Helping you get youth outdoors!

Bay Area Wilderness Training supports teachers and youth workers with training, gear, funding, and community

Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) a project of Earth Island Institute, was founded with the idea that California’s bountiful wilderness areas are a vast – yet untapped – resource for local youth-serving organizations. BAWT promotes the wise use of these national, state and regional parks through our professional wilderness leadership training. Then, we connect the teachers and youth workers to our outdoor gear libraries. That way, youth organizations and schools may outfit their groups for trips of their own – free of charge!

We believe that well led trips to granite cliffs, isolated beaches and ancient redwoods provide youth with powerful, life changing experiences.

Bay Area Wilderness Training’s mission is to create opportunities for youth from the San Francisco Bay Area to experience wilderness first hand. To achieve our mission, we train teachers and youth workers, provide outdoor gear loans, give financial support, and foster community collaboration.

Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) envisions a world where all youth have access to the wilderness. We believe that youth, once exposed to the wilderness, have a broadened sense of themselves, one another, and the world around them and are better prepared to lead social and environmental change.

Core Values

Four core values guide BAWT’s work:

  • Diversity: We purposefully engage with a diverse community of teachers and youth workers to ensure all of these leaders are better prepared to lead youth from an increasingly diverse San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Risk: We foster the virtues of positive, calculated risk-taking and provide the tools necessary to engage in such activities safely.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Our leadership trainings ensure that teachers and youth workers have the skills necessary to lead responsible outdoor trips and to cultivate an environmental ethic in the youth they serve.
  • Relationships: We seek to build a culture of the outdoors that echoes throughout communities by building relationships with existing community leaders.
Source: Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT)

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Why support Us

BAWT is proud to have helped tens of thousands of youth since our founding 1999. We have worked with after‐school programs, school districts, community centers, and a wide array of social service agencies to reach and teach adults and youth from many different neighborhoods and many cultural and economic backgrounds.

BAWT is unique – no other agency on the West Coast is designed to support youth workers in the way we do, and that way getting youth outdoors with leaders they already know and trust and can relate to. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, BAWT is empowering youth workers to change the lives of children and teens everyday.

Our supporters have become part of a network of thousands of passionate Americans who donate their time, and money to the life-changing work of Bay Area Wilderness Training. We thank them for their gifts and we are privileged to put their passion into action.

Help make it happen!