Hillary Outdoors is turning 50! Yes, that’s right, we have been providing outdoor education and adventure since 1972. But it’s not time to slow down or put the feet up. In fact, there are actual, scientific studies which have shown that creativity peaks in our 20s and our 50s and there are many inspirational stories about success and achievement after 50. Just look at Charles Darwin who published the Theory of Evolution at 50 years old, or Momofuku Ando who, also at 50, invented the instant noodle!

So with this milestone birthday we thought it was time we tried something new by launching our first-ever Annual Appeal. Throughout September, Hillary Outdoors will be celebrating all things outdoors, what we love, the memories we have made, and the life-changing impact our programmes have had on a generation of New Zealanders. It’s the perfect time for reflection but also a chance to look ahead, reassess goals, and figure out how we can best meet the changing needs of our community, particularly when it comes to supporting our rangatahi. Because in these uncertain times we are reminded that we need to be resilient, adaptable, and caring. But how do we develop these life skills? Independent research by Auckland University of Technology found that participating in a Hillary Outdoors programme is often a life-changing experience where students become leaders, develop a sense of belonging, learn through teamwork, and connect with community. It is these learnings that will determine how students act, make decisions throughout their lives, and deal with ‘the next COVID-19’, whatever that may be, and it is Hillary Outdoors that helps deliver these lessons.

Hillary Outdoors is a charitable trust so we rely heavily on the support and generosity of donors, funding bodies, partners and the community. We have never publicly fundraised on this scale before – this is our first ever annual appeal – but we want to keep introducing youth to the outdoors for another 50 years, empowering them to thrive and achieve.

So we need your help today, to invest in New Zealand’s tomorrow. Here’s how you can help:

  • Simply make a direct, one-off or regular donation here.
  • You can also get involved by shopping at Torpedo7 and rounding up your purchase at checkout or buying a carry bag in-store, as all proceeds go directly to Hillary Outdoors. 
  • Or sign up to Share My Super, and share your surplus superannuation with Hillary Outdoors as your chosen charity. 

Your donation will make a difference to the lives of young New Zealanders – on their behalf, thank you.

Let the birthday celebrations begin! Make sure you follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see all of the great moments from our past, the impact our programmes have had on youth, and some great yarns along the way.

Have you been a student at Hillary Outdoors? We would love to hear from Hillary Outdoors Alumni. If you have some fabulous memories of your time with us, or just want to reconnect with the Hillary Outdoors community please email marketing@hillaryoutdoors.co.nz

So while we might be turning the big 5-0 the celebration has to be in honour of outdoor education everywhere because, after all, age is just a number.