Inspiring Connections Outdoors

ICO: Inspiring Connections Outdoors

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 53 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!

Testimonials

"[On my trip] we were restoring trails….and it was a huge accomplishment when we were done. I feel that this experience changed my life because now I am more interested in wilderness and want to preserve it. It is going to be up to my generation to preserve it for the future."
Check out his YouTube video about how Chicago ICO and National Outings trip experiences!
—Leopaldo Hernandez, Chicago participant, soon to be leader.

 

"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

5 days 4 hours ago
This past weekend I had the pleasure of whitewater rafting with a group of veterans from the InnVision Shelter Network. Right at the peak of a nasty heat wave, we got to spend the day floating along the south fork of the American River. Sierra Club’s Military Outdoors program organized these trips...
3 weeks 4 days ago
Take part in the first Sierra Club Outdoors National Conference at Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden, California, in the northern Sierra Nevada. Join Sierra Club leaders and experts from partner organizations to share inventive ideas to help you better connect people to the outdoors. Topics include...
3 weeks 4 days ago
Book your reservation by Monday, August 24!!Take part in the first Sierra Club Outdoors National Conference at Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden, California, in the northern Sierra Nevada. Join Sierra Club leaders and experts from partner organizations to share inventive ideas to help you better...
2 months 4 weeks ago
The first annual Sierra Club Outdoors National Conference will be held this October 2-4 at Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden, CA.  During the two days together, we plan to have motivated members and community members from across the country come together to share fresh and invigorating ideas, learn...
3 months 3 weeks ago
Here at The Planet, ­we tend to write a lot about the Sierra Club’s ICO (Inspiring Connections Outdoors) program. A volunteer-run network of trip leaders and partnered schools and social organizations, ICO has done an exemplary job of connecting children from low-income backgrounds with natural...