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 56 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

"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

3 months 2 weeks ago
By Briana Okyere Asked why she feels it's important to expose young people to the natural environment and the great outdoors, Tucson elementary school teacher Cheryl Walling, above, responds with a John Muir quote from his 1912 book, The Yosemite: "Everybody needs beauty as well as...
3 months 2 weeks ago
By Briana Okyere Asked why she feels it's important to expose young people to the natural environment and the great outdoors, Tucson elementary school teacher Cheryl Walling, above, responds with a John Muir quote from his 1912 book, The Yosemite: "Everybody needs beauty as well as...
3 months 2 weeks ago
By Stacy Bare, Sierra Club Outdoors Director Please join us in our excitement over a new name for our beloved ICO program. As of July 1, we are no longer Inner City Outings. We are Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors. The acronym ICO and the mission -- to provide opportunities for people (...
3 months 2 weeks ago
By Stacy Bare, Sierra Club Outdoors Director Please join us in our excitement over a new name for our beloved ICO program. As of July 1, we are no longer Inner City Outings. We are Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors. The acronym ICO and the mission -- to provide opportunities for people (...