“In our community, some kids are just not open to spending time outdoors,” said Mary. “A lot of our students are nervous about the idea of nature and camping. They are kids who have grown up in a city and may not have had many of those experiences. So when we decided we were going to take every single student, we had to work really hard.”
Representation is one of the biggest factors in encouraging students to sign up for NatureBridge. When kids see others who look, sound and dress like them, they are more inclined to sign up, Mary explained.
“Our policy is that no student gets to say no unless one of the chaperone teachers has discussed the trip with them and their families,” said Mary. “Sometimes it’s because they believe their parents will say no due to cost. When we follow up with the parents and reassure them we have ample scholarships, they say yes.”