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Our Mission and History


ounded in 1997, Wilderness Works originally provided enrichment and outdoor living experiences for children living in Atlanta’s toughest neighborhoods and particularly properties managed by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Wilderness Works was an original Hands On Atlanta partner and relied on HOA for volunteer support. Wilderness Works began expanding into more distant Atlanta neighborhoods in 2004. In 2005 Wilderness Works began partnering with elementary schools and particularly Atlanta Public Schools.

In 2005 Wilderness Works began supporting Atlanta’s neediest children with summer camp and school season programming by partnering with Atlanta’s leading homeless shelters including Atlanta Mission, Salvation Army Red Shield and Nicholas House.

Wilderness Works enjoyed great publicity with NBC’s Al Roker providing national attention on the Today Show in 2008. In 2011 Wilderness Works had the honor of former Mayor Andrew Young’s help with launching the first annual Wilderness Works breakfast and fundraiser.

Wilderness Works continues providing enrichment and outdoor living experiences for Atlanta children with the help of Hands On Atlanta, Camp Bob, Camp Evergreen, Camp Glisson and Camp Grace.  Wilderness Works provides amazing City Camp for children during school season months since 2002.

Our History, In Brief

Wilderness Works has kept unique outdoor adventure experiences available for at-risk Atlanta children since 1997
  • Founding

    Wilderness Works founded in 1997 by educator and outdoorsman William Mickler with services for low-income families living in Atlanta Housing Authority properties in inner city Atlanta.

  • Camp Evergreen

    Wilderness Works established working relationship with Camp Evergreen at Lake Burton in North Georgia for summer camp weeks serving needy Atlanta children in 1999.

  • Hands On Atlanta

    After four years as an original Partner Agency Wilderness Works received the Social Entrepreneur Award from Hands On Atlanta in 2002.

  • Atlanta Public Schools

    In 2004 Wilderness Works began a long partnerships with a growing list of Atlanta Public Schools elementary schools including Ed S. Cook, Dunbar, John Hope and Parkside Elementary.

  • Atlanta Mission

    2005 brought a new Wilderness Works initiative with special focus on service for Atlanta's leading homeless shelters and particularly My Sister's House sponsored by Atlanta Mission.

  • Camp Bob – Kanuga Conferences

    In 2006 Wilderness Works began an exciting collaboration with Camp Bob - Kanuga Conferences in Hendersonville, North Carolina allowing weeks of summer camp for at-risk children.

  • Camp Grace

    In 2007 Wilderness Works began sending children to outstanding Camp Grace in Roberta, Georgia for additional summer camp weeks with horseback riding and swimming lessons.

  • NBC Today Show

    The NBC Today Show selected Wilderness Works for airing on the Al Roker's Lend A Hand segment of the Today Show after 8 weeks of studio vetting and consultation in March if 2008.  Al Roker coined the term City Camp.

  • City Camp

    Wilderness Works established the popular school season City Camp for at-risk Atlanta children in fall 2008.  Now children have entry level programming that leads to more advance opportunities.

  • City of Refuge

    City of Refuge founder Bruce Deel helped establish in 2010 a working partnership with Wilderness Works. Children aided by COR now began regular participation in Wilderness Works programs.

  • The Honorable Andrew Young

    In 2011 with the remarkable efforts of Dr. Jody Alderman, Wilderness Works board chair, Dr. Andrew Young addressed the Wilderness Works annual breakfast.

  • Parkside Elementary School

    In 2013 Wilderness Works continued close relationships with teachers in a partnership that channels special support for low-income families with students at top-rated Parkside Elementary School.

  • Hope-Hill Elementary School

    In 2013, key teachers helped Wilderness Works cement a fruitful partnership with this outstanding Atlanta school so that enrolled at-risk students could more easily access high-quality programming.

  • Camp Glisson

    Wilderness Works began a fruitful and strong partnership with outstanding Camp Glisson in Dahlonega, Georgia in 2013 so that needy Atlanta children began experiencing this high quality camp.

  • Field Camp

    Wilderness Works formalized immersive and rigorous outdoor living programming for older teens in 2014.  Each year teens prepare for and experience week long treks in National Parks and Forests.

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