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Eastern Missouri Group

SierraScape March 2014 - August 2014
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Profile of Inner City Outings-St. Louis Group

by Renee Payton
Inner City Outings Leader

Inner City Outings (ICO) was started by the Sierra Club in 1976 as an outreach program for people, especially youth, with little or no access to outdoor experiences. The St. Louis group was founded in 1992. Tim Pekarek, one of the founding members, is group chair and still actively involved. During those 22 years, St. Louis leaders have organized dozens of trips to Missouri's local and state parks.

Currently, we work with youth served by Karen House, Kingdom House and Saints Teresa and Bridget Church. Though younger children have joined us on outings, the typical age range is 8-18. Many kids have never been camping or even outside the city. Nervousness about anacondas, bears, and other fearsome creatures is quickly replaced by enthusiasm and curiosity.

Our small but mighty group of leaders is looking to expand. If you enjoy inspiring what Rachel Carson referred to as "a sense of wonder" in young people, then join ICO. Visit our group's website ( to learn more. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer or leader, please contact me. My email is