ROLL Albany: Our Mission
What is it like to grow up with a sense of capability and self-awareness?
Feeling competent enables responsibility and innovation. Self-understanding and self-confidence help us to weather life's storms while having the courage to use our gifts.
We believe every young person is full of possibility, and we are committed to encouraging curiosity that leads to understanding and finding meaning in the world. Connection to the natural world and access to supportive relationships increases one’s ability to access health and resilience. When youth learn to explore and grow their skills in compassionate community contexts, they build an inner foundation that can carry into adulthood. This foundation benefits their personal stability, enhancing the relationships, teams, and communities they are a part of.
ROLL Albany (Relationship-based Outdoor Life Learning) is named for the life learning that takes place as we develop our skills of self-relating, relating to others, and relating to the world around us. This - and the resilient self-esteem that it supports - happens most freely in a context that is compassionate, connected and responsible.
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We are a budding organization with old roots. Founder Alana S. Kenagy grew up in a rich context of forest and farmland on the edge of Albany, surrounded by a supportive adult community who instilled values of independence, stewardship, and lifelong learning. After studying education in college, Alana put dreams of outdoor school on hold to answer the call of the family farm and work land that has been in the family more than three generations. But as screen time, isolation, and polarization drastically rose in 2020 this sparked a renewed urgency to expand youth access to nature, community, and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum.
Calling upon community, a group of diversely skilled adults have come together to serve that vision and help steward future generations back into connection with the land, themselves, and healthy relationships to community. We are starting small, aimed for quality rather than quantity, with a focus on listening and being responsive to youth feedback in order to inform what we do next.
This summer we ran some programs in conjunction with the Greater Albany Public School District's Think Big Summer, and worked as substitutes in the Academic Program.