The vision for Venture Free was formed from a desire to pass on my love for outdoor activity and ensure that our planet is well cared for and loved by our kids and future generations. With the significant increase in screens and technology in children’s lives, and the decline of natural outdoor spaces, I felt it was necessary to not just get kids outside, but to foster opportunities that allow them to build strong personal connections with the natural world, ensuring a future generation dedicated to adventure and stewardship.
While the goal sounds simple; get kids outside, the benefits are much broader. Growing up as a wild mountain child, I can personally attest to the empowering effect outdoor experiences have on a developing mind and body. Being active outdoors is important for kids; fresh air, physical activity. Outdoor experiences shape the confidence that we use in all aspects of life. Outdoor adventure promotes improvising, problem solving and risk assessment. Unstructured free play in a screen-free environment promotes imagination as well as decision making and communication skills.
Our camps are not just an opportunity for kids to have a whole lot of FUN, but allow for important developmental milestones to take place while making sure that our children are familiar and connected to the natural, beautiful, and exciting world around them.
- Emily Dellinger, Founder
Venture Free was founded and began its first program in fall 2014, with a total of 5 energetic children and 1 enthusiastic and devoted outdoorswoman as counselor. In 2017, the IRS accepted our 1023 application and Venture Free became the Venture Free Foundation! By the end of 2019, our single counselor has grown into a team of 4 year-round staff and an additional 6 seasonal counselors. And, the number of past and present campers that we have been fortunate to adventure with has grown from 5 to over 350!