Big Brothers Big Sisters and Roanoke Outside Recruit Mentors for Outdoor Program

kids climbing wall at outdoor camp

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 the 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.

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.

About Roanoke Outside Foundation

Started as an initiative by the Roanoke Regional Partnership to leverage natural assets to attract investment and talent, Roanoke Outside became a 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2013. With a mission of connecting people outdoors, improving access to the outdoors, and making outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship a core component of our community’s lifestyle, the Roanoke Outside Foundation has changed Roanoke’s community narrative to one that places a high value on quality of life. From building river access points to organizing signature events like the Blue Ridge Marathon and GO Outside Festival, Roanoke Outside is committed to making the Roanoke Region a better place to live, work, and play.

For more information, contact Pete Eshelman, Director of Roanoke Outside, 540-343-1550 x 104,

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

For more than 60 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters live in single-parent and low-income families, or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”). Providing a system of ongoing evaluation and support, Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven by independent studies to help families by improving the odds that Littles will perform better in school and avoid violence and illegal activities, and have stronger relationships with their parents and others. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia serves over 500 children in our community.

For more information, contact Jessica Turley, Director of Fund Development, 540-345-9604,