What We Do
The core Big City Mountaineers program is a week-long wilderness mentoring expedition where urban youth are given the opportunity to experience the beauty and challenges of the wilderness alongside supportive adult mentors. What had begun as a simple backpacking trip with an urban, at-risk teen 20 years ago has now evolved into a documented and well-tested progression of experiences coupled with opportunities for reflection and learning.
BCM Weeklong Expeditions:
- Provide wilderness mentoring opportunities to under-resourced urban youth age 13 to 18
- Cultivate relationships between youth and caring adult mentors
- Offer a unique 1-to-1 ratio of adults to youth
- Improve teen self-awareness and personal responsibility
- Promote group development and effective communication
- Celebrate gender differences by offering only single-gender expeditions
- Partner with existing youth development agencies to better address the ongoing needs of under-resourced youth.
- Deliver safe wilderness expeditions led by professional field instructors
Who We Serve
- 71% are from single parent or guardian-led households;
- 83% are from families living below the poverty line;
- 80% have parents with no more than a high school education;
- 62% have never traveled beyond their county of residence.
Where We Operate
Big City Mountaineers is an equal opportunity service provider and employer, and operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service