Youth conservation group celebrates 10 years with online giveaways and events to encourage getting kids outside

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN) will celebrate its 10th birthday this December and January with a social media campaign featuring contests and giveaways, a new partner rewards program, donor recognition and a virtual crowd-sourced fundraising event.

The celebration will also feature the voices of former campers who benefited from participating in one of FYCCN’s programs.

The statewide group, whose massive growth can be attributed to a thriving partnership with the non-profit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, a robust network of partners, and families’ need to get kids outdoors and away from devices, now boasts having supported or provided 2 million youth with transformative outdoor experiences in their first decade. FYCCN is housed within the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“We are thrilled with the success of FYCCN’s efforts not just to get kids outside but also to offer conservation education and positive outdoor experiences that shape how the next generation engages in conservation of our natural resources,” said FWC Executive Director, Eric Sutton. “It’s a sad fact that youth are spending less time outside every year, but FYCCN – with huge community support – is reversing that trend.”

In honor of their birthday, FYCCN will give away a free week of residential summer camp at the Everglades Youth Conservation Center in West Palm Beach, a free week of summer day camp each at the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center in Tallahassee and the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach, free rod and reel sets, and a family 4-pack of passes to the Florida Aquarium.

“Anyone who participates in our ‘pillar challenge’ on Facebook and Twitter will be entered into the giveaways and they can win some great prizes,” said the Program’s director, Daniel Parker. “We want to encourage kids and families to go outside, make some memories, and enjoy all the natural resources our great state has to offer.”

FYCCN maintains over 340 partnerships with camps, aquariums, zoos, community centers, parks, and schools throughout Florida to provide support, equipment, and education aimed at helping to create “the next generation that cares.”

To participate in giveaways, visit FYCCN on social media: Facebook.com/fyccn2 and Twitter.com/fyccn2 For a full list of scheduled events, visit fyccn.org/birthday To find a family-friendly outdoor space near you, visit: fyccn.org/activities For information on becoming an FYCCN partner, visit fyccn.org/Becoming_A_Partner