VICTORIA – BC Parks is accepting applications for its innovative youth leadership program Get Outside BC. Piloted in 2011, Get Outside BC was the first of its kind in Canada. Forty youth aged 14-18 from across the province will be selected to participate in this year’s summer program.

Get Outside BC helps youth develop outdoor skills and build the confidence and leadership skills to inspire other youth to appreciate and spend time in parks.

The program begins with a youth leadership summit at the North Vancouver Outdoor School in Squamish July 3-7. Youth will participate in a variety of skill development workshops including outdoor safety and trip planning, bear awareness training and camping, and learning how to inspire others and plan events.

BC Parks has provided $80,000 to fund Get Outside BC over two years. In its second year, Get Outside BC 2012 is a collaborative project between BC Parks, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC), in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Child and Nature Alliance.

Youth who participated in last year’s program said the summit alone met or exceeded their expectations and all would participate in the program again if given the opportunity.

Youth can apply online until May 7, 2012 at www.getoutsidebc.ca