Lincoln, NE – Nearly 50 representatives and leaders of mentoring organizations from around the country gathered in Lincoln, NE last weekend to discuss getting more people outdoors more often. Lincoln startup, Powderhook, together with Nebraska Game and Parks, and Cabela’s hosted the event at the Nebraska Outdoor Education Center.
The group spent two days presenting about the progress of their organizations, giving important updates on legislation being passed, and discussing what it would look like to band together and form an official alliance. The number of participants in this year’s Outdoor Mentoring Summit more than doubled from the previous year with hopes to recruit even more groups into the alliance for 2018’s summit.
Founder of Powderhook, Eric Dinger, believes time spent outdoors plays an integral role in our culture. Said Dinger, “Being outdoors represents a source of happiness and contentment for nearly everyone. But, it’s becoming more and more difficult for people to make time and have a place to enjoy themselves in the outdoors. We view this as an attack on the values that undergird families and tie people to the places they’re from. If we need the outdoors to de-stress and find our center, is it possible that some of the cultural frustration so many people are feeling could be tied to a ‘nature deficit’?”
The Outdoor Mentoring Summit included attendees from several leading conservation organizations, including the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, Quality Deer Management Association, and Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, along with state agencies leaders from as close as Iowa and as far away as New Mexico and Florida. But, the celebrities in attendance were the dozens of leaders from the “Boots on the Ground” mentoring organizations from nearly 15 states.
Mike Christensen of Pass it On – Outdoor Mentors spent countless hours putting together the meeting. “If you believe it’s important to spend time outdoors with people who care about you, then it’s likely meaningful for you to know there are organizations dedicating to making that happen for people who may not otherwise have a chance to have those experiences. This meeting brought together many of the best and most influential programs from throughout the country in hopes we can find ways to have a greater impact on our communities,” said Christensen.