Outdoor 2017<br>Year-in-review

HEBFF Outdoor, our youngest program in the Canyon, has hit its stride in 2017. Last year was an exciting season of change and growth, with new faces, new facilities, and new offerings.

Outdoor staff was the first to experience the growth. They added a Director of Operations, Karl Luebbe, an experienced high-ropes educator. Two interns, Myles Amador and Tasha Zidek, rounded out the team’s structure. These three have helped Senior Director Erik Silvius and Director of Programming Caity Martin meet a growing docket of program and operational needs. Last year also saw the completion of a dedicated building in the Canyon serving as both an HEBFF Outdoor office and storage facility, a combination that has proven incredibly helpful to the team’s year-round work in the Canyon.

Outdoor’s reach grew, too. In addition to existing school groups that come throughout the year, Outdoor welcomed two new school partners from San Antonio. All in all, 23 groups comprising just shy of 2,000 Texas public school children—as well as hundreds of LLYC and LLFC campers—were served by Outdoor.

All the participating school groups had the opportunity to utilize a brand new bike trail. Two miles of single-track, multi-use trail and a “rad” (in Erik’ words) bike skills area were the highlight of the year for many groups.



Coming in a close second was the new high ropes element known as Crate Stacking. In this activity, students, attached by a harness and cable, stack grocery crates as high as they can while simultaneously balancing on top of them.

This spring, Foundation staffer Dan Roloff carved 120 hand-crafted wooden hiking sticks for HEBFF Outdoor program students to use, taking the time to label each one with the species of tree each was made of.

As Erik and his team continue providing training, support, and capacity-building opportunities for their partner schools, he said, “We hope to encourage school leaders to deeply commit to providing transformative outdoor experiences for their students both in the Canyon and at home.”

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