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The WOW - Wonderful Outdoor World - program began in Los Angeles, California in 1995. The City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks was the first to offer the WOW Program to Inner-city youths, ages 7-12 years of age. WOW introduces youth to outdoor recreation and environmental education during an overnight camping experience within the heart of their own community. This innovative approach reduces the apprehension many young people face when camping outdoors for the first time and provides them with the basic skills and encouragement to enjoy further outdoor experiences.
Presenters representing various agencies and organizations teach the WOW curriculum, which includes map reading, animal adaptations, astronomy, plants, ecosystems, and fishing.
Instructional activities at WOW include:
Since 1995, over 9,000 inner-city youths have had the opportunity to participate in the City of Los Angeles WOW Program. Today, the WOW Program has expanded nationwide to Arizona, Colorado, Washington DC, and Utah.