. These fun and educational outdoor experiences foster self-esteem, a spirit of adventure, leadership, teamwork, and a sense of community.