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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wild Earth

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Wild Earth leads transformative nature immersion experiences that cultivate character, confidence, passion and perseverance in New York’s youth.

Target demographics: children, teens and adults

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1000 individuals and families from all walks of life throughout the Hudson Valley

Geographic areas served: the Hudson Valley of New York

Programs: multi-generational nature connection workshops; year-round programs focused on empowerment, connection & wilderness skills; and wilderness-based summer camps.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began my experience with Wild Earth as a parent. Having the pleasure of driving my daughter and a car full of kids to summer camp. Fun is driving with a packed car of kids singing the whole way, all wet and dirty. There was something so right about it. Since then I have watched my daughter grow through the program and as a person. I have seen her display true courage that she learned out in the woods. The courage to take on challenges even though you are scared, even though you are not confident it will go well, even though your body shakes. She developed this because she learned from nurturing mentors, fellow young people and the woods themselves.

Thank you Wild Earth

Client Served

Rating: 5

Although Wild Earth offers an exceptional camp experience for my children, my favorite part about sending them to Wild Earth is hearing their stories when they get home. My kids are now more observant, engaged with nature, and creative than ever before. Wild Earth is an experience that my kids, my wife, and I will never forget.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wild Earth summer camp was an incredible experience for my kids. It is the happiest I ever see them. They truly get to be just kids and get dirty and explore and do what kids do. The land is beautiful, the program is structured by not too structured, the instructors are generous and nurturing and get to know each child as an individual, and the ability to create a connection to nature and to their own spirit is inspiring. I recommend Wild Earth to everyone I know.

And, as an adult, I have participated in Wild Earth programs too and feel equally grateful for the experiences Wild Earth has given me.

The mission and the programs, the staff and the philosophy, it all fills a hole that is too often left empty in our contemporary, modern, fast-paced world. Slow down. Notice nature. Be kind and be grateful. These are important lessons from Wild Earth.

I have donated money, been a parent of participants, been a participant myself, and now serve on the Board of Directors. I believe in what Wild Earth is doing, both for my children and many other children (and adults) in the Hudson Valley.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wild Earth helps develop youth into confident, passionate outdoor leaders. It's beautiful to see!

Elizabeth214

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working for Wild Earth for the past 5 years and couldn't love it enough. The amount of learning opportunities that are given to those who are seeking connection with the natural world is profound. I would love to see Wild Earth and similar organizations blossom and grow throughout our country.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for Wild Earth and feel they are very invested in supporting my growth as a student as well as an instructor. I believe in the mission and love what they bring to our community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Wild Earth for the work that it does — for the positive effect that it has on my community and for the greater world at large. By facilitating nature connection for children and adults, so many beneficial outcomes result: personal growth and integrity, social well-being, and ecological health. Additionally Wild Earth creates much needed local jobs. Its existence enriches the cultural experience of our region and I am truly grateful for it!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wild Earth is a deeply caring, dedicated and thoughtful organization doing incredible work in our community. They are reconnecting our children and adults to the natural world, and therefore more deeply to themselves and each other. I've been involved with Wild Earth as a staff member in it's early years, and as a parent of participants more recently, so I can speak from much experience with them. They are doing beautiful and incredibly important work in our community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Incredibly engaging and supportive organization that both builds community while supporting people reach their individual potential through nature connection. Seeing my children come home with mounds of clay they snagged from a stream bed so that they could make some awesome sculpture, or dragging several feet of cordage twisted from sedge they gathered, or casually singing some enlivening song they learned are just a few of the sweet and heart-warming scenes we've grown accustomed to with Wild Earth. The magical stories are literally countless. They create magic across all ages as well. Their teen participants possess a presence and self-confidence that inspires and gives hope that this crew of kids will bring so much of their goodness to the world. They've also become a model organization that others in the area look to for support and guidance, which is great, but nothing beats those clay streaked faces and shiny eyes of all who are so deeply connected to nature, each other, and themselves.

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the best of the best. A HUGE fan of all that wild earth does.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wild Earth is a one-of-a-kind organization and its impact is profound! The programs and fully integrated and serve a wide range of audiences while instilling consistent values and instilling a deep sense of connection to nature in all participants. The facilitators bring vast experience, knowledge, energy and creativity to all that they do. Wild Earth programs are truly fun, educational, and transformational. They are amazing all around!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love that wild earth gives my children grounded earth loving role models that they love and look up to. My kids get a great counterbalance to the influences of commercialism and materialism - spending whole days out in nature splashing in streams, playing in dirt, building with sticks, making fires and having fun in kind gentle company. Thank you WildEarth. The right influences at the right time to help keep our family connected to the earth and each other!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family has benefited from the kindness, skillfulness, and strong vision of Wild Earth's team for nearly a decade now.
We cannot even keep up with the array of tremendously valuable programs that the organization makes available throughout the year.
During lean times, when we could not afford to pay full tuition for our sons to attend camp, they have made it work for us. When we became a Fresh Air Fund Family, Wild Earth gave Daniel a scholarship and he was able to have a must unique experience that he talks about all these years later.
Of all the activities our children enjoy, they speak non-stop about Wild Earth Camp, the thrill they get being in nature, and the bonds they forge while doing all of the exciting things.
The counselors are present, committed and fascinating. Our sons fall in love with them every year.
I cannot say enough about Wild Earth and it's celebrated prominence in our community. I can only imagine the wonderful implications of a world where there is a farther reaching Wild Earth and a greater number of inspired, healthy and connected kids.
Thank you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely the best nature connection for children, families and communities. My kids have been involved with Wild Earth for a few years now and I just can't say enough about the regenerative, thoughtful approach they take with all of their programs. The kids get home from a long day in the woods with Wild Earth and immediately run outside to continue carving, playing and building in nature.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family & I are so lucky to have WIld Earth. My 6 yr old has been doing summer camp & various other programs with them since he was 3.5 yrs old. I am also grateful that I get to experience their programs. We learn so much about ourselves and the natural world. The staff is wonderful, the kind of people you want to spend a lot of time with. It is truly a gift.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has found his joy in wild earth. Wether in the after school program at High Meadow, the spring break camp or his beloved summer camp program, Noah comes home tired, dirty and beaming with happiness. He has gained confidence and maturity, he is doing what children should be doing- exploring this beautiful earth, playing in the Forrest, getting dirty. I have no doubt Wild Earth will be some of his fondness childhood memories- he even hopes to be a counselor one day! What a lovely program, great group of people and amazing experience for my children.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My kids LOVE Wild Earth. We have been to many day camps, some good, some just "eh." But W.E. Is truly the best. Counseler are all Super sweat. And the program really teaches kids to feel a love of and respect for our planet. Consider this review a rave one!

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

Wild Earth is a great community. It is so much more than a couple of programs to send your kids off to; it is a supportive and wonderful network of people who beyond anything else want to uphold and appreciate each other and the planet that we live on. In today's society, this is incredibly needed. As we become more dissociated from each other and our surroundings such an organization works to make us realize the beauty around us, to pick our heads up from our phones.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am overjoyed that my kids get to spend day after day in the most stunning locations in the woods under the caring guidance of Wild Earth. There is so much more to this organization than meets the eye. I am especially impressed by the instructors, many of whom are former campers themselves, who are outstanding role models for our young and growing children. The instructors are knowledgable, respectful, inclusive, and above all... fun and silly -- and the result is that kids can really be themselves and feel supported by their peers. My kids come home covered in mud each day, with smiles on their face, and a whittled stick in their hands, feathers in their hair, games and riddles in their heads, and all kinds of stories at the dinner table. Good pure fun. The way childhood should be.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our fourth year sending our 3 children to Wild Earth programs. Year round, our children are exploring the wilderness and exploring and pushing the edge of their own boundaries. They have the opportunity to interact in truly meaningful ways with a wide age-range of participants and mentors. They leave each program with joy in their heart, adventures on their mind, skills in their arsenal, and a fair amount of mud in my car. Wild Earth is an important part of our children's lives, and has had a real impact on our community. How lucky we are to have such a terrific organization in the Hudson Valley.

1 Matthew66

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wild Earth provides the best youth (and adult) nature programming in the Hudson Valley. Their incredible staff helps people of all ages connect with the Earth and themselves. I cannot recommend this nonprofit enough!

1 Kristin71

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wild Earth is impacting the future in profound and meaningful ways. By helping children and adults connect to the natural world, they are insuring that every participant will treat the Earth with love and respect. At a time of such great uncertainty about the future of our climate, love of nature is an essential ingredient to making sustainable and impactful decisions with regard to the environment. Like a pebble thrown into tranquil waters, the work of Wild Earth ripples out into the local community, the country and the world at large.