Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Carter Smith

City Kids Adventures
May 22, 2014

I.      Summary:  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith will introduce Leon McNeil who will brief the Commission on City Kids Adventures, a San Antonio nonprofit focused on at risk students ages 7-17.

II.    Discussion:  With a mission of “Introducing inner-city youth to a world beyond their communities” and a motto of “Hard work has many rewards,” City Kids Adventures (CKA) fosters a family-like environment for at-risk children and helps to instill in them the important values of a positive work ethic, responsibility, accountability, discipline, high moral character and educational success. It is a year-round commitment for all participants, about 150 in a given year, where the older kids help mentor the younger ones and kids are expected to stay involved beyond high school.

A hallmark of CKA is that everything must be earned through achievements in school, athletics, relationships and service. The reward is the chance to travel and to participate in outdoor recreational activities like fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing and kayaking, swimming and learning about nature.  On each outing, students are expected to give something back in the form of a work project to leave the place better than they found it.

Mr. McNeill will discuss the fundamental principles of City Kids Adventures are (1) family first (2) meaningful positive relationships (3) instill discipline and moral character (4) provide unique outdoor recreational opportunities for inner-city youth (5) stress the importance of education through outdoor participation.