Los Angeles Wilderness Training (LAWT) exists as a vital, comprehensive and ongoing source of support to agencies that already lead youth wilderness trips or dream of offering outdoor programs. Once exposed to wilderness, urban youth have a broadened sense of themselves, each other, and the world around them. We have a vision to broaden the minds of youth by providing greater access to the outdoors.

The more time youth spend discovering themselves in the wilderness, the higher their test scores and the better their team-work and school performance becomes. These improvements are not limited to academics, it has been shown that they improve in all manners of life skills, including problem-solving and strategic planning¹. Allowing youth to experience the wilderness enhances both their mental and physical development, and we are here to facilitate that.

Here at LAWT, we completely understand how daunting it can be to go out into the wilderness, especially if you are responsible for a group of youth. That’s why it’s our goal to teach you the ins and outs of camping and backpacking in the wilderness, thus enabling you to confidently lead a team of youth on a positive life experience.. We also have an extensive amount of gear ranging from tents to sleeping bags to clothes available to you free of charge after you have completed on of our trainings and proved your safe camping practices². You can take a look at our training page for more details on our training sessions and what they entail. As Shawn Ryan, one of our trainees who takes his class camping every term, says,

“There is no way we could do it without LAWT’s gear library.”

An article appeared in the Sierra Club’s online publication appeared from the Outdoors Empowered Network, about the other orgs in the OEN and what we do.  Check it out here!  They cover the idea of running a Gear Library like LAWT.  OEN unites several organizations nation-wide doing where we do. They are in: The Bay Area (Bay Area Wilderness Training, where Chelsea started out,) the Seattle (Washington Trails Association,), and Chicago, New York City and Boston, Austin, Boise, and Detroit. Check out the article here: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/sponsored-content/leki/lending-some-adventure

Also, there was a video on the REI website featuring our Executive Director and several other women who started outdoor-themed businesses.  http://blog.rei.com/camp/venturous-voices-the-rise-of-the-outdoorsy-female-entrepreneur/

1. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Defecit Disorder by Richard Louv

Please see our Gear Library page for more information on requirements to borrow gear