The PlayOUT Foundation was founded in 2018 by April Rose, an educator and mother of six with a passion for the outdoors and a simple mission: to get kids outside. April spent her childhood afternoons freely exploring outdoors — playing at the park with friends, making forts in the bushes outside her house, catching bugs and making them her pets, and just simply being with her imagination and dreams. She credits those hours of unstructured engagement, wonder, and discovery for shaping her love of nature and her entrepreneurial spirit.
After spending years working in various educational environments and having children of her own, April recognized her true calling: sharing the experience of the great outdoors with others. In 2013, she opened the first Camp Roots, a one-week nature immersion summer camp focused on play, mindfulness, stewardship, and connection. This outdoor learning environment was so powerful for children and families that it inspired her to return to the classroom herself to study pedagogical theory. In 2015, she earned a Master of Education from Antioch University in Seattle. That summer, Camp Roots ran for six weeks. After seeing again what a positive impact nature immersion and play had on her community, April founded the PlayOUT Foundation to support even more outdoor-based experiences for children and families.
The PlayOUT Foundation brought Camp Roots under its umbrella in 2018 and continues to offer engaging and playful programming that gets children outdoors, offering them time to play, dream, create, and explore themselves and their world as freely as April herself did as a child.
OUR CORE VALUES
The art of paying attention and listening to oneself and the surrounding world, free of criticism and judgment, is foundational. We provide programming for all ages with many opportunities to explore mindfulness practices that nurture a compassionate attitude toward the earth, self, and others.
At the PlayOUT Foundation, we believe that all living things are connected and matter greatly. Trees are to be loved, plants to be valued, and animals and insects cared for with gentle reverence. We connect our community to year-around stewardship opportunities to tend to and mend the ecosystems that support us. Caring for the earth is caring for ourselves.
Strong communities are built on respect and trust. When we treat each other with careful attention, learn to listen, and act with integrity and kindness, our friendships and communities are strengthened. Our programs have been mindfully created to nurture the ability to create meaningful connections with self, nature, and community.
The PlayOUT Foundation is dedicated to creating outdoor play and learning environments for children of all ages that cultivate mindfulness, stewardship, and connection with nature, community, and self.