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Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation Names New Chairman
August 10, 2021
DALLAS – Aug. 10, 2021 –Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, the leading provider of outdoor skill, safety and conservation curriculum to schools nationwide, has named Kyle Shidler as its new chairman, continuing its amazing track record of adding outdoor education curriculum to high schools, middle schools and elementary schools across the country.
“I’m humbled and extremely excited to assume the role of chairman of Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation,” said Shidler, who previously served as board vice chair.
“We have a board and a team that is dedicated to becoming the preeminent outdoor education organization in the country. Our mission is to get kids engaged in the outdoors through a hands-on learning experience and to promote conservation of wildlife. With 100 new schools adding our program to their curriculum last year, we’re looking to double that in the next calendar year on a path to 1,000 schools in over 44 states.”
To help make that goal a reality, OTF has hired its first Outdoors Adventure Coordinator, Tari Garner. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Garner has extensive experience in physical education and in teaching OTF’s Outdoors Adventure curriculum.
“I’ve seen firsthand the benefits the Outdoors Adventure program offers to students,” Garner said. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity and challenge of seeing OA in more and more schools from coast to coast.”
The Outdoor Adventures program is a fun, interactive course where students are taught lifelong skills using an integrated, 34-unit curriculum comprised of math, science, writing and critical thinking skills. The 290 detailed lesson plans cover angler education, archery, hunter education, boater education, orienteering, survival skills, camping, outdoor cooking, challenge courses, backpacking, mountain bike camping, paddle sports, rock climbing, shooting sports, CPR/first aid and fauna, flora and wilderness medicine. OA teachers can pick units specific to their region and local ecosystems.
“I’m excited to look to the future where leaders like Kyle and Tari will bring outdoor education and conservation to boys and girls in hundreds and hundreds of schools,” said Executive Director Sean McLelland. “OTF has never been better positioned to move ahead.”
Shidler has long been active in both the Dallas business and conservation communities. He is the retired chief operating officer of Capital One Home Loans, and in addition to serving two years on the OTF board, he served on the board of the North Texas Food Bank and with an organization committed to preserving the Snake River ecosystem.
Garner has served as an instructor and as director of faculty and staff wellness at Kansas State University. She also was president of the Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educators and regional president of SHAPE, the Society of Health and Physical Educators.
Founded in 1981 in Dallas, Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. For many schools, grant money offsets the cost of the program, plus OTF offers matching funds for equipment as new schools join. The resulting classes can be taught as a P.E. course, local elective or with agricultural science and wildlife management.
The Outdoor Adventures education program is offered in 700 schools in 44 states nationwide with more than 75,000 students participating each year and 350,000 program graduates. Each OA student spends 180 hours learning outdoor education per year. The program has totaled 11 million classroom hours of outdoor education to date.
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Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation
Since 1981, the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation (OTF) has made its mission to teach outdoor education and promote wildlife conservation through the Outdoor Adventures program, currently in 700 schools across the country. The curriculum, impacting more than 350,000 students since it began, is accessed by 75,000 students annually in 44 states, including archery, shooting, fishing, camping, first aid, boater safety, hunter education, outdoor cooking and more. The OTF also provides grants for equipment, free workshops and teacher training and is accredited by state parks and wildlife commissions from each state. More info about Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, and how to bring the Outdoor Adventure curriculum to a school near you, go to gootf.com.