Youth Exchange celebrates diversity, nature

Above: Khalil, Darshan, and Rez at the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council Youth Exchange retreat.

A February 2016 gathering of young people from the Adirondacks, the Capital Region, and beyond marked the beginning of a new program that celebrates diversity and the great outdoors.

The Youth Exchange, a project of the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council and Adirondack Foundation, held its first retreat Feb. 27-28.

Two dozen young people ages 12 to 21 met to discuss service projects, outings, and other ideas for events that promote social justice, inclusion, safeguarding the environment, and fun.

“Getting involved in the Youth Exchange and the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council has been a great experience—an eye-opening experience,” said Silas Swanson, a junior at Saranac Lake High School. “It’s so important to share our Park with other teenagers who love the outdoors. And we’re looking forward to learning about communities in places like Albany, and teaming up to give back.”

The Youth Exchange network is growing fast. Our partners include The Wild Center, the Youth Ed-Venture & Nature Network, Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, Saranac Lake High School, SUNY-ESF Adirondack Ecological Center, Adirondack Center for Writing, Paul Smith’s College, North Country School, Dewey Mountain Recreation Center, Newcomb Central School, and SUNY Plattsburgh.

To get involved or learn more contact Adirondack Foundation Communications OŒicer Chris Morris at (518) 523-9904 or