One of the books on our bookshelf at Wilderness Works that gets read the most often is The Adventure Gap by James Mills. Sometimes we suggest it to campers who are showing interest in the progression of the programs, sometimes kids just pick it up because of the cover. The cover shot is that of a bearded black man standing in front of a dazzling sun on the snow covered face of Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The image is from the 2013 expedition that James Mills followed to the summit of Denali with a group of all African American climbers, which shouldn’t be all that remarkable – except it is. No expedition comprised entirely of black climbers had ever ascended this mountain.
The Adventure Gap chronicles not only the challenge and thrill of a high mountain ascent, but also delves deeply into the fact that there is such a large deficit in the participation of minority communities in wilderness spaces.
NOLS (formerly, National Outdoor Leadership School) was an underwriter of that 2013 trek, and Wilderness Works has been blessed with scholarships from NOLS that have enabled some of our campers to take similar life-changing adventures.
Our mission is to expose more young people, particularly brown and black youths, to the adventure and discovery of the wild spaces in our national parks and forests around the country.
We believe we have an ally in James Mills. Learn more about James at his website, The Joy Trip Project.