Member Profile: Cascadia Experience

June 26, 2012 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Jon Zintel

Imagine this: a safe, hassle-free outdoor experience with your whole family—kids included—in the wilderness. Cascadia Experience provides the gear, the food, the coordination, and even the activities, helping interested families complete a small restoration project over the course of a long weekend. Facilitators are trained in safety—Wilderness First Responder, CPR, anaphylaxis and epinephrine-pen certified, etc.—and experiential outdoor education. The goal is to help families reconnect with each other, with themselves, and with the natural world.

Unsurprisingly, the concept for the business came to co-founders (and brothers) Jon and Chris Zintel on a multi-day trek through the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy:

We hiked and talked about the business venture for days and came away from the trip inspired and with the courage to start creating our dream.

Chris Zintel

Their combined experience seemed like a perfect way to launch such a venture: Jon has spent more than seven years leading and facilitating educational conservation programs, and Chris has worked with such organizations as Grameen Foundation and the National Park Service. They’ll use this experience to create meaningful family experiences of nature through (optional) participation in part of a larger restoration project for State or Federal landowners, tapping a dual revenue stream while generating both social and environmental benefits.

The Zintel brothers are currently looking for potential customers and working to create partnerships with local community organizations, experiential education schools, and agencies such as the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Reclamation. As they move towards a fall pilot and full launch next year, Jon keeps the mission in mind:

[Our goal] is for families to reconnect with the natural world. In other words, for families to recognize the importance that nature can have and try to bring ecological concepts into their everyday lives. I want participants to turn off the TV, get off the couch, and engage with each other in a completely new setting.

Learn more about Cascadia Experience:

Entry filed under: SII Member News, Social Entrepreneurship. Tags: , , , , , , .

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