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The vision of The Woods Project is that one day all students will have the social and emotional skills required for success in school and life. Our mission is to create wilderness education and exploration experiences that develop critical behaviors needed for disadvantaged students to achieve success in school and life.
The Woods Project runs weekend trips at different sites near Houston and a 2-week summer trip at national parks around the country. Our trips include everything from backpacking to canoeing and kayaking to pulling invasive species or planting trees for service projects. We combine students from different high schools who come out with their teachers to enjoy the woods, meet new people and develop strong leadership skills and confidence. We coordinate all of the programming and activities so that our volunteers can come out to help supervise and just enjoy interacting with the students.
All of our trips are run by volunteers and we strongly believe in the power of our volunteers to serve as mentors to help change a student's life. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from 22-78 years old. Our volunteers often find that their lives are changed just as much as a student's life when they join us on a trip.
The Woods Project began in 2006 when our founder and president, Steve Rosencranz, led a group of 11 students from KIPP Houston High School on a ten-day trip to Yosemite National Park. Since that first trip, our program has grown to now include year-round events - we run after-school programs at several different high schools in Houston, we lead 5-6 weekend trips around Houston in the spring and fall, and we run a 2-week long summer trip where we take Houston students to different national parks and forests around the country.