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GOU Cascades Adventure

For kids growing up in the inner-city, travel is often limited to their immediate neighborhoods. Confined to asphalt avenues and concrete corridors, many of them can’t envision a world outside of the city. So just imagine how eight young people from Memphis might have felt when they found out that they were going to travel more than two thousand miles to the Pacific Northwest for a week-long exploration of the Cascade Mountain Range. Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker takes us on a journey of discovery as seen through the eyes of these young adventurers.

In five years Great Outdoors University has provided more than eight thousand outdoor experiences to kids who wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. The program is an outreach to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. Visit their website at to learn more about GOU and how you can help. The program has been so successful here in Tennessee that it is being considered for use in other states as well.

GOU was the brainchild of Memphis businessman Peter Schutt, who started the program believing that getting kids outdoors would allow them to connect with nature in meaningful, life-changing ways. Peter was recognized in 2011 for his spirit of volunteerism and efforts with GOU by being the first Tennessean to be named Volunteer of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation. Our congratulations and thanks go out to Peter and all those who continue to make Great Outdoors University possible.