Program Testimonials

“The students absolutely love this program. They are being exposed to a variety of activities that are enhancing their knowledge about the outdoors.”

–Susan Kelter: Community Relations & Volunteer Manager at Lift for Life Academy (St. Louis, Missouri)


Brandon L. Murray: Principal at Hodgen Tech (St. Louis, Missouri)

“I am writing on behalf of Nadav Sprague and his wonderful organization, Gateway to the Great Outdoors. I am pleased to be able to speak on their behalf and consider myself lucky to be involved in a partnership for our students. We have already visited one state park in Missouri and have a camping trip scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Their organization comes to the school on a weekly basis and exposes our students to experiences that they wouldn’t normally get surrounded by concrete and parking lots!

It is extremely important to expose our children to all that this planet has to offer and through this partnership, we are creating a love for the outdoors in our children that will last a lifetime. Mr. Sprague and his organization are true pioneers in this field and are taking a chance on kids they barely know (initially) to make a real difference in their lives. I support any and all efforts to not only increase funding for them, but to get them involved in as many schools as possible to continue making a difference in the lives of the St. Louis youth”


Marissa Wells: Primary Director at Uplift Meridian Preparatory (Fort Worth, Texas)

“Gateway to the Great Outdoors has been such a positive experience for our scholars thus far and we are hopeful that this non-profit can continue to spread the love of nature to other scholars for years to come.

All of the scholars who have taken part in this program have grown in their abilities to treat the environment with respect and have gained a deeper understanding of the role that humans play while interacting with the world around us. We are an International Baccalaureate candidate school and our scholars are consistently learning about how we can become involved and engaged citizens of the world. This program has allowed them to apply their studies outside of the classroom in a fulfilling and exciting way. Many of our scholars have never had an opportunity to go camping or hiking, so their time with Gateway to the Great Outdoors is opening up an entirely new lens for them beyond their neighborhood. The smiles, laughter, curiosity, and energetic accounts of their trips are all I need as a principal to know that this program is having a very positive impact on my scholars.

Thank you to the staff of Gateway to the Great Outdoors for providing my scholars with unique learning experiences and adventures that will stick with them for years to come. We appreciate all that you do and are looking forward to another great semester of partnership.”


Jeff Edwards: Principal at Lift for Life Academy Middle School (St. Louis, Missouri)

We have developed a very positive relationship with the Gateway to the Great Outdoors and we hope that these positive experiences can lead to more students having this experience.

We are a school that serves a 90% free and reduced lunch population and this program has provided our students access to discover new things and gain new understandings of not only the environment but leadership and teamwork as well. The experiences they have gained through Gateway to the Great Outdoors will provide our students with a well-rounded skill set and unique understanding of the world around them. More than anything else, the students are enjoying themselves and tackling challenges they may not have experienced without Gateway to the Great Outdoors.

Lift for Life Academy appreciates this unique partnership that we have developed with the Gateway to the Great Outdoors. We look forward to continuing the adventures and providing many more students the opportunity to grow with them.”