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2018 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

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Jeremy B.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended Wild Earth programs and eventually became an instructor. I worked for Wild Earth for six years and loved every minute. The work being done is so crucial. Wild Earth works to expose young people to the natural world and grow appreciation and connection for nature. This is more important now than ever as we live our lives more and more segregated from the outdoors.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started attending programs offered by Wild Earth when I was eight years old that forever changed how I interact with the outdoors. Growing up in a strong and vibrant mentoring community facilitated by wild earth allowed to me grow into a confident and grateful human being. Each moment outside with Wild Earth has altered and directed the course of my life. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this organization as it grows and changes the lives of everyone it touches.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love Eild Earth!

Both of my children have been attending Wild Earth wilderness summer camps since they were 5 years old. They have gone to other camps in the area, but Wild Earth is their favorite, and is special. My daughter’s favorite days are when it’s raining. She loves getting muddy and building fires. I got to experience Wild Earth too as a mom. We attended a mother/daughter program for 2 years in a row. This was a great bonding experience for us The instructors empower everyone and are really creative and skilled in the wilderness.

Wild earth came to my daughter’s middle school and led programming for all of the 5th and 6th grade. Kids that would not normally be in nature were immersed in it and were really inspired.

Over the years Wild Earth has spread its wings and for this my family is grateful. Our community is very lucky to have this amazing not-for-profit build confidence in our youth.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wild Earth is surely one of the very best nonprofits to which I've ever had a connection. Both of our school-aged children attend Wild Earth programs -- especially summer camps but also year-round programming on the weekend. My wife and I also take part in Wild Earth programming for adults and families. The vision of Wild Earth is tremendous and transformative. Its participants explore and play in nature -- in the woods, in fields -- year-round, without the goal of hiking a daunting number of miles, without most traditional camp games. Instead, the participants feel comfortable learning how to be resilient in nature. They learn how to identify plants, how to track, how to build debris huts, and most of all how to engage in creative, joyous play without butane or plastic toys or connected electronic devices. Wild Earth leaders run one of the most thriving and functional local nonprofit organizations I've ever seen. They treat their workers fabulously. And the camp staff who run the programs are among the best I've ever seen. These are amazing young adults who are taking exceptional care of our youth. The difference between how children are treated by their camp counselors at Wild Earth versus most other outdoor summer camps is night-and-day. Keep up the fabulous work, Wild Earth!

Paul L.1

Donor

Rating: 5

There are rare opportunities in our children's lives where irrepressible joy, education, community, creativity, and a deep emotional attunement come together to create a life-long remembered experience. And, to boot, in nature! This is Wild Earth.

Our two boys, now 6 and 8, are members of the Wild Earth family, and will continue to be part of the Wild Earth family. They have been learning to honor the earth and honor each other; to bring nature awareness with them wherever they go. This is Wild Earth.

As parents, we are treated with care, love and respect, and honored as if members of a special tribe. How the programs work and are explained reflect an organization with supreme integrity and knowledge. This is Wild Earth.

And because Wild Earth does so much for community, its generosity keeps expanding and extending to new programs -- to bring Wild Earth to everyone young and elder, with and without sufficient financial means to benefit from such vital goodness. Farther and farther reaching. This is Wild Earth.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wild Earth's presence is a gift to the Hudson Valley in how it encourages all of us to "bloom where we are planted," by stepping outside and into the incredible richness of our landscape, and to remind us that the earth is where we all live.
More than any other nonprofit in the area, Wild Earth roots a sense of community, as its many programs span the lifespan and spark joy! We feel privileged as a family to be growing with this organization, and so appreciate how they continue to reach out to urban communities and to people from diverse economic backgrounds.
Both of my children have benefitted from the simplicity of being in the woods with Wild Earth's skilled and supportive leader/mentor/witnesses. In particular, for the past two years my daughter has participated in the monthly Artemis Moon program - she looks forward to nothing more than these days outdoors with all girls and women where she can play, explore, and learn skills, and to return home shining.

Marsha Entel A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand the positive influence and change Wild Earth offers in my granddaughter's .

Born and bred in the City, being in the woods is out of my comfort Zone.
However, when I'm with my granddaughters their comfort level is astounding.
I see how confident they are;the knowledge they have of the variety of trees and berries is second nature to them. Truly making them aware of their surroundings and being present in the moment. That's a gift to learn at such young ages.

In addition, the confidence and pride on their faces when they learn a new skill to sustain themselves in the woods is priceless

This program instills all the values one wants children to have( confidence, character, strength and respect.

Donor

Rating: 5

The friendliest group of staff I have ever had the pleasure to interact with. They make it their mission to make everyone feel included and help bring the great outdoors to all. Wild Earth is not just a non-profit organization, they are a family helping to unite individual.

Donor

Rating: 5

Wild earth is a great nonprofit, am soo proud to be a donor. And witness how many life’s transform as a direct result from the programs they offer. Great staff, great mission, great accomplishments.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wild Earth touches the hearts of all the children it serves. Through connection with nature it strengthens and grounds the individual, builds a strong community and richer family ties. My daughter, who is now 16 spent many years involved with Wild Earth and it was definitely one of the highlights of her childhood. It has helped to form her into the young woman she is today and provided her with the tools to stay grounded in this hectic world. Experiential programming like this is the way to lead our children to a more sustainable future. I have been touched deeply by the work that wild earth does and believe so much in the mission that I recently joined the board.

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!