Quarterly Communiqué – September 2018

2018 Summer Recap: A Playlist from our Executive Director


By Natalie Hausman-Weiss

(Sung to “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”)

Raindrops on trails and bears that are smitten

Fires that blaze and reports that get written 

Truck drivers who do not deliver their haul

These are my very least favorite of calls!

Yes, there are many songs that sum up aspects of The Woods Project’s thirteenth summer… James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain”, Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and The Grateful Dead’s “Truckin” to name a few.  However, these themes in no way define what was by all accounts a truly transformational, highly successful, and incredible summer in the woods!

Incredible why?

  • Because 157 students and 53 volunteer leaders cumulatively hiked more than 7,000 miles of switchbacks through rapidly changing elevations and challenging terrain to reach the highest of peaks!
  • Because by hiking, paddling and camping together, our student’s endured challenges that helped them to connect, grow and succeed in completely new ways.
  • Because every student tried something for the first time, whether it was visiting a national park, orienteering, swimming (and washing!) in an icy mountain stream, going 14 days without texting, or even traveling by plane.
  • Because our students (and leaders) established strong connections with nature. They developed relationships that will not likely be forgotten and they emerged from the summer with, increased confidence, social skills and a renewed drive to succeed against all odds!

All of this was made possible as a result of hard work, determination, engagement, participation and support from our outstanding volunteers, school partners, generous foundations, corporations and individuals, as well as The Woods Project’s unbelievably dedicated staff and board of directors!  Because of you, WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!


Now Hiring: Full-time and Part-time positions with TWP

In case you missed our last email, The Woods Project is looking for highly motivated candidates with experience working in nonprofits to apply for both part-time and full-time positions serving an amazing community of learners!

For more information about our full-time Finance and Operations Manager position:

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For more information about our part-time Club Program Instructor position:

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TWP Temporary Warehouse Relocation

The Woods Project needs your help on Saturday, September 29 as we complete inventory to prepare and organize for our fall trips and temporary relocation of our gear.

We need 10-15 volunteers to help us make this happen.
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2018 Fall Weekend Trips

Going to the woods is going home
– John Muir

Our summer trips may be over, but we are already gearing up for this year’s fall trips! Click on the links for more information!

October 19-21

  • Kayak at Galveston State Park
  • ​Backpacking at Big Thicket National Preserve

November 2-4 

  • Canoe/Kayak at Huntsville State Park
  • Backpacking at Big Thicket National Preserve

November 9-11

  • Camping at Brazos Bend State Park
  • Backpacking at Little Thicket Nature Sanctuary

If you have never attended one of our fall weekend trips as a volunteer leader, attendance is required at our Fall Weekend Trip Volunteer Leader Orientation on Tuesday, October 2, from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM.


2018 Fall Luncheon

Come have lunch with our incredible students and hear about their transformative experiences during TWP’s summer trips first hand. Join us Thursday, November 15, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM for the 2018 Fall LuncheonTrails to Transformation, presented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, at The Junior League of Houston, Inc.  Our Keynote Speaker is author Coert Voorhees. 

Please consider investing in our students and in Houston’s future by sponsoring a table. For more information, contact Development Director Jessi Manley at 816-507-3661 or jessi@thewoodsproject.org.

Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

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Alumni Opportunities

The Woods Project offers our summer program alumni a plethora of opportunities of which to take advantage. From volunteer events to college scholarships to more advanced summer wilderness programs, alumni can find ways to stay on the path to greatness. 

Club Programming

Now that you’ve completed a summer trip, you can still stay involved with The Woods Project at your school. Stay engaged by helping to recruit students for club programming at your school and help facilitate club programming in more of a leadership role.

Junior Leaders Program 

TWP alumni students who are seeking more leadership opportunities with The Woods Project are encouraged to apply for our Junior Leaders Program. Through this program, students have the chance to further develop their leadership skills through weekend trainings and activities. Participants in this program have a chance to be eligible for the Apostle Islands Alumni Summer Trip. 

TWP Essay Contest 

This is your chance to tell us how much your experience with The Woods Project has impacted your leadership capabilities. If you’ve participated in a weekend trip, club programming, or a summer trip you can submit a 1,200 word essay for a chance to win cool prizes and be featured on our social media.

Speaking Engagements

If you enjoy public speaking and would like the opportunity to share your experiences with others, this is for you. Join us at various community events, fundraising events and volunteer events and help us spread the word about The Woods Project. 

Scholarships/Internship Opportunities 

The Woods Project partners with other organizations, like The Posse Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and YMCA Bold and Gold in Seattle, to help provide scholarship and internship opportunities for our students. Stay in touch with upcoming events, dates and deadlines by visiting and liking our social media pages. 

Applications to apply can be found here!
Sponsor recommendation forms can be found here!

 For more information about these and other opportunities, contact Michael Valdez michael@thewoodsproject.org.

New School Partners

The Woods Project is always looking for new school partners. Do you work for a Houston-area high school that has a large underserved population that could benefit from The Woods Project programming and are willing to help coordinate? If so, e-mail Brittany White, Assistant Director, at brittany@thewoodsproject.org.