Camping for NYC's Underserved Youth

Camping to Connect is a new experiential learning and mentorship initiative for underserved young men from New York’s inner-city communities.

Created by Mastermind Connect, a membership-based resource group for progressive men, we use outdoor-based recreation to instill self-reliance, healthy lifestyle choices, leadership, introspection and brotherhood.

On September 29, 2018, through a special partnership with the NYC Department of Education's Office of Equity and Access, we kick off our program with an unforgettable overnight experience for young men on Governors Island , a beautiful 172-acre park in the heart of New York Harbor that normally is closed to overnight visitors.

The island’s authorities have granted special overnight permission to Camping to Connect. We'll be teaching participants how to set up camp, prepare meals, and survive outdoors. Breakout sessions with mentors explore goal-setting and promote peer bonding. Fitness and urban farm workshops introduce healthy living habits. Campfire rituals, meditation and journal-writing invite personal reflection.

There are many costs required to produce this unique experience, including: camping equipment; food and beverage; emergency medical services, security guards, and ferry on stand-by; insurance, and transportation to and from the island. 100% of the proceeds from this campaign go to operating expenses.

And we don’t plan to stop there. We aim to grow Camping to Connect into a broad movement that addresses the issue of "nature deficiency " faced by New York’s urban youth, with multiple events held throughout the year that will affect the lives of promising young men of color.

Please help us provide this unforgettable experience in September on Governors Island -- as well as future events, too -- with your donation today.

We’re grateful for your support!

Governors Island photo credit: The Trust for Governors Island

Part of the NYC Urban Ambassadors with Mastermind Connect Co-founder Manny Almonte

Mastermind Connect members showing how to set up a fire.
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Fundraising team: Mastermind Connect (6)

Manny Almonte
Raised $6,755 from 31 donations
Brooklyn, NY
LeMar Moore
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Andre Turnbull
Team member
David Bazile
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Jason Rosario
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