AMC's Youth Opportunities Program

Contact Information:

5 West 63rd Street Suite 220
New York, NY, 10023

(646) 292-5253


Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island

The mission of the AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) is to make the outdoors accessible and meaningful to urban and at-risk youth. YOP operates as a resource center for youth agencies throughout the Northeast, teaching youth workers the skills they need to independently take their youth outdoors.

Our signature Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) prepares youth workers to lead groups on trips that are fun, educational, safety-minded, and organized. We also provide our YOP-trained members with essential support services such as free use of outdoor equipment; trip planning assistance; subsidized overnights at AMC lodging destinations; and participation in customized trips. 

Through our partnerships with community groups, youth programs, schools, and more, YOP ensures that young people enjoy meaningful outdoor experiences with adults who know them and their unique needs. Since 1968, YOP has served over 100,000 youth and trained thousands of youth workers. Join the dynamic YOP community and open up a world of opportunity to the youth you serve!

Outdoor Adventures

YOP supports a wide variety of outdoor experiences from short walks to backpacking expeditions. Activities include:

  • Nature walks
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Canoeing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross Country Skiing

Benefits to Youth

Young people who participate in outdoor adventures benefit in countless ways as they step into new environments. These outdoor adventure experiences provide youth with the opportunity to develop:

  • Leadership skills
  • Self-confidence and self-respect
  • Trust
  • A sense of responsibility for self, others, the community, and the environment
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Teamwork experience
  • Decision-making skills

Benefits to you and your agency

We provide a complete continuum of services to help youth workers independently lead young people on outdoor adventures. The first step is to become a YOP member by attending our signature Outdoor Leadership Training. Youth workers who successfully complete the training become YOP members and benefit from the following services:

  • Free Outdoor Equipment Loans: borrow backpacks, tents, clothing, hiking boots, sleeping bags and more! YOP has everything a youth group needs for an enjoyable outdoor adventure.
  • Subsidized transport option: get your group out of the city for a limited cost.
  • Discounted Lodging at AMC Destinations: enjoy heavily reduced rates at AMC lodges, huts, and campgrounds. We offer a wide variety of options for every skill level and make it more affordable to bring youth on overnights in unique wilderness settings.
  • Trip Planning Assistance: get expert advice on destinations, equipment, routes, activities, menus, and risk management. YOP staff help youth workers plan effective and fun trips.
  • Advanced Skills Workshops: gain new skills in activities such as canoeing, wilderness first aid, trip planning, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
  • Youth Adventures: bring your youth on a YOP-facilitated adventure. YOP members and their youth are eligible to participate in day trips, overnights, and multi-day excursions. These trips are co-led in partnership with YOP staff and are a great way for youth workers to get more comfortable outdoors with their youth while learning best practices and getting logistical support.
  • Summit Sites: YOP forms partnerships with youth organizations in target cities such as Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, Framingham, and New Haven. Selected groups receive intensive long-term support including training scholarships for youth workers, program planning and implementation, free trips, staff training, and more.
  • Teen Wilderness Adventures: YOP provides full scholarships for individual youth to attend AMC’s Teen Wilderness Adventures. Young people must be recommended by a YOP member and must have participated in YOP trips in order to be eligible.
  • Youth Worker Network: join the dynamic YOP community and share strategies and resources with other youth workers.
  • AMC Membership: YOP members receive a one-year free individual AMC membership upon completion of the Outdoor Leadership Training and a discounted rate thereafter.