James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 3.84'
Flow: 1810 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 1:36am
Low Tide: 8:36am

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Blue Sky Fund Launches 60-hour Online Giving Push

Andy Thompson

June 6, 2016 11:07am

BSF kids on a camping trip.

BSF kids on a camping trip.

I’ve had a soft spot for the Blue Sky Fund ever since my Times-Dispatch years, writing about the non-profit’s efforts to get East End kids into the outdoors. What exactly does BSF do?

They lead school-based, after-school, weekend and summer programs. 

They explore the great outdoors with elementary school students, helping them engage in their core science requirements through hands on, field trip experiences in nature. 

They build character in middle and high school students by coaching them in outdoor adventure skills such as rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. 

They develop young leaders by bringing together a diverse set of high school students to meet the challenges of a week long wilderness trip and year-round community service opportunities as a team.

They engage hundreds of neighborhood kids through one day expeditions that provide exposure to new places, active lifestyles, and caring adults. They connect urban children of all ages to the natural environments in our region.

A BSF paddling trip on the Rappahannock river.

A BSF paddling trip on the Rappahannock river.

Last year I joined BSF’s board, and one of our first tasks was to fill the funding hole left by the demise of The Amazing Raise. What we came up with was an online giving push similar to The Amazing Raise called Blue Skies Ahead. The campaign launched this morning at 5 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. on June 8 — exactly 60 hours.

But the Blue Skies Ahead goal isn’t just to raise $20,000 for BSF, it’s to raise the funds necessary to expand their Explorers program to 1,600 students in the fall. That’s 1,600 public school students that will be able to go on monthly field trips to sites around the Richmond region to enrich their science instruction. Every donation to this campaign will be giving the gift of exploration!

So, check out the video above, click here to learn more about Blue Sky Fund’s important work, and consider making a drop in the bucket to their Blue Skies Ahead campaign!

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?