Trips for Kids Phoenix is a non-profit organization that values healthy lifestyles, the need to protect and appreciate our environment, and empowering youth to take personal responsibility for their lives and the communities in which they live. Our goal is to team up with local agencies to provide positive, fun outdoor experiences utilizing the challenge and joy of mountain biking along with community service and educational opportunities to reach disadvantaged youth (ages 10-17) who might not otherwise have these opportunities.
Trips for Kids Phoenix partners with other organizations such as the Phoenix Police Department (Gang Resistance and Education and Training Program) and Youth Groups form the Gila River Indian Reservation to take kids ages 10-17 mountain biking.)
Trips for Kids Phoenix works with the kids to help them gain confidence and progress with their abilities. This program is a bully-free zone and the kids organically begin to cheer one another on as the day goes on. The day mountain bike trips give the kids the opportunity to be kids and to just enjoy life. Most of them come from horrible home environments with little support or encouragement. The rides give the kids the opportunity to be cheered on by their peers and to teach the other new riders skills they have learned.
Trips for Kids Mountain Bike Ride Program
Across the nation, kids who live in an inner city or who come from low-income families are faced with more challenges than ever before. Lacking a positive physical outlet, drugs often become the answer to stress and frustration. Conflict resolution is approached through gang membership and a chance to accomplish goals is, more often than not, completely ignored.
A mountain bike is the tool we will use to address these issues because kids and bikes are a natural combination. Many of us remember riding around the neighborhood as a kid, getting a flat and putting away our bikes until our parents could bring it to a shop. Our sense of freedom that those two wheels instilled was now gone. As a result of this affinity, the bicycle allows us to share the great outdoors while teaching skills and a number of valuable life lessons to youth from inner cities. Our rides will provide challenges and the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and become involved in a lifelong career and sport. After the ride, we reflect on the personal lessons learned and encourage all of the kids to apply these lessons to other aspects.
“I had one of the best times I have ever had in a long time.” Dakota age 14 (TFK PHX)
The kids who will come on our Trips for Kids Phoenix rides will come from areas where riding around the neighborhood” is not an option and most so not have access to bikes. Getting out of the confines of the city and having a good old-fashioned fun time is valuable for youth who are constantly surrounded by pavement, drugs and violence. In this environment, kids will be given the chance to just be kids again. And a one-to-three ratio of volunteers to youth means that each child will receive special attention and support from a caring adult.
“The value of educating children through outdoor experiences cannot be overstated.
Recent studies reveal that not only does outdoor, hands-on environmental education
enhance performance all academic subjects, it provides students with vital life tools. Improvement can be seen in persistence in tasks, communication skills, working in groups and even thinking about the environment is as important as teaching them to read and write.” This is what the Sierra Club has to say about environmental education.
Of course, kids have fun on a mountain bike, but we also use this opportunity to teach concepts that will be of lasting value. Environmental Education is an important part of Trips for Kids Phoenix, in addition to lessons in personal challenge and self-esteem. Bikes are a great opportunity to teach kids about a number of pertinent issues. Our goals are to teach: 1. Appreciation of the outdoors so that children will care for it. 2. An understanding that each person CAN make a difference within his/her environment.