Program offers camping to participants at San Francisco’s Lands End


National Park Service, SF State’s Pacific Leadership Institute to partner at Fort Miley site

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11, 2017 – After almost 40 years of successful programming, San Francisco State University’s Pacific Leadership Institute (PLI) and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced the expansion of leadership and outdoor education programing to include an overnight program in Fort Miley at Lands End, a park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Beginning as a two-year pilot program that will become a permanent campground, this program will be the only camping opportunity in Lands End and only the second campsite in the city of San Francisco.

“Extending the current leadership and outdoor education offerings to include overnight programs will help PLI meet growing demand from community partners and enable youth to have a more immersive outdoor experience,” said Drew McAdams, the chief of programs for the Institute. “The overnight program will allow for more comprehensive leadership training both for participants and group facilitators, as well as provide more time for outdoor education opportunities to encourage youth to become stewards of the environment,” he added.

Additional programs resulting from the creation of a permanent campsite will also provide research and evaluation opportunities for the community and SF State’s partners. Once the overnight program is fully up and running, it aims to serve over 500 youth annually.

Since 1979, SF State’s Recreation, Parks and Tourism department’s Pacific Leadership Program (PLI) has partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) at Fort Miley in Lands End to instill confidence and cooperation to empower youth and adult leaders to create positive change in their community. The program focuses on bringing underserved youth to Golden Gate National Recreation Area to expose them to the outdoors and develop leadership skills.

PLI offers experiential programs that emphasize learning-by-doing, outdoor challenges, and play as teaching tools to build self-esteem, trust and teamwork. In one of PLI’s signature programs, Youth Lead!, students receive academic credit, community service hours, and summer employment opportunities to facilitate PLI leadership and ropes course community programs.

Annually, PLI serves over 14,000 participants, including 12,900 youth and young adults (ages 10-24). Seventy-six percent of participants are ethnically diverse and 30 percent are first-generation college students.

Tents and other overnight equipment will only be set up from just before sunset to about an hour after sunrise, said Rosy Woodruff, a challenge course team leader at PLI and a 2011 graduate of SF State. The idea is to take away as little as possible from other park users who want to enjoy the area during the day, she said.

The two-year pilot program is set to begin in November. Only groups that have participated in the challenge course will be able to use the campground, which can accommodate up to 30 campers. Participants will pay between $35 and $50 for the full experience, and can sign up here:


About San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University is a doctoral public university serving students from the San Francisco Bay Area, across California and beyond, with nationally acclaimed programs that span a broad range of disciplines. Nearly 30,000 students enroll at the University each year, and its more than 249,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. Through them — and more than 1,700 world-class faculty members — SF State proudly embraces its legacy of academic excellence, community engagement and commitment to social justice. For more information, visit