Welcome to AT MYLE




WHO WE ARE:

In the last fifty years, each new generation of Americans has become less connected with the natural world. Appalachian Trail Millennial Youth-Led Expeditions (AT MYLE), a project of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), seeks to reverse this trend by supporting 16-30 year olds in developing long-distance relayed outing trips for their families and communities.

 AT MYLE was born out of C&NN’s Natural Leaders Network (NLN). Since its inception in 2008, NLN has had a proven track record of success and of providing leadership tools to a diverse set of millennials; its mission is to empower a worldwide youth movement to strengthen the bond between children and nature. Both AT MYLE co-directors serve on its national core team, which has laid the foundation for the organization, built a national and international identity, and developed a Natural Leaders Toolkit to help their peers have the skills to connect youth to the outdoors. 


Where We Are Going:

 In 2013, AT MYLE will offer a pilot relay “thru-hike” to groups that normally do not go hiking. This pilot project will cover approximately 30% of the Appalachian Trail. Its objectives will be to test difficult sections of the AT and to promote the project’s full launch.

 Each week, groups of youth and families will hike a segment of the AT with 3 leaders: a community organizer, a regional trail guide, and a Natural Leader who will be trained by the Children & Nature Network’s NLN Legacy Camp. These teams will hike 4-8 miles a day and participate in ongoing environmental education and stewardship activities. Collectively, they will represent all definitions of the word “diversity” including geographic, ethnic, racial, economic, religious, and linguistic groups. Furthermore, K-12 students and older youth, as well as young professionals & families, will participate through related programs, thus making the event widely accessible.

 In 2014, the full project will be launched, and the groups will cover 100% of the Appalachian Trail. Participants from each section will feel part of this larger accomplishment by following their fellow groups’ progress through various online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and AT MYLE website blogs. These blogs will provide a “story” for non-hikers to follow along with the event. It is envisioned that this project could be replicated on other long-distance trails and linear parks throughout the nation.