The Grit Blog

Grayl: Supporting student access to outdoor experiences with funding and gear donations

By Jenny Sandbo, Y.E.T.I. Volunteer

“there’s a therapeutic grounding that happens when you’re in the outdoors…a confidence builder that happens when you have to be self-reliant and work through challenges” says Chris Lowe, Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.) Board of Directors and Fundraising Committee member.

For many of us it is intuitive – we know that physical activity outdoors helps us feel better. There is a large body of research indicating a direct connection between time spent in natural environments and improved mental and physical health. 

The cognitive benefits of time outdoors is particularly important for children. Playing outside relieves stress, improves attention, memory, and regulation of emotions. Exploring beaches, forests, and other outdoor places cultivates appreciation for the natural world. Participating in new and challenging activities (like riding a bike or rock climbing) builds self-esteem and confidence!

Chris joined the board in 2022 with the goal of supporting student access to outdoor experiences. He has helped connect Y.E.T.I. with funding and gear donations by leveraging his relationships in the outdoor equipment industry. His employer Grayl, maker of water bottle filter purifiers, is a regular donor to Y.E.T.I. through 1% for the planet.

Chris has another goal: nurturing the next generation of stewards for the natural world. He believes that providing access and education for young people is essential for protecting the wild places we love.

Chris and Grayl are continuing their generous support of Y.E.T.I. student experiences by hosting a fundraising event on May 18, 2023. Y.E.T.I. board members are gathering with outdoor industry leaders to share how they can sustain student programs with gear donations, staff investments, and financial support. 

Companies participating in the fundraiser through 1% for the Planet include:

Grayl is sharing their network to help young people get outside! If you or your organization is interested in hosting a Y.E.T.I. fundraising event or becoming a donor, please reach out to Executive Director, David Dunphy at

Get involved! visit

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