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Gearing Up for Great Outdoors America Week

It’s Monday, and in just a few moments I get to meet Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors delegation for Great Outdoors America Week 2012 – many for the first time. Great Outdoors America (GOA) week is a time when we all come together in Washington, DC, to let our leaders know how much we care about our wild places and green spaces and ensuring that current and future generations have every opportunity and all the support they need to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. Mission Outdoors is committed to reconnecting America with the outdoors. This year, we will team up with the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats team to carry the Club message: Explore, Enjoy and Protect!

We’ve got a team lined up to help spread the word by sharing their own personal experiences and ideas for how to connect America with the outdoors. Our stellar delegation includes:

  • Amanda Wheelock is our Mission Outdoors summer intern. She is a student at Dartmouth College and an avid outdoorswoman.
  • Chad Butrick is a disabled mountaineer and motivational speaker from Colorado. Chad assists persons with disabilities and veterans on their path to reclaiming their lives.
  • Daniel Ramos studies at Johns Hopkins and volunteers to help prevent teen pregnancy among Latino students with Mi Espacio. Daniel is also training to become a Sierra Club outings leader.
  • Debra Asher has been with the Sierra Club since 1988 where she has supported our Inner City Outings program to connect underserved youth with the outdoors through a network of dedicated volunteer outings leaders. Debra has seen the program grow from 10 to 50 groups.
  • Greg Snyder was in the Army as a 15Q (Air Traffic Controller) and was deployed to Iraq. Upon return, Greg did land conservation work in the Sierras. He now helps place veterans in jobs, including positions with public land management agencies.
  • Jackie Ostfeld (me) is the Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors Policy and Operations Manager, and the acting co-lead on the Mission Outdoors Leadership Team. She was an environmental educator and now works to advance policy to ensure more people, especially kids, have access and incentives to get outdoors.
  • Laureen Guerriero has been a Sierra Club volunteer for 15 years. Laureen volunteers with Sierra Club’s Hartford Inner City Outings group and has served on many Club committees – she and her team get kids, who may not be able to experience firsthand the wonders of the natural world, outdoors.
  • Leslie Bratton is the Administrative & Finance Coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Legislative office. She’s been a zookeeper and loves wildlife.
  • Mario Rivas, a Marine Corps Veteran, was deployed to Iraq twice. He now serves in the California Army National Guard as a Captain. Mario works for the City of Huntington Park’s Public Works Department where he administers recycling and waste diversion programs.
  • Michael Darzi has been an outings leader, and former group chair, with the Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings for 12 years. Michael gets people outdoors across the Greater Washington area.
  • Nicole Veltre-Luton is the Chair of the Sierra Club's Baltimore Inner City Outings group which provides under-served youth with outdoor experiences at no cost to them. Over the last 11 years BICO has served over 4,000 youth. Nicole is also a teacher in the Baltimore Public School system.
  • Stacy Bare is Sierra Club's Military Families and Veterans Representative. He is a climber, mountaineer, and sometimes surfer. He is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who credits rock climbing with pulling him out of depression and other issues related to Post Traumatic Stress.
  • Tom Libby is the volunteer co-lead of Mission Outdoors. He is also an instructor for Sierra Club’s Outdoor Leadership Skills Workshops and has been a Club volunteer for 20 years. He has held many leadership positions with the Sierra Club including the Oklahoma Chapter Chair.

Look for updates from our delegates here on the Mission Outdoors blog all week. We’ll also be posting on our Facebook page and Tweeting – so be sure to join us! And when you're not online, get outdoors and bring someone with you!







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