Regardless of the vehicle you choose, chances are you love to explore with it. Your spare time is spent wandering back roads, traversing bike trails, and experiencing new sights and challenges. As overlanders, we tend to wander but we also aim to do good as we go by being environmentally and socially responsible. A big part of this is getting involved with great organizations like tread lightly, which encourage the responsible use and preservation of our land. These efforts ensure that the natural wonders of our world will be preserved for generations, but there is another side of the responsibility often missed. Because we spend much of our time in nature, we tend to focus on it and forget the most remarkable part of our world, the people in it.
Just like finding adventure in overlanding, the location is less important. What is critical is to get out there and actually do it. With that perspective in mind, our team set out to make a bigger difference in our hometown of Prescott, Arizona. There are so many great option for getting involved from Habitat for Humanity, veterans associations and much more. We however, chose Yavapai County Big Brothers and Big Sisters (YBBBS). This remarkable organization helps children between 6 and 18 years old find a positive influence in their lives through a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” when times are tough at home. The Yavapai county branch alone has over 1,000 youth enrolled in the program with more than an additional 200 (Mostly boys) still awaiting a mentor. Their urgent need for Big Brothers is why we chose YBBBS.
Since we have a unique passion in the overland community, we chose to begin our relationship with a small test of how the kids enjoyed going off-road. We brought a modest group of Bigs and Littles together for a morning of trails followed by lunch at Goldwater Lake. Although the trail wasn’t exceptionally difficult, everyone was amazed at what the trucks could do. Laughs and gasps could be heard from every vehicle during ascents and obstacles, and a smile was seen on every face.
Left: The trucks line up and shift into low range
Middle: The Brute easily crosses the “ditch o’ death”
Right: The 4Runner makes the cross look easy
Contemplating what kind of creepy crawly critter is on the rock in front of their stick
The kids doing some more exploring around the creek while some Big Sisters and Little Sisters happened to pass by on horseback
An excited glance out the window as the truck rocks forward
Loving the Gwagen!
We collected ourselves for a much anticipated lunch at the lake
Some very professional fishermen we met before they headed out on the hunt.
While the event only lasted four hours, the impressions made on the kids and our team will last far longer. We have decided not only continue our involvement as a company, but personally as well. If you have the opportunity to help Big Brothers Big Sisters in your area I highly recommend it. Seeing the smiles on these kids faces is priceless and the long term impact on their lives is phenomenal. I know that every member of our team walked away with something special at this event. For myself, it was hearing a little say “This is the most fun thing I’ve done in my whole life, ever!” A big reward for such a small sacrifice wouldn’t you say?
If you want to get involved in your area, check out the Big Brothers Big Sisters website here: