Program Goals

  • Actively engage people in the outdoors through outdoor activities, including backpacking, car camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, rafting, service projects, skating, skiing, sledding, etc
  • Promote appreciation and protection of the natural environment through outdoor adventures and environmental education;
  • Create opportunities through outdoor experiences for personal growth and life style change, outdoor skills and leadership development;
  • and foster respect of self, others, and the environment.

Our 52 volunteer-run ICO groups nationwide conduct more than 900 outings for approximately 14,000 participants each year. By introducing participants to the transformative power of nature, ICO serves a key function within the Sierra Club and supports John Muir's assertion that people who experience wilderness firsthand are much more likely to preserve it for future generations.

Find a group near you!


"Sharing the beauty of nature with someone for the first time and seeing the smile on their face is the best feeling. It really inspires me when young people from our participant groups become involved with ICO to help share their experiences with others and become amazing trip leaders."
Watch his video.
—Vinny Abeygunawardena, ICO Raft Guide and Leader
"I have not been on another field trip where the students keep talking about their experience so much, where they grow as people and leaders so visibly, and where they are authentically willing to share their experiences and educate others of what they saw and learned, from the beauty that is California. I am looking forward to going on my eighth hike this year with the Sierra Club and can’t imagine my school year without this amazing adventure."
—Mr. Kevin Hill, teacher at St. Raymond School in Downey, CA

From our Blog

18 hours 7 min ago
I was first introduced to the Sierra Club as a 23 year old participant on a rafting trip with Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) -formerly Inner City Outings. There are fifty five ICO groups across the country and each group collaborates with community partners to go outdoors with people who may...
1 week 5 days ago
On Saturday, June 21st, Sierra Club Military Outdoors and the Bureau of Land Management hosted the "America's Heroes and America's Public Lands event at the BLM's Meadowood facility in Virginia. Steve Ellis, BLM Deputy Director, John Ruh, BLM Eastern States Director, Dan Chu,...
1 month 1 hour ago
Our adventure began with a barrage of challenges from our Sierra Club coordinator being detained, and the death of my (fully packed) van’s fuel pump 90 miles into the 200+ mile trip to Camp Lejeune. In classic Sierra Club style, these challenges were overcome, with me experiencing a much needed...
1 month 2 weeks ago
By Briana Okyere Joy Mayfield has been with the Nashville Inner City Outings program since its inception in 2007, and has watched the program cultivate an appreciation for the environment in the minds of the youth in her community. "I had looked into starting an Inner City Outings (ICO...
2 months 2 weeks ago
By Briana Okyere Debby Rudy's love affair with the environment began in the summer of 1996 when she attended a local meeting of the Pennsylvania Sierra Club, "I felt a need to be among more kindred spirits," she claims. Debby, above at left, found those kindred spirits in two...