JUMP – or “Just Understand My Potential” is youth outdoor educational organization that connects youth with the outdoors and teaches skills that can not only be used in nature – but in life.
Founded by Bill Spacciapoli – an avid outdoorsman – in 2010, JUMP uses mountain skills such as hiking and backpacking as an outlet for kids ages 11 and above to enjoy and appreciate nature, while teaching valuable life skills like accountability and cooperation.
JUMP counselors have led more than 400 participants on 50 trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in central Massachusetts, including Fall and Spring day hikes to give kids a taste of the program; Summer weekend trips and short winter programs with an annual cross-country ski day at Windblown Cross-Country Ski Area in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.
Training sessions help participants learn and practice mountain skills in comfortable surroundings close to home, so there are no consequences to getting things wrong the first time -or the first few times.
While founded as a non-profit serving disadvantaged populations, growth plans include offering fee-based programs for schools and similar groups. Partners and donors include the Appalachian Mountain Club and Chamber members such as the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg & Leominster and Rollstone Bank & Trust.
“We teach hiking and backpacking as ‘cooperative sports.’ That means that we cultivate fitness, skills, understandings, and values, just as those who coach competitive sports do. But mountain travel is not a game. The object is not to defeat some identically motivated opponent, but to thrive in an exciting and demanding environment. The rewards are adventure, accomplishment, great memories,
the joy of high places” said Bill Spacciapoli.
JUMP seeks Chamber members well-networked in the community to join their advisory board; help with specific functions such as marketing, bookkeeping, and social media; and of course volunteer leaders to manage a group of kids for a day hike. To volunteer or donate, please call Bill on (978) 621-7286, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.