Connecting young people to the natural environment
The O.A.R.S. Foundation was created with the vision to connect young people to one of the world’s greatest resources—our natural environment. With river rafting permits, skilled guides and a multi-use camping facility, we offer opportunities for young people to experience the value and enrichment time in the outdoors can bring.
With the overwhelming prevalence of screen-time and restrictions on outdoor play in many of our urban areas, access to wild and natural places is becoming more difficult. We hope to provide the space and the resources that enable the next generation to explore the value of nature in their lives and in their developing world view. Most importantly, we also want our participants to have fun—as a wilderness experience has the power to inspire, give cause for action and lead to an active, outdoor lifestyle that remains rewarding one’s entire life.
It is our goal to provide a fun and educational river experience for 250+ underserved youth this year at a highly-subsidized rate.
Since 2009, the O.A.R.S. Foundation has run dozens of successful trips in the communities we serve, consisting of programs for elementary schools and high schools, universities, youth mentoring programs and conservancy groups. From 1-day fundraising trips on the Mokelumne and the South Fork of the American Rivers in California, to multi-day trips through Cataract Canyon and the Gates of Lodore in Utah, our guides act as educators, interpreters and mentors while piloting their floating classrooms. Topics of sustainability, responsibility and leadership come up organically as students peer up at the ancient rock layers and maneuver boats as a team through whitewater rapids. Teachers also have the opportunity to take advantage of a new, fresh and exciting learning environment for their students.
Where does the O.A.R.S. Foundation get its funding?
The O.A.R.S. Foundation receives its funding through a variety of sources, including:
- 15% of all purchases made at the O.A.R.S. online retail gear store.
- 100% of film festival royalties from O.A.R.S. short films such as River of Eden, Martin’s Boat and 62 Years.
- Individual donations from people like you. Thank you!
- In addition, O.A.R.S. donates all administration staff time and the use of all equipment needed to make these river trips possible.
If you would like to donate to the O.A.R.S. Foundation, please follow this link:
The O.A.R.S. Foundation is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
If you know of a group of kids who would benefit from this kind of experience, please complete this form:
In addition to offering trips for youth, the O.A.R.S. Foundation is proud to work with several other organizations to offer multi-day river trips throughout the Western U.S. for our military service members and veterans.
The O.A.R.S. Foundation admits participants of any race, color, national origin or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to participants. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies or scholarships.