2007 Annual Report - Big City Mountaineers
2007 Year in Review
From Mark Godley, Executive Director
79-28. An embarrassing rout. On a Wednesday night in December, much past my
bedtime, I found myself winching as I watched a couple college students punish
another team in the finals of an intramural basketball tournament at Cal State
– East Bay. Although I felt guilty in cheering every time a turnover resulted in a fastbreak which resulted in yet another well choreographed hoop, my cheering wasn’t
for the team running up the score but for the young man running the floor. I had
met Tommy 6 years ago on a BCM trip to Yosemite and the same beaming smile
and howl that was echoing off the gymnasium wall today had been what I first
noticed about him back then.
Tommy has gone out of his way to stay in touch with me over the years and I have
found his resilience, optimism and outlook nothing short of inspiring. Without
a family to provide the typical safety net, Tommy had spent his late teen years
surviving lower on Maslow’s hierarchy than many of us. Keeping a roof over his
head, a few coins in his pocket, and some food in his stomach have occupied
most of his last few years. Whatever his circumstance though, his focus whenever
we spoke or saw each other was always about me and BCM rather than his
fragile circumstances. He would always want to know how BCM was going, and
how my wife and kids were doing rather than dwell on his situation. It was only
through careful and respectful prodding that I would find out the latest potentially
life-altering hurdle he had just artfully avoided or was currently facing. Despite
wave after wave of challenges, Tommy has stayed committed to getting his college
degree and rising above what life had thrown at him.
So to see Tommy near midnight flashing up and down the court as the
maestro of the pummeling of an opposing team during this basketball game
couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Every cry that erupted from his gut and
first pumping that followed another series of turnover-to-layup sequence
seems fittingly appropriate to anyone knowing Tommy’s background. Every
time a celebration poured out of him, I couldn’t help but see the symbolism
of his elation. Despite the odds, he was winning. Throw your best at Tommy,
because not only could he take it, he would flourish. 79-28 never felt so right,
so good, or so deserved.
Although Tommy’s particular circumstance is more dramatic than most BCM
teens, his story of success in the face of adversity is surprisingly common. In
2007, BCM was fortunate to work with over 250 teens, a 70% increase from
2006, and each one showed a resilience, optimism and an outlook for his/her
future that is nothing short of remarkable. Each left our program armed with a
few more skills and the ability to better address whatever hardship or challenge
might lie ahead for each of them.
I welcome you joining me in wishing that a few more of our teens manage some
glorious routs of their own.
With thanks for your continued involvement and support,
The Big City Mountaineers Program
The goal of Big City
is to provide urban
teenage youth with
designed to build
their beliefs about
themselves and their
Using the Search
has been shown to
improve our teens’
beliefs with regard
to positive values,
positive identity, and
BCM, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is devoted to providing significant mentoring during
wilderness trips for urban teens participating in existing youth development
programs. The core of the BCM program is a weeklong experience, the focus
of which is a five-day backpacking or canoeing trip with an equal number of
adult and teen participants of the same gender. While immersed in a pristine
wilderness in the company of caring adults, the teens progress along an
emotional journey using the framework of our TEAM curriculum. The primary
attributes which make the BCM program unique are: a focus on partnering
exclusively with youth organizations serving teens from economically or socially
depressed backgrounds; a single gender format; our commitment to an equal
ratio of teens to adults; and our heavy reliance on volunteers to deliver our
program in wilderness areas.
We choose to partner with existing youth development agencies rather than
sourcing the teens directly because we believe combined support and resources
better address the ongoing needs of under-resourced youth. BCM’s commitment
to an equal ratio of adults to teens is quite simply, for the sake of the teens. Many
of the youth that BCM works with do not have the kind of personal attention
from caring adults that they need and deserve. Our one-on-one format seeks
to provide the most personal interaction between team members and teens as
BCM relies heavily on volunteers to deliver the bulk of our programming while
in the backcountry. We are able to do this safely and effectively because of our
TEAM concept by which individuals are evaluated, trained and assigned to a
trip where their particular skills will be best utilized and complimented by the
other participants. While teams differ slightly in how all roles are fulfilled, each
includes: a Team Leader (who has extensive experience leading groups in the
wilderness); a Youth Leader (who is a staff member of the youth organization and
has an existing relationship with the teens); and several Team Members (adult
volunteers who have been indentified as being an appropriate fit for the BCM
BCM has been delivering programs to at-risk teens since 1989. With the
continued support of our youth agency partners, volunteers, donors, sponsors,
and many others, we hope to continue to touch the lives of more teens for years
East Oakland Boxing
East Oakland Youth
Girls, Inc. of
Male Involvement Program
Real Options for
Urban Services YMCA
A Kidz Hope
Colorado I Have a
for a Change
Lost and Found, Inc.
and Girls Club
Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Portland
Boys and Girls Club
of King County
Boys and Girls Club
of Dane County
Rawhide Boys Ranch
It was a
Yosemite National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Sierra National Forest
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
White River National Forest
Gunnison National Forest
Superior National Forest / Boundary
Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest
Wenatchee National Forest
*BCM operates on both USDA Forest Service and
National Park Service land via Special Use Permits.
Youth Program Locations
2007 Trip Stats
Gender of teens
East Palo Alto, CA
Redwood City, CA
San Leandro, CA
San Fracisco, CA
San Diego, CA
Colorado Springs, CO
Boundary Waters 54
Volunteers, funders, and others
sometimes garner the courage to ask
us a question that is on everyone’s
mind, ‘How do you really know this
BCM stuff works?’ Teens leave our
program excited, happy and thankful,
but couldn’t this just be an ‘emotional
high’ of some sort? Isn’t BCM just a
‘fun’ experience rather than our claim
of youth development? For the past
three years BCM has been working
hard to scientifically assess the exact
impact of our program on our teen
participants, using one of the most
widely recognized, third-party youth
development measurement systems.
It is extremely exciting and
encouraging to report that for the third
year in a row, the results of the 40
Development Assets survey of our
teen participants are convincing
and real. BCM teens are leaving
our program with a new vision of
themselves and their relationships with
others, the exact goals of the mission
that our program was designed to
serve for close to twenty years ago.
As impressive as our results might be,
a concern we often have is the lasting
impact of the BCM experience on our
teen participants after they leave our
program. During 2007, BCM took the
bold step of surveying post-program
teens a second time, 3-4 months after
they ended their BCM relationship.
With over a 35% response rate to
this post-program survey, its results
were equally impressive – we saw little
waning of impact across the
categories that saw positive results
while teens were in the BCM program.
Our organization will continue
to hold itself of gauging impact
using nationally-recognized, youth
development methodologies while
using the resulting data to make
deliberate and purposeful future
Want to learn more? Feel free to
download the entire measurement
outcomes report at the BCM website.
“I felt like
the adults and
teens on the
trip were part
of my family.”
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS MODEL
Use of Time
Positive family communication
Other adult relationships
Caring school climate
Parent involvement in schooling
Community values youth
Youth as resources
Service to others
Adult role models
Positive peer influence
Time at home
Family life provides high levels of love and support.
Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s).
Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
Young person experiences caring neighbors.
School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.
Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Young people are given useful roles in the community.
Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.
Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
School provides clear rules and consequences.
Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.
Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.
Bonding to school
Reading for pleasure
Equality and social justice
Planning and decision making
Peaceful conflict resolution
Sense of purpose
Positive view of personal
Young person is motivated to do well in school.
Young person is actively engaged in learning.
Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
Young person cares about her or his school.
Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
Young person places high value on helping other people.
Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.”
Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.
T0P 3 BCM IMPACT
Program Growth 2007 was a hugely successful year for BCM
in terms of program delivery. We were able to involve over 250
young people in our weeklong summer programs, a 70% increase
from 2006. During 2007 BCM also completed the transition from
measuring our program delivery in terms of “trips” to the more
sophisticated system of “program days”. Using program days as
our standard for measuring growth, we saw a 50% increase in
program days delivered from 2006.
Teen Employment Program Building on the success of our teen
employment initiative in 2006, we are excited to announce that we
hired 28 alumni teens this year for 3 specialized roles within the
organization during 2007:
Program Coordinator Our six Program Coordinators
in Oakland and Chicago worked alongside BCM
staff throughout the summer to conduct orientation
meetings with local youth programs, organize gear, and
support trip staging.
Peer Leader Our Peer Leader program was significantly
improved in 2007 and employed 17 alumni BCM youth
who took on increased responsibility and leadership
in the field during our summer weeklong programs. In
order to ensure that they took the role seriously, Peer
Leaders this year were formally evaluated by their
Team Leaders and asked to attend trips with youth and
youth organizations other than their own. The changes
to the Peer Leader role were successful and the role is
expected to be further expanded in 2008.
Summer Intern This position was created in response to
the HQ move into downtown Denver and the desire to
give alumni youth more opportunities to learn skills and
take on increased responsibility within BCM. In 2007
we hired five summer interns in Denver to help both
BCM & Summit For Someone HQ staff with summer
program delivery, as well as outreach, fundraising,
administrative and creative projects. The internship
role was very well received and is expected to expand
into a year round internship position in 2008.
Regional, Community-based Staff The BCM program staff grew
to an all-time high this summer with the inclusion of several parttime seasonal positions throughout the country. As BCM’s program
has grown throughout the country, our strategy of hiring local
staff within the communities we operate has become an effective
strategy to maintain the quality of our program and supplement
much of our work that is centralized in our Colorado office. Huge
thanks to Adam, Bernie, Beth, Christina, Lloyd, Matt and Sarah for
your work this past year!
New Headquarters Facility As BCM continues to grow and
focus our efforts on creating local hubs that better serve the
communities in which we work, the need for the national office
to move closer to Denver became apparent. In April of this year,
we signed a 3-year lease and moved into our new home at 1667
Vine Street in Denver’s City Park West neighborhood. Our new
office has made interacting with our youth agency partners and
teen participants much easier. We are thrilled to be here and
invite anyone who happens to be in the neighborhood to stop in
and visit us.
Expanding ‘Professional’ Team Leaders In 2006 BCM began
the gradual shift from 100% volunteer-led programs towards
a model which compensates Team Leaders for the significant
responsibility that BCM places on them. In 2007, BCM took it
another step further with the addition of a “Professional Team
Leader” category to attract individuals with professional outdoor
leadership experience. While less than 30% of 2007 programs
were led by Team Leaders that have significant professional
experience, it is expected that in future years “professionals” will
be leading all of our trips. In order for BCM not to lose some of
the extremely valuable and skilled individuals who have led our
programming for years, we will be working diligently in 2008 to
create a process for current Team Leaders to receive the training
necessary to migrate to the ‘professional’ criteria.
External Risk Management Audit As part of our continued
commitment to ensuring the safety of all participants during BCM
programs, we undertook an external safety audit during the 2007
program season, a decision that is unusual for an organization
of our small size. The audit looked at our current policies and
practices, compared them to industry best practices and
methodologies common in organizations significantly larger than
ourselves and made recommendations on improvements. Much
of our work during 2008 will be focused on incorporating this
extremely valuable direction.
Functional Use of Funds
> If you are interested in more finacial information on BCM, please visit www.guidestar.org for copies of our annual IRS returns
Teens Served Annually
Annual Program Days
Annual Program Days
Amy Vanden Heuval
Jorge de Leon
Mike Keglovits, Sr.
Alison van Dusen
Lee Ann Reich
Pete and Barb Barton
Pam & Stan Morgan
4th Annual Creative Expressions
Contest Winners — Youth
TEN THOUSAND FEET AND BEYOND
Bright lights, quiet nights
Taking pictures of the beautiful sights
I could not believe we were there
At the top inhaling the clean air
Up hill and down hill
We felt pain that was real
Ten thousand feet and beyond
Made it to the summit and became strong
At night laughter in the tent
Telling secrets, becoming friends
Scared at first, brave in the end
Conquered our fears thanks to BCM
Tears flowed and smiles faded
But as a team we made it
Now its over we ran to the finish
Our fears and worries are diminished
Comfort zones were stretched
We will be and are the best
Don’t tell us we can’t cause we know we can
Believe in yourself and you can be like us
Mountaineers from EOYDC
On behalf of the 2007 EOYDC Girls Trip – by Jasmine Williams
When I first found out I was going to BCM, I was excited, scared, and
very doubtful. Excited because I have never been on a backpacking trip
before, and I knew that it would be a great experience for me. I was scared
because, I didn’t know anything about the wilderness. I was also afraid of
all the bugs and animals. I also had high doubts for myself. I told myself I
couldn’t make it up the mountain or do anything, for I was so out of shape.
When we got on the trail and started hiking, I felt weak and like I couldn’t
do anything. As we kept going along the trail, I got stronger and stronger. It
was then I made my first turn around. I ended up being one of the strongest
youth that went on the trip. I became stronger mentally and physically. As
the days went by, I got to learn more about the people I was hiking with. I
learned that Yehoshua Jackson has played the piano all of his life. I learned
that Brandon Amos can seem rough, but he is a nice guy who has big future
ahead of him. I learned that Adarious Payton would like to go to college with
me in the future.
What I learned from BCM is that everybody did not come from the same
back round, and that I have no right to judge anybody. I also learned that
patience is a virtue. I learned that you can’t do everything on your own.
I learned that you are who you are. I learned that I don’t have to try and
impress people. If a person doesn’t like me, then they just don’t like me. The
last thing I learned is that I can do every single thing, if I just put my mind
to it. I had high doubts for me when we started hiking, but by the end of the
day I was so confident in myself I wanted to do it again! I will never doubt
I would like to thank Ms. Regina for giving me the opportunity to go on
BCM. Also The Directorial Staff for also choosing me. I will never forget
BCM, and I would love to do it again!
Adult Essay Contest Winner
Amy Blum, Volunteer
The air was swirling with scents of Evergreen,
pine, fern, the Sequoia, by the harsh, dry smell
of granite, and of dirt that had sparsely been
touched by trampling little hiking boots. At our
final campsite, these smells stepped into a tango
with burning campfires and propane stoves and
the body odor of our fellow resting and weary
On past backpacking trips, when the day was
done I always set down my pack and listened to
the birds, to the wind rustling through the leaves
and branches that stretched miles above my
head. I’d look widely at the vast, naked world that
was so accepting of my presence, and I breathed
in the life around me.
Through the powers of assumption and past
experience, I understood the dance of smells and
sights around me then, and deep within my mind
I was smiling with gratitude, feeling comforted
by the raw earthy aromas that nature’s home
It was at that moment, however, when we
set our backpacks down and unloaded our
exhaustion, that my senses of the outside world
failed me – failed me with gusto – and instead
of taking in my environment through a long,
satisfying inhale, my body let itself out. Blood
began to trickle, blocking any chances I had
to sniff and smell sweet Mother Earth; it came
down the left nostril first but was quickly joined
by the right one. I felt the subtle cool wetness as
it escaped my nose and I hoped it was just my
allergies catching up to me. But my hope was
abruptly dismantled when I touched my finger to
my upper lip then saw the sweaty red color wiped
across it. It was my third bloody nose in two
Moreover, I regret to say that I could not
sense the breeze that worked its way through
the foliage, although I knew it was there. My
skin, along with my nose, was distracted. It was
focused on an invading army of welts and hives
thanks to the switchback trail being overrun with
thorny, poisonous bushes a mile or more deep
back up the trail. My body ached and burned and
itched as a result, and my nose was still bleeding.
The women with me – four brave teens and
three courageous adults – dropped their loads
and cheered at the day’s successes. I sensed
their pride, or maybe I assumed it, but I couldn’t
see their faces, for my own eyes were suddenly
clouded and watery. I squeezed my eyelids in
hope of clarity, but it prompted salty tears to
release down my cheeks, only to pause at the
corner of my mouth to where the blood from
my nose also streamed. The only luxury of
the moment was that I was able to wipe it all
away with the cuff of my shirt in one swift and
The experience felt foreign to me, I was
entirely out of my element. I was supposed to
be the strong and sturdy one, the experienced
one, the one who laughingly mocked and danced
around blisters and fatigue and the typical
challenges in the backcountry. I couldn’t explain
myself, so I tilted my cap down to cover up the
confused emotion pouring down my face.
One of the girls sitting across from me, the one
who was bearing six blisters on her feet and had
encountered her greatest fear of rattlesnakes a
mere three times, took notice of my coy behavior.
“Amy! Are you okay?!”
Two days earlier I woke up before anyone’s
alarms on their wrist watches went off. I had
tucked my own watch somewhere deep into my
sleeping bag and I didn’t much care to dig it out
just to know the time.
As everyone slept, I crawled out of my tent
and silently walked away from our huddle of bare
necessities. One hundred yards away a swift
stream was escaping Lake Vernon and racing
south towards Hetch Hetchy. I walked with it,
escaping with it as the morning sun just barely
touched the western mountain tips.
I stopped a quarter mile down the way;
without my watch I was afraid I’d get too far away
when everyone else woke up, eager to go, and
panicking about my disappearance. I was far
enough away that I couldn’t see our campsite but
I could still sense all the girls dreaming.
At the river’s rocky edge I sat and listened
to the water moving, permanently in transition. I
smiled inward and breathed easily as I thanked
the Earth for the moment. Miles and miles away
from civilization, 8,000 feet above sea level, I was
all alone, expect of course for the company of
little wild, yellow daisies poking through the bed
of stone. All alone.
Somehow, still, I felt it wasn’t enough. I felt
burdened by the moment’s limitations because
I knew I’d very soon walk back to the tents to
check on the girls, to set up the stoves for some
oatmeal and hot chocolate, and continue a day
with seven uniquely strange, bounding, and
estrogen brimming women. The moment to myself
was simply not enough to renew me the way I
begged to be renewed. I asked myself, “If being
this far away doesn’t satisfy, what does it take?”
One week earlier my mom called me from
Michigan. I was walking through a crowded
festival in San Francisco when her voice shook
through the airwaves. “Hi, Sweetheart. Your…
your… your grandma passed this morning.”
My grandma had cancer throughout her body,
and had fought it for ten years. My family, all still
in Michigan, was expecting her departure, but
who is ever really prepared for another’s death?
“We’ll probably have her funeral on Friday,”
my mother whispered in between her cries and
pauses for breath. Friday was the day I planned to
leave for the BCM trip.
“What am I supposed to do, Mom?”
“Stay in California,” she told me, “you have to
be there for the girls. That’s what your grandma
would have wanted.”
So I cried.
And the tears met at the corner of my
mouth, diluting the dirty blood that my nose
emitted, and I wiped it all away with the cuff of
my shirt in one swift and embarrassed motion.
“Amy! Are you okay?!”
I shook my head to the right and the left
– no – then hung my head a little lower.
All the other girls steered their attention
“Awe! Amy!!” Their adolescent voices
reached out to me. They could see my state:
I was swollen with hives, bleeding, salting
the earth with my tears, and they knew I was
deep in my mourning.
It was then that I became the child and
the young girls morphed away from their
own discomfort, their barely worn hiking
shoes, their fresh angst, insecurity, and fear.
They reached out to me wholeheartedly with
comforting smiles, saying, “Oh! Amy!! It’ll be
Through my clouded eyes, I looked back
at the girls. Within the Evergreen and Pine,
the warm sun, the breeze, four inexperienced
teens forgot themselves and stretched pure
concern and care to me – an anonymous
adult in a delicate form. The other adults
watched silently, perhaps in awe of the
I raised my cap a bit more and let them
all see the raw emotion streaming out of
me. They witnessed my tears and blood,
uninhibited. Life never felt so real. So I
laughed, and the unbreakable girls, the
women - las potras - laughed, too.
The next day we set back towards Hetch
Hetchy Dam and to our old, civilized lives.
As we neared the dam our group broke out
in song… we echoed each other, “Flee!
(Flee!) Flee, fly! (Flee, fly!) Flee, fly, mosquito!
(Flee, fly, mosquito!) Oh no no, no more
mosquitoes!” and we smiled in unison.
Then through the dark tunnel in the
mountain that led to the end, with the
dam straight ahead of us, we laughed and
screamed and stepped toward the light.
It was what I needed to be renewed. It was
a rebirth for all of us.
Eight women set out into the woods
as crazed individuals, separated by fears
and worries, histories, and heavy, heavy
backpacks. At the end of a week we walked
out of the woods together as a new family of
horses; we nayed at our past insecurities, and
we endured everything we could thanks to
life, nature, and a whole lot of wisdom.
My personal perspective of my first BCM
trip started off painted by loss and separation.
But I’ve never felt as lucky as I did when I
ended the trip with the other girls’ fresh paint
added to my view, colored with love and
purity, strength and honest openness.
At the other end of the dam, I took off my
pack, breathed in and smelled the air swirling
with scents, I heard the birds and the wind,
and I saw the girls sensing the same things.
We shook our heads and we laughed.
< BCM Photo Contest Second Place
Bert Allen, Team Leader, Navarre, FL
BCM Photo Contest Third Place: Maggie McCormick, Volunteer, Denver, CO
• Program Safety & Quality – In 2007
BCM went through a voluntary safety audit
process in order to ensure the continued
safety and quality of our program for all
participants. The audit was a very positive
learning experience and will help BCM
focus our efforts in 2008 on those areas
for improvement illuminated in our external
audit. Our goal for 2008 is to strengthen
the commitment to regionally-based
programming and provide a more thorough
spectrum of program components to better
serve our youth and adult volunteers.
• Youth Employment – BCM’s youth
employment program was initiated in 2006
for BCM alumni youth to continue their
involvement with our organization as well
as provide important career-oriented life
skills experience. Over the last two years,
we have expanded the opportunities
available to youth from one position in 2006
to three different positions filled by over 20
different youth in 2007. 2008 should see
this program expand to new BCM program
geographies, as well as the positions
expand in both breadth and depth.
BCM Photo Contest Winner
Milad Yazpanadahm Youth Organization Leader, Oakland, CA
• Program Participant Training- In
2008, BCM will be greatly expanding the
scope of how we train each distinct program
participants (Team Leader, Team Member,
Youth Org Leader, Peer Leader and Youth).
Driven primarily by a newly created position
of Training Manager, BCM will be rethinking
how we can ensure that our expectations of
program curriculum and policies are properly
communicated, understood, and carried
out during all of our trips no matter what
venue or format. Although the content of
our training will most likely not be changing
much, the format of our delivery will take on
many new forms that BCM has not utilized
in prior years.
• Opening & Supporting a
Regional Office – BCM in prior years,
has successfully hired in prior years
seasonal, regional staff to augment the
work of our full time staff in Colorado. One
BCM region in particular, the San Francisco
Bay area, has grown large enough that it
warrants additional infrastructure to support
that growth. As of January 2008, BCM
has added full-time, year-round program
staff housed in a fully functioning office in
San Leandro, CA. This office, supported
by our headquarters staff in CO, will take
on a more autonomous role in volunteer
recruitment, youth agency relationships and
program delivery than regions without this
“The summit hike to Savage
Peak was awesome… it
gives every person a bliss
achievement feeling to say
‘I did it’ and the wonderful
feeling of being on top of the
world (or that world).”
The following essay is by Negou Seid, a 2007
Peer Leader and summer intern. Negou attended
his first BCM trip in 2006 with the Colorado I Have
a Dream Foundation and returned the next year to
stay involved with BCM.
eyes to the
My experience at Big City Mountaineers has been life-changing. My name is
Negou Seid and I am with the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation. Being in
this foundation gave me an opportunity to participate on a BCM trip last year.
I had never been on a backpacking trip before that, so I didn’t know what to
expect. The trip pushed me mentally and physically and at the end I felt I could
accomplish anything I put my mind into. From that day, I carried that mind
set and it really helped me through a rough school year. When I was given the
opportunity to work for BCM I was grateful, then I was excited when I heard I
would be able to go on another trip.
I went on a trip with a group of kids from Lost and Found; they were good
kids that had made some mistakes. Lost and Found is a home for kids that
are substance abusers, sexually abused, or have emotional and behavioral
My role on this trip was Peer Leader. I helped the teens and adults
communicate better and I really enjoyed talking with them and I think they
appreciated someone really listening. I believe that the teens got a great
experience out of it and it will help them down the road. The adults were also
impacted by the trip. For me, the trip this year was a lot tougher because of the
roles I played. This year I had to play two roles, meaning I was treated like an
adult by the adults while to the teens I was just another teen. As a Peer Leader
I had to help the Team Leader with helping the teens’ and adults’ packs, and I
was also involved in the conversation on deciding which trails to hike, whether
a trail is too dangerous or if the weather didn’t look good, what activities to
do and even which restaurants to go to. When it came to interaction with
teens, right away it was easy because they weren’t shy and they asked good
questions which the Team Leader let me answer. They were very respectful
with the adults and around me they were teens. The teens shared some of
their stories with me and why they ended up there, and they also shared their
plans of getting out of there. In the end I believe this trip helped really to open
everyone’s eyes to the beauty of nature and how even knowing the climbing
was difficult the end result justified it. I believe everyone is going to carry that
mindset into everything they do. We all knew none of that would be possible
without the support of Big City Mountaineers.
Who will YOU summit for?
Backpacker Magazine’s Summit for Someone (SFS) is a
benefit climb series that raises funds to help support Big City
Mountaineers’ national program. SFS came into existence in 2004
with the help of a local guide and six climbers eager to participate
in the grassroots fundraising program. The inaugural year of
SFS proved to be an overwhelming success. With the program’s
foundation in place, we have grown SFS beyond expectations
while maintaining a high standard of quality important to our
sponsors, guides, climbers, and donors.
The 2007 event series proved to be yet another leap forward for the
SFS program. With the support of Backpacker Magazine, we grew
the program from 130 climbers to 349 climbers, increased the number
of climb locations and continued to build and sustain our new and
returning sponsor relationships. SFS also saw some event ‘upgrades’
in 2007. Our equipment distribution was outsourced for the first time
to Planet Access Company in Waukegan, IL, and we introduced climb
events on Gannett Peak, Mt. Katahdin, and Mt. Shuksan.
What’s in store for 2008? To start, we’ve improved our event structure
once again with the introduction of a much more comprehensive
fundraising support system, added a tiered pledge obligation format
and are offering woman only and celebrity climbs. In addition, we’ve
launched a brand new website which dramatically increases our
ability to better serve our climbers. There is no doubt that 2008
should be our best year for participants in the Summit for Someone
benefit climb program.
Looking back, it’s hard not to reflect on the 2007 season and its
humbling results, due in part to the outpouring of support and
interest from climbers, guides, sponsors, and manufacturers.
As the 2008 season begins to get warmed up, we look forward
to continuing the growth and success of Summit for Someone,
allowing BCM to increase the quality of our unique program which
allows teens to experience the power of the wilderness coupled
with positive adult role models.
To learn more about Backpacker Magazine’s Summit for Someone
program, please visit www.summitforsomeone.org or contact BCM’s
Cause Marketing Manager, Andrea Schwartz, at 303-271-9200
xt.403 or [email protected]
Congratulations to the top SFS fundraisers!
The overall Top Fundraiser was Jonathan Dorn, bringing in a whopping $24,275! Also deserving of recognition are the
following fundraisers: Stephen Banta-$13,700, Tim Johnson-$13,180, Andrew Pfeffer- $9,838, Steven Burrows- $9,750
and Tom Hansen-$7,495!
Congratulations also to the incentive drawing winners who each receive a free Summit for Someone climb in 2008!
Those winners are John Sheppard, Curtis Zaun, Greg DuPey, Greg Christensen and Kevin Paretti.
“The fact that I could
someone's life for the
better and give them an
experience of a lifetime
is awesome. If any of
these individuals have
half the experience that
I had during my climb,
their lives will never
be the same. I cannot
say enough good things
about SFS, BCM,
RMI. This was truly an
experience. Thank you!”
– Mt. Rainier climber
“I was given an opportunity to meet some
great people, experience an awesome
adventure, and contribute to a worthy cause.
Who could ask for more than that?”
– SFS 07 Climber
Each climber raised a minimum
of $2900-$3500 for BCM
Jacob N. Cook
James B. Strickland
Kevin A Crow
Kirk S. Chapman
Scott A. McCay
Christopher R Keefe
Erik da Silva
Samuel Cody Fielden
Join Backpacker magazine as we climb 24 of North America’s iconic peaks to beneﬁt
Big City Mountaineers. Not only will you experience your choice of challenging,
professionally guided ascents, you’ll receive a mountain of free gear from our
sponsors. And, you’ll feel good knowing your efforts will help fund a life-changing
week in the wilderness for teens who need it most.
SIGN UP NOW AT SUMMITFORSOMEONE.ORG
©2008 BCM. All rights reserved. Summit For SomeoneTM is a fundraising program owned by and to beneﬁt Big City Mountaineers. BCM, a 501(c)(3) non-proﬁt, is a recreational mentoring program
for at-risk teens. SFS climbs are conducted with AMGA-certiﬁed guides with permits and approval of their respective land-management agencies. Photo courtesy of sierramountaineering.com.
The following individuals and companies donated at least $500 to a climber participating in a 2007 Summit for Someone Climb
A.V. Imports, Inc.
Allegis Group Foundation
Alston & Bird, LLP
America Endowment Foundation
Architectural Entertainment, Inc.
Argus Realty Investors, LLP
Bank of America Matching Gifts
Bank of America Matching Gifts
Banta, David & Stephanie
Bellanca, Anthony J.
Blue Cross & Blue Sheild
California Industrial Facilities Resource
Canyon Creek Financial, LLC.
Casella, Paul, Connie, & Gary
Clough, Eric and Jane
CMP Community Connection
Corporate Electric Services
Dahberg II, John
De Piper, Geret
Delta Fire Sprinklers, Inc.
Deutshe Bank America
Eastern Mountain Sports
Eldridge, N. Robert
Engles, Ann Deborah
Fannie Mae Foundation
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Gardner, Underwood & Bacon, LLC
Goldentree Asset Management
Green, Andrew Philip
Hoist Service Inc.
Hutton, Mike and Ellie
Icon Health & Fitness, Inc.
James Millis Jr. Fund
Johnson, James & Janice
Johnson, Rolland & Paula
Kelly Burns Photography
Lagrange Middle School
Land America Foundation
Levi Strauss Foundation
Maxwell, Grover & Jessica
McGrath, Joan & Bob
Mckesson Information Solutions, Inc.
Microsoft Matching Gifts
Montagna-Sparks, Mary V.
Mulvanny G2 Architects
Nolan Insurance Agency Inc.
Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral
Health Authority, Inc.
Patel, Daya & Pushpa
Rainier Investment Management
Raney, Mike & Sue
Ray Blaser Memorial Fund
Rieke, Kurt & Elizabeth
Riley, Darlene & Robin
Robinson, George & Anne
Rocco, Nate & Allison
Rotberg Comens Booth Foundation
Schonder, John F
SCI Real Estate Investments, LLC
Scudder, Darlene & Duane
All donors listed are for contributions during BCM’s fiscal year between October 1, 2006-September 31,2007.
Smart Choice Worldwide Ins. Network
Surrency, Bruce & Terri
THK Photo Products, Inc.
TIC Properties LLC
Town Tavern Fundraiser
Trivisonno, Nick & Suzie
Valley Temp Services, Inc.
Vandenbergh, M.D., Richard
Wells Fargo Bank
Wheeler, Leslie B.
Wong, Sue L
Ziilch, Charles & Dorothy
In Kind Donors
Al & Patsy Merritt
Alaska Mountaineering School
Arcadia Mountain Guides
Best Life Magazine
Cache Lake Foods
Camping Life Magazine
Clif Bar & Company
Colorado Rocky Mountain School
Elise & Jim Kern, Jr.
EMS Climbing School
Field & Stream Magazine
Go Trek & Expeditions
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
Mountain Bike Magazine
Nantahala Outdoor Center
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Maps
Nielson – Kellerman
Outdoor Life Magazine
Outward Bound USA
Rainier Mountaineering Inc.
Rocky Mountain Sports
Runner’s World Magazine
Running Times Magazine
Sage Tree, LLC
San Joaqin Transportation District
San Juan Mountain Guides
Sea To Summit
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Shasta Mountain Guides
Sierra Mountaineering International
Structured Finance Solutions, LLC
The Gunflint Lodge
Trail Runner Magazine
Travel Country Outdoors
Trekk Ventures Corporation
W. L. Gore & Associates
Wendy & Erik Shefelbine-Normark
White Iron Beach Resort
Women’s Health Magazine
Yosemite Valley School
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Alec Meszaros and Associates, Inc.
Berenfeld, Spritzer, Shechter & Sheer
BNI Miami-Dade Inc.
Cereal Bowl Operators, LLC
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Denver Business Journal
Divisa Associates, LLC
Dry Creek Enterprises
Eagle Creek, Inc.
Eliptek Consulting, Inc.
Emerald Insurance Group II, Inc.
Filer Insurance, Inc.
Firehouse Shutters, LLC
Florida Jai-Alai, Inc
Generator Group, LLC
Hispanic Mail Advertising, Inc
Impressive Images, Inc.
iStar Financial Inc.
JA Apparel Corp.
Miller Construction Company
National Title Insurance Company
North Cove Outfitters, Inc.
Northern Mountain Supply
O’Connell-Allen Family Foundation
Outdoor Apparel Insights
Pack Rat Outdoors
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company
Red Point Ventures, LLC
Reisinger Painting, Inc.
Reliant Pension Association,
Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler
Russi USA, Inc.
Sasquatch Advertising, Inc.
Southeast Property Management
Specialty Sports Venture, LLC
The Glenmede Trust Company
The Kern Company
The North Face
Travel Country Outdoors
Wampler Buchanan Walker
Washington Mutual Bank
North Carolina Community Foundation
The New York Community Trust
Community Shares of Colorado
Capital Charities, Inc.
Liz Claiborne Foundation
Jewish Community Foundation
McClean Family Foundation
The following individuals
donated at least $250 directly
to BCM in 2007
Brothers, Wayne & Kristine
Chase, Colin & Heather
Cisler, Michael and Sarah Traas
Curtis, Jennie & David
Grant, Eleanor & Andrew
Green, David James
Kern, James Sr.
Recknagel, Stuart & Susan
Ribenboim, Myriam Da Costa
Seaton, Barb & Tim
United Way of the Capital Area
United Way of King County
Quabaug Charitable Foundation
The IFF Foundation Inc.
Microsoft Giving Campaign
San Francisco Foundation
California Community Foundation
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Big City Mountaineers Staff
President – SNEWS LLC
Natalie S. Whiteman
Attorney - Nantahala Outdoor Center
Vice President, Industry Relations
Co-founder – JanSport
– Outdoor Industry Association
Senior Director of Finance
– Skyway Systems
2007 Youth Agency
Principal – Ascent Advising
President – Northern Mountain Supply
– St. Jude Children’s
– Backpacker Magazine
Michael G. Ford
Executive Advisor to
the General Manager
Principal – Sage Tree, LLC
Summit Team Sponsors
Former ED –Big City Mountaineers
Managing Partner – Structured
Finance Solutions, LLC
CPA, U.S. Accounting Manager
Director - Scholarship Program
– Outward Bound USA
Attorney – Akerman Senterfitt
Artist and Past President – National
VP of Marketing and Product
Management – Camelbak Products
Partner – Generator Group
Owner – Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.
E-mail [email protected]
1667 Vine Street
Denver, CO 80211
176 Juana Ave, 2nd Floor
San Leandro, CA 94577
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Big City Mountaineers, Inc is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation, Federal ID 65-0200163
Thank to Matthew Bates of Backpacker magazine
for the design and layout of this publication