In partnership with the Roanoke Outside Foundation and Total Action for Progress (TAP), Roanoke Parks and Recreation is excited to be entering the fourth year of the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC). This program focuses on engaging youth aged 11-13 in the City of Roanoke and making outdoor recreation more accessible, regardless of socioeconomic background. The goal of the OAC is to foster life-long engagement with nature, stewardship, and community among youth.

Program Details

This 8-month program offers one-on-one mentoring, transportation, instruction, and appropriate gear at no cost to the participants. This zero-entry fee helps eliminate the financial barriers to the outdoors for youth.  The 2022 program will run from April through November and include two local camping trips.

Tentative 2022 Schedule:

April 23/24: Camping Basics
May 14: Mountain Biking
June 11: Standup Paddleboarding
July 16: Caving or Fishing
August 13: Kayaking or Tubing
September 10: Hiking and Raptor Migration Viewing
October 1: Rock Climbing
November 5/6: End of Season Campout

Program Background

Outdoor Explorers 2017

In 2017, the Roanoke Outside Foundation partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters (now a branch of TAP) to create the Outdoor Explorers Program. This program provided children ages 8-10 in  underrepresented communities access to the outdoors through activities and mentorship. Roanoke Parks and Recreation participated in providing activities for this program and wanted to expand it. In order to continue giving these kids a chance to interact with the important outdoor resources the region offers the Outdoor Adventure Club was created in late 2018. This program aimed to give 11-13 year old youths the opportunity to expand their skillset and experience the joys of nature and outdoor recreation. Grant funded for our first three years, as we enter our fourth year the OAC will be receiving sustained funding through the City. This successful fiscal step forward allows us to dedicate more time, energy, and resources to expanding the program and focusing on our participants and less time searching for grant funding.

Get Involved

Love the outdoors? Interested in making an impact in a child’s life? Become a mentor for the Outdoor Adventure Club! Mentors are paired with a child from the community and will have opportunities to participate in group outdoor activities together once a month. Gear will be provided by Roanoke Parks and Recreation, so you as a mentor can focus on making a positive impact on your mentee’s life. Activities start in April, but the application process starts now.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Email and OUTDOOR ADVENTURES in the subject line.


For more specific questions about the program, please contact Matt Allenbaugh at or Susan Herndon-Powell at