I’ve had a soft spot for the Blue Sky Fund ever since my Times-Dispatch years, writing about the non-profit’s efforts to get East End kids into the outdoors. What exactly does BSF do?
They lead school-based, after-school, weekend and summer programs.
They explore the great outdoors with elementary school students, helping them engage in their core science requirements through hands on, field trip experiences in nature.
They build character in middle and high school students by coaching them in outdoor adventure skills such as rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping.
They develop young leaders by bringing together a diverse set of high school students to meet the challenges of a week long wilderness trip and year-round community service opportunities as a team.
They engage hundreds of neighborhood kids through one day expeditions that provide exposure to new places, active lifestyles, and caring adults. They connect urban children of all ages to the natural environments in our region.
Last year I joined BSF’s board, and one of our first tasks was to fill the funding hole left by the demise of The Amazing Raise. What we came up with was an online giving push similar to The Amazing Raise called Blue Skies Ahead. The campaign launched this morning at 5 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. on June 8 — exactly 60 hours.
But the Blue Skies Ahead goal isn’t just to raise $20,000 for BSF, it’s to raise the funds necessary to expand their Explorers program to 1,600 students in the fall. That’s 1,600 public school students that will be able to go on monthly field trips to sites around the Richmond region to enrich their science instruction. Every donation to this campaign will be giving the gift of exploration!