In April, some Friends of Joshua Tree board members, along with two different youth groups and staff of JTNP (even the Superintendent and his children) joined together to recreate, celebrate and educate in the Park over a weekend. These youth had never been to any national park, and most had never camped. They were from Agape International and Walt Whitman School in the Los Angeles area, and the outing was organized by Medicines Global Outdoor Youth Ambassador program. Thanks to Janice and Johanna Belson for spearheading this opportunity for these teen Angelenos to experience the Park and it’s wonders of tranquility, flora, fauna and the magical Mojave/Sonoran desert landscape that is uniquely Joshua Tree. We used several sites in Blackrock Campground; can you imagine if they had woken up in Hidden Valley or Ryan? Nevertheless the beauty of the high desert was ubiquitous and amazing, including just a little bit of rain and wind.

IMG_0268_1We took the kids (and their accompanying adult chaperons, many of which were newbie campers and climbers too) out and helped them set up camp, cook meals, get comfy and led a few hikes and a climbing experience that was, of course, the highlight. Of course hacky sack and some hiking to see the Barker Dam area were included.

Introducing people to the wonders of Joshua Tree is one of the great privileges of being part of the climbing community, and FOJT.

The more we can educate and introduce the natural places of our state and country to those in the urban environment, the more we will see

an embrace of the wild character we want to protect.

Who have you introduced to JTree recently? Got any pics? Share ’em up here (you have to join our gallery first, but it’s easy).

KH/FOJT

A picture gallery (worth a few thousand words) below, plus a bonus short video of our shared adventure here