Big Brothers Big Sisters and Roanoke Outside Seek Mentors For New Outdoor Explorer Program

Year-long program will give kids access to outdoors activities across the region.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia (BBBS), in partnership with the Roanoke Outside Foundation is launching a mentoring program to connect more children to the outdoors. The Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program will provide children in underserved communities with access to Roanoke’s outdoor community through activities and mentorship.

The year-long program will include a hiking, tubing, paddling, rock climbing, stargazing, or environmental education activity each month for children and their outdoor-minded mentors. BBBS needs 10 new “Bigs” that want to help mentor “Littles” and take part in the wonderful outdoor activities Roanoke has to offer for this program.

Each activity will be planned and coordinated by BBBS and Roanoke Outside.

“Each season requires different skills, tools, and knowledge; exposing children to different obstacles and opportunities throughout the year will give them a deeper understanding of outdoor education” says June House with BBBS. “Roanoke’s gorgeous outdoor locations offer a beautiful backdrop for creating meaningful mentoring relationships.”

“There is an obvious need and benefit to providing outdoor opportunities for children,” says Pete Eshelman, director of Roanoke Outside Foundation. “We are extremely excited about this program as it is a way for those already active in our outdoor scene to share their love of being outside with the next generation.”

The Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program will launch in April, but needs interested Bigs to enroll now. If you are interested in being a Big in the Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program, visit for more information.

The Outdoor Explorers Mentoring Program is a partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia and the Roanoke Outside Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Foundation for Roanoke Valley, Wells Fargo, and Deschutes Brewery.