TYO is offering an 8-week program for a group of students from Thurgood Marshall High School. This pilot program was established to provide nature bike rides to those kids that do not have the opportunity. Partnering with the National Park Service and RTCA, we are providing trail bike rides and mentoring on the importance of being active in nature. Plus the students are learning why it’s important to learn about the history and environmentalism of their local parks. By the end of th 8 weeks, they’ll be healthier and ready to act as ambassadors of Fort Dupont. Thanks to Outdoor Nation for their financial support of this program.
Making Bike Safety Fun! This inaugural event celebrates biking as a family event. Come Learn 2 Ride, ride the rodeo or obstacle course and enjoy the various entertainment throughout the day – fun activities, including a trail bike ride for the whole family.
For a complete schedule, visit www.stopdiabetes.com/cherryblossombikerally.
At TYO we strive to put all our efforts into making the most of our programs for the kids we serve. We think creatively to keep our overhead costs low. We invite you to view our complete annual report and financials via pdf. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Julie@tfkmetrodc.org. Thanks.
On a rainy day when you can’t go out and play
have some fun on this mountain bike game
It started in 2002 when co-founders Patrick and Julie Childers noticed the kids didn’t know the bike trails existed and found themselves looking for opportunities to be outside. Avid cyclists and nature lovers, they combined their efforts, passions and dedication to helping the kids they saw in their diverse neighborhood be more healthy. And so it began…
At Trails for Youth.Org we believe that all kids should have the opportunity to connect to the natural world around them. We hope you can join us on our journey!
Whether they are on the trail to school, dirt trail or trail of life we provide the opportunity for children to be healthier and more confident.
Kids leave from their adventure with a sense of accomplishment, a fond memory and new knowledge about themselves and their world.
Trails for Youth.Org has been recognized by several leading institutions and national leaders.
These are: IMBA / FOX Heroes Award to Julie Childers, American Trails Award, Coach of the Year for Pat Childers, WETA Hometown Hero Award and 2 time acceptance of inclusion into the Catalogue for Philanthropy.
2006 Recipient – U.S. EPA Children’s Environmental Health Recognition Award . The Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Awards are designed to recognize ongoing and sustainable dedication to, and notable leadership in, protecting children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national, and international level.
Executive Director Julie Childers and family chosen as first place prize winners for their volunteer efforts with at-risk children by Family Fun Magazine and experts at the Points of Light Foundation and DisneyHand, worldwide outreach group for The Walt Disney Company.
2005 member-recipient of Safe Kid Coalition of the year by Safe Kids Worldwide
The Catalog of Philanthropy identified TFK Metro DC as being one “sof the best small charities in Greater Washington”. TFK Metro DC is honored to be among those chosen. The catalog’s opening letter stated “In a time of anxiety and danger, and in the midst of global problems whose enormity can be overwhelming indeed, philanthropy—the love of mankind—is an antidote. We invite you to help others as they introduce young people to mountain biking and healthy living”
TFK volunteer chosen as Unsung Hero by the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency- Trips for Kids Metro DC volunteer Pat Childers was chosen to be a recipient of EPA’s unsung hero award for his work with inner city children and the environment. Congratulations Pat!!!!
Julie Childers, Executive Director
When my husband Pat and I had our first child I ultimately left the workforce to be at home 24/7. By the time our son was 18 months old I was going a bit stir crazy. We had talked about starting a Trips for Kids chapter and decided we wanted to improve our community and show our child that it’s important to give back. In 2003 we started Trips for Kids Metro DC and quickly realized that there were areas other than DC that needed assistance, so we expanded to PG and No. VA. At the time I didn’t mountain bike at all. I liked to road ride, did a few centuries, but no way was I going to go over logs or ride whatever a “skinny” was. Turns out, it’s really fun. I still consider myself a beginner plus, but I can understand what release and effect trail rides have on the kids in our program. A second child in our family later and we are still growing this organization. Amazing stuff!
When not running the office of TYO, you may find me on the Wakefield or Accotink trails, or just hanging out with my kids. TFK’s HOME TOWN HERO (video)
Megan Brooks, Assistant Director
I’m so happy to be a part of TYO. I really enjoy knowing that we’re making a difference in kids’ lives, as well as working with the great people who help us in so many ways. One of the best parts of joining TYO was getting back on a bike –for the first time in 20 years – and discovering the joy (and related pains!) of mountain biking. I encourage anyone reading this to join us on a ride – if I can do it, so can you! In my spare time, I’m a dog trainer, volunteer at my kids’ schools and trying to finish whatever book I’m currently reading.
David Zuk, Prince George’s Ride Coordinator
The fearless leader himself, David has been running the Prince George’s chapter for
two years now, with no end in sight. When he’s not taking wonderful children riding and
teaching them about overcoming obstacles in life and on the trail, he is a
father to three wonderful children of his own. He also attempts to race and keep up with
the younger ride leaders.
Randy Filz, Virginia Ride Coordinator, Bike Mechanic
Randy has been volunteering for TYO for a little over a year now, serving as a
lead for bike rides and repair. Randy uses his professional skills to keep the bicycles that
the kids use in top notch and safe condition. As owner of Filz Built Bicycles, Randy builds
custom bicycles for racers and leisure riders. Randy’s business allows him to be a stay-
at-home Dad, volunteer for TYO, as well as coach his children in basketball and baseball.
Perhaps Randy remains a kid at heart, continuing to engage in sports with children.
Pat was introduced to volunteering by his mother early in life. He has practiced what his mother taught him throughout his life. Most recently, Pat Hoar served as a Big Brother mentor – he has been matched with his Little Brother, Tavon, who recently turned 18, since 2004. Upon becoming a Big Brother, Pat quickly joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters Northern Virginia Council, or NovaBigs, where he served as President from 2005-2010. While President, NovaBigs significantly increased its annual fundraising through corporate grants and executed more events for its matches each year. Pat has always loved the outdoors; he is avid runner, biker, tennis player, hiker and skier (most recently, he summitted North Pal mountain in CA and heli-skied in British Columbia). As a new Director, Pat looks forward to utilizing his experience at NovaBigs to increase TYO’s mentoring effectiveness and reach in the DC area
Realizing that the need was there for kids to be introduced to the surrounding trail system in PG County, Ken joined TYO as an original Board Member waaaay back in 2003. He has helped to guide the organization for years. As a Master Bicycle Technician at REI, Ken has invaluable experience with the bikes and helps maintain the ever growing fleet of bicycles. However, it’s his calm manner and thousands of hours of dedicated commitment to the kids that makes Ken one of TYO’s highest valued Ride Leaders.
Kathy Levy, Treasurer
Kathy joined TYO in 2012 as a Board but has been a long-time supporter. It’s hard to capture a photo of Kathy as she is one of the volunteers who is frequently behind the scenes making it all run smoothly. Kathy’s primary volunteer role has been as co-timer and finish line judge at the many youth mountain bike races that TYO organizes and runs. When she is not chasing her two sons or husband, Kathy will scale a mountain, provide sag support for cross-country bike rides, compete in races and cheer on her family as they compete in their challenges. Kathy likes to impart this enthusiasm with the kids at TYO. Her day-job is a founder of AlphaSafe Inc and current President of the company. Look for Kathy at the finish line and tell her thanks for all her help!
Patrick Childers, Secretary
Pat Childers is a Senior Advisor in the United States EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, where he oversees a Federal Advisory Committee on air quality issues and is a children’s health representative on air quality issues. Prior to this position, Mr. Childers worked in the Agencies Office of Transportation and Air Quality for 20 years on a myriad of mobile source issues including clean vehicles, fuels and bicycling issues. Mr. Childers is also co-founder (with his wife Julie) of TrailsforYouth.Org. A Northern Virginia based children’s health organization that uses bicycles to teach children life lessons on the importance of physical activity, nutrition and environmental awareness. Since its inception TYO has worked with nearly 10,000 youth and has twice been recognized as one of “the best small charities in Greater Washington” by the Catalog for Philanthropy. Mr Childers is a bike commuter, mt biker, and proud father of two boys, both who are safe cyclists!
Janet Merrifield, Director
Janet has been volunteering and mountain biking since she was old enough to reach the pedals. Her parents taught her the importance of volunteer work and enjoying the great outdoors! She is a 5th Grade AAP teacher at Springfield Estates Elementary school where she runs the Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) Club for 5th and 6thgrade girls and the Electronics Club for 6th grade. She is a coach for Odyssey of the Mind and assists with Girls Run Club. Janet is passionate about applying academics to the real world! Mountain biking can be used to explore geometry, ratios, physics, types of energy, and the importance of physical education! She has been teaching music and sailing for 16 years. Janet enjoys running, biking, and every water sport. As a member of TYO’s Board, she loves bringing the classroom to the trails and the lake to help students of all ages overcome obstacles!
Jeff Anderson loves bikes and believes they can ‘save the world’. There are 20 in his garage, he can recall every bike he has owned and has a vivid memory of his father teaching him to ride a little green bike. He is trying to instill that love to his children and their friends. Jeff has been a driving force in encouraging Fairfax County Public Schools to embrace a system wide approach to the Safe Routes to School program which encourages children to bike or walk to school. It all started with a simple request to the school principal for a bike rack and has led to National exposure on Nickelodeon, NPR and Bicycling magazine. The reason he does it is in his own words: “The kids love it”. Jeff is also an avid bike racer in the Mid-Atlantic area focusing mostly on the oddball discipline of Cyclocross but has also rode his tandem to two Bronze medals at the US Cycling Masters National Championships. Jeff is currently a stay at home Dad of 3 children living in Vienna and has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and an BS in Engineering from Brown University. He has had volunteering in his blood from an early age – having volunteered and worked at summer camps for the mentally handicapped while in high school. He also spent 3 years on the BOD of the Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group serving as it’s Treasurer and spent many a day in the field searching for lost individuals. His career has been spent working for companies like RCA, GE, Sun Microsystems as well as numerous smaller software companies in the Northern Virginia area. Contact Jeff at email@example.com or @crazybikedad on Twitter.
Georgette is one of a handful of original Board members for TYO and remembers when her son was so young he could ride with us. Now 10 years later, Georgette still helps to lead youth on the trails and continues to help lead TYO. With a strong military background, Georgette has provided a guiding hand in helping to shape TYO and making it a success 10 years later.
I have lived in the DC area for 27 years, starting in DC, followed by two years in
Maryland, and the remaining time of over 20 years in Northern Virginia. Grew up in
Indianapolis, Indiana. Love being outdoors and stayed out of college for a semester
between Sophomore and Junior years to spend 7 months living and working in Yosemite
National Park, an amazing experience. Back in the mid 1980′s, after completing an MPA at
the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU, got married and came out to the DC
area to work at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a colleague of Pat Childers
for years, I became intrigued with the wonderful work he and Julie were doing with what
is now called “Trails for Youth.” I was pleased to join the Board in 2009 to help in this
worthwhile effort to bring kids in touch with nature and healthier life styles. My husband
Eric, who is an avid camper, sailor and kayaker, has also joined me and become a supporter
of Trails for Youth’s mission.
5 year Board member President for 3 years current VP Involved with MTBing and MTB Advocacy for the last 12 years. Active with TYO the past 7-8 years. Recently retired after 21 years with HP and now friends say I am an International Man of Leisure. My wife Margaret and I are travelling a lot this year and plan a few more trips next year but I will always make time for TYO.