Encouraging The Outdoors

Encouraging The Outdoors

Posted by Jaclyn Uloth on Jun 1st 2020

In 2014, Stansport found a way to give back to local communities while encouraging youth to get outside and experience the outdoors. Through this company initiative, our goal in hosting this event each year is to encourage children and their families to spend more time outdoors and experience the joys of camping, while also helping kids disconnect from their devices and experience a part of the outdoors they might not have previously been exposed to. Each year we get together with a team of company employees and volunteers to host this event for families in need, with a turnout usually totaling around 80-90 people. Year after year, it is rewarding to watch them experience the outdoors like this for the first time. Keep reading to find out more about our initiative, what to expect if you’re interested in getting involved, and more about our partners.
 
 
About six years ago, we decided as a company that we wanted to find a great way to give back directly to our local community in some way. After being approached by a few different charities for other types of donations, we were yearning for something that was more transparent to us as a brand — and we felt that meant getting the local community and kids involved. By pairing with partners we felt could help bring our vision to life, Encouraging The Outdoors was born.
 
Attendees of this yearly event are mostly children, many of whom bring one or both parents, and together enjoy a night of camping while we teach them how to use their gear while learning skills that are sure to create family memories for many years to come.
 
 
This event is the perfect opportunity for families to come together, unplug, and relax under the stars. Our volunteers work hard to ensure an enjoyable experience for all who attend, with a huge focus on the people who matter most: The kids!
 

Our Most Recent Event

Once families check in, it is time to start setting up camp! We provide each family with a tent, sleeping bags, lanterns, backpacks and other accessories, all of which they get to keep.

 
Pitching a tent can work up an appetite! Once camp is set up and ready to go, it's time for lunch. Year after year lunch has been provided by our friends at SOS Survival Products.
 
 
After lunch we branch off into groups and rotate through different activities. These include water activities with the CSUN Aquatic center such as kayaking, swimming at the lake, and boat rides. While one group is down at the water, another group is at the craft table.
 
 
This year our main craft activity consisted of building a mobile for each kid to hang in their tent. For the mobile we created a follow-along printable, and partnered with our friends over at Leatherman who generously donated one of their kid friendly Leap Tools for each kid to keep!
 
 
Last but not least, we put on a HUGE obstacle course with tunnels, parachutes and more, provided by with gear from our sister company Pacific Play Tents. This is the second year in a row having Pacific Play Tents involved, and somehow they managed to outdo themselves this year with activities that were the highlight of the day for many kids.
 
 
As everyone knows, the best part of camping is a huge family dinner around the campfire followed by smores, and this event is no different!
 
 
After dinner, a guide from CSUN leads a charming night hike, which is the perfect opportunity for each kid to get to use their new Stansport lanterns, light sticks and more. This night hike is educational and fun, as the instructor teaches about different plants along the way and points out constellations in the sky. After a long day, it’s time to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars!
 
 
The next morning, campers are woken up by the smell of a big family breakfast, along with more activities.
 
 
About halfway through the second day, it’s time to wrap up and tear down. Another year of Encouraging The Outdoors in the books!
 

Our Partners That Help Bring This Event to Life

 
We work with several different sponsors each year that help bring our initiative to life, while also helping create activities for the kids to do. Our partners include:
 

LAPD Devonshire PALS

The primary goals of LAPD Devonshire PALS is to develop character in youth, prevent juvenile crime, and create safer communities by giving kids a fun place to play and learn. We at Stansport felt the kids of the LAPD Devonshire Pals program were a perfect fit to be recipients and participants in the campout. Each year, nearly 60 participants will represent the LAPD Devonshire Pals Program including both kids and their families that belong to the afterschool program.
 

CSUN Aquatic Center

The CSUN Aquatic Center provide all the youth involved with an opportunity to learn about water and boating safety and then they follow that up with a couple of hours of water activities where the campers get to go out on to the water to kayak, canoe, and paddleboard.
 

County Parks and Rec

For two years in a row, we have hosted the campout at Beautiful Castaic Lake located in Northern Los Angeles County. The county of Los Angeles Parks and Rec Department maintains the park and campgrounds and they have allowed us to host these families at their location.
 

SOS Survival Products

As a Los Angeles based company, SOS Survival Products Inc. has been a leader in Emergency Preparedness supplies since 1989. They are committed to providing their customers with the best service, pricing, and selection. They have also been an active member in the local community with regard to corporate social responsibility and community outreach and giving back. In 2013, SOS Survival Products begun their philanthropy work, giving back to their community by hosting a canned food drive to benefit MEND Poverty.

Now, they have partnered with us at Stansport to help make Encouraging The Outdoors bigger and better for the kids and families that attend. They support us with both time and food in order to help set-up the campout, provide survival products for the kids, chaperone the campers, and also feed all the families that attend the 2-day event.

More of Our Partners

This year Leatherman graciously donated a Leap Tool for each of the youth to keep. As each of the kids got familiar with the tool and how to use it to build their DIY mobiles they each became a "Leap Master". Leatherman created these kid friendly tools as a way of celebrating the mentors who took the time to pass on valuable skills and life lessons. Together, they are using these tools to pass on meaningful heritage to the next generation. Each tool is crafted with colorful, easy-to-hold handles, safety locks and an optional knife blade.
 
 

Kuju Coffee donated tons of their single-serving pour over coffee pouches, as well as large bags of ground coffee. The ground coffee was a huge hit at breakfast, as we were able to make up large batches through our stovetop percolators and coffee presses. The single serve pour over pouches were also a huge hit. Kuju was founded by two brothers who got tired of camping with instant coffee, and set out to change the way we experience coffee in the outdoors. They got us hooked, and we can't wait to take these pour over pouches on our next camping trip.

 
Zan Headgear has provided muti-functional wraps that can be worn as a scarf, face mask or headband. Being out in the sun all day, these things came in super handy. Each of the kids got one to keep, which they wore on the night hike and around the campsite.
 
 
Yumbutter provided tons of packets of their healthy and delicious nut butters that the kids put on fruit and other food at breakfast. Yumbutter crafts delicious superfood nut butters that are clean, convenient, and conscious. They grow compassion by serving others and support organic, responsible growers, and an ethical supply chain. Their nut butters are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Certified Non-GMO, and crafted with love. They were a perfect fit for this event, and we couldn’t get enough of this stuff at breakfast. We were determined to try every flavor!
 
 
Pacific Play Tents was involved for the second year in a row, and not only did they bring tons of their products to this event, but they also donated everything they brought to the LAPD PALS Program! Although Encouraging The Outdoors is a yearly event for us, the programs put on by PALS last all throughout the year. Pacific Play Tents brought dozens of tunnels for their HUGE obstacle course, as well as a giant 45 foot parachute for additional games. With safety and imaginative play at the forefront of all of their products, these Pacific Play Tents parachutes and tunnels are sure to help spark creative play for the kids involved in this program for years to come.
 


Let Us Know!

Have you attended Encouraging The Outdoors, or are you interested in getting involved? Simply reach out to us in the comments below, or follow us on social media for more of our adventures. Happy Camping!