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First of three Virginia Outdoor Nation summits set for Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield

Wes Bunch • Apr 17, 2013 at 8:24 AM

RICHMOND — Virginia State Parks announced Wednesday it is partnering with Outdoor Nation, the millennial-led movement championing the outdoors, to host three youth summits this summer that are aimed at identifying regional outdoor issues, developing strategies and receiving leadership training.

The first of the three-day Outdoor Nation Summits will be held June 7-9 at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield.

The summit is expected to gather more than 100 attendees between the ages of 18 and 28, a demographic group often referred to as “millennials.”

Along with Outdoor Nation, the summits are being held in partnership with the America’s State Parks Foundation’s Ambassador Program. Virginia State Parks are run by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nation is a national initiative of the Outdoor Foundation that empowers millennials to champion the outdoors — as athletes, artists, advocates and ambassadors.

“Outdoor Nation Summits empower young outdoor advocates to pursue their agenda with regard to outdoor engagement,” said Ivan Levin, director of Outdoor Nation. “We’re excited to partner with Virginia State Parks to ensure the Millennial Generation and all future generations will enjoy a strong connection with the outdoors.”

In addition to the event at Natural Tunnel, summits will be held at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, July 12-14, and at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Aug. 1-3.

“This is an exciting opportunity for outdoor-minded young people to gather and gain valuable information they can take back to their campuses and communities as they work to inspire others to get outside,” said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. “We are exceptionally pleased to be involved with this innovative partnership. This is going to be a great summer for hundreds of future leaders as they learn about beneficial tools to help them become champions of the outdoors and the environment.”

All three Outdoor Nation Summits are free to attend. Food and materials will also be provided to attendees.

Participants are responsible for their travel to and from the event.

Campsites are also available at the various events, but summit participants will need to bring a tents, sleeping bag and personal items. Tents can be provided upon request.

To register for a summit, visit http://outdoornation.org/vsp.

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