Last year Youth Groups started to inquire about borrowing CPD gear for camping trips. In response the Chicago Park District (CPD) has developed a program called ChicaGO Explorers. ChicaGo Explorers will highlight Chicago Park District parks and take advantage of nearby forest preserve resources. Leaders who have gone through ChicaGo Explorers will have low–cost access to campgrounds within the Forest Preserves of Cook County and other campgrounds, as well as an opportunity for transportation scholarships.
Here’s how it works:
- An organized youth group that is interested in a CPD or Forest Preserves of Cook County camping trip that wants to use CPD equipment must send a leader to ChicaGO Explorers Front Country Leadership (FLT) training.
- There will be four ChicaGO Explorers Front Country Leadership (FLT) training’s in 2016, each training hosting 20 youth workers.
- Training is an overnight camping trip.
- The first Front Country Leadership training is April 30- May 1 8:00 am on April 30th through 1:00 pm May 1st at Northerly Island Park. Register here. It costs $40. All camping gear and food will be provided.
- Training is designed for local community leaders and organizations to guide youth on hiking and camping excursions.
- The overnight training course includes instruction in leadership skills, camp equipment use and care, and group activities related to outdoor recreation and nature-based education.
- Once leaders are FLT certified, they will be able to check out camping and hiking equipment from a free equipment lending library.
- Participants must be part of an organization that leads youth outdoor activities.