In recent years, rock-star bassist Jeff Ament has dedicated himself to developing world-class skateboarding parks in the rural American West, particularly in his home state of Montana. For him, the point isn’t just to create concrete playgrounds so kids have somewhere to rip: he wants to give young people in small towns similar to the one he grew up in a place to gather and build community. This is desperately needed. America’s youth are facing a mental health crisis that was in the making long before the pandemic caused depression and anxiety to spike. What kids in small towns could use now more than ever is real-life human connection—and as Ament tells it, this happens best in a space that they can call their own.
This episode is brought to you by Hydro Flask, a company that believes every adventure starts with two simple words: let’s go! Shop Hydro Flask products for yourself or the outdoor lovers on your holiday list this season at hydroflask.com.
Follow the Outside Podcast
Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.