Team AAA Half Dome and Shasta Adventurers

We are Climbing for Kids!

We Need Your Help Raising Funds for Bay Area Wilderness Training.

Our team goal is to raise $40,000 for BAWT to Help Get Youth Outdoors! Please make a tax-deductible donation

BAWT is a small scrappy organization that is incredibly effective. For every $65 raised, BAWT will help 1 youth experience California’s wilderness.

    • $32.50 = 1/2 of the cost for BAWT to get 1 youth outdoors
    • $65 = Cost for BAWT to get 1 youth outdoors
    • $130 = Cost for BAWT to get 2 youth outdoors
    • $260 = Cost for BAWT to get 4 youth outdoors
    • $520 = Cost for BAWT to get 8 youth outdoors
    • $1040 = Cost for BAWT to get 16 youth outdoors


Bay Area Wilderness Training Helps Get Youth Outdoors!

Bay Area Wilderness Training’s (BAWT) mission is to create equitable access to outdoor experiences for youth of color and low-income youth. BAWT trains teachers and youth workers on how to safely lead youth trips into the wilderness and then provides free outdoor gear loans, financial support, and trip planning assistance.

Each year Bay Area Wilderness Training helps over 9,000 youth experience wilderness first hand through overnight camping or backpacking trips. BAWT believes that every child needs nature.  There are many tangible benefits when youth experience nature, including the improved health of the body, mind, and spirit.

Our 2018 Climbing Adventures

Mount Shasta Ten team members are going to climb to the top of a 14,180 ft. snow-capped volcano — Mount Shasta. They will learn some mountaineering skills and have an incredible adventure (May 18th-20th).

Half Dome Eight team members are going to climb 5,000 feet through the night under the light of the stars. As the sun rises over Yosemite, the team will ascend the famous cables that lead to the summit of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome (June 8th-10th).

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Meet the Team

The team is composed of fourteen coworkers from AAA’s insurance company CSAA Insurance Group and three significant others.

Alaen Ninh – Mount Shasta Team

    Alaen grew up in Richmond with little means, so playing outdoors was the cheapest form of entertainment. He would hike the woods, wade the creeks, and climb the hills. In his early teens Alaen managed to save enough money by mowing the neighbor’s lawn to buy his first “real” hiking boots. They were a little too big, but double the socks and they fit just fine! Now he is married with children and enjoys many hikes with his family. Alaen has been able to hike to the depths of the Grand Canyon and to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion. But Mt. Shasta will definitely be a challenge, mentally and physically. Alaen still has those pair of hiking shoes he bought. They are a little tight at first but they’re still comfortable after a few steps. BAWT’s mission is to create equitable access to outdoor experiences for youth of color and low income youth. Alaen is raising funds for BAWT because he was one of those kids….


Andrea Hecht – Mount Shasta Team

    Andrea grew up in Ohio and climbing a mountain certainly never crossed her mind until she moved to California. Andrea had always been a bit of a couch potato until her late 20’s when she discovered a love of endurance athletics. She is excited to embrace the challenge of training for this unique experience and add another item to the “I can’t believe I did this” list. More importantly, she is excited to have the opportunity to Help kids find a passion for physical activity and the outdoors! Thank you so much for contributing to our fundraising efforts!


AnnMarie Davies – Half Dome Team

        AnnMarie grew up in Northern California, where she dedicated all her free time to ballet. It was not until she moved to Santa Barbara, where biking & hiking were a part of daily life, that her love of fitness grew into a love of the outdoors. AnnMarie is excited to support BAWT in its mission to provide low income youth access to wilderness exploration and the unique connection with nature, community, and self it offers. Please join AnnMarie and the AAA climbers by making a contribution, big or small.

Let’s Help Get Youth Outdoors! 


Chris Knievel – Mount Shasta Team

          Chris grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska where the closest mountain is a good 9 hours away. Since moving to California 10 years ago, he has grown a tremendous appreciation for the outdoors and spent many a weekend exploring Northern California doing trail running and hikes. He has also been fortunate to make some epic backpacking trips, including the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. Chris is looking forward to helping kids find a lifelong passion for the outdoors (much earlier than he did) and begin making a lifetime of memories that they can appreciate forever.

Let’s Help Get Youth Outdoors! 


Colin Davies – Half Dome Team

          Colin grew up in the Bay Area, and has been passionate about the outdoors his whole life. He is an avid fan of hiking, climbing, camping, whitewater and snowboarding. He has participated in Outward Bound and NOLS programs, and worked with young adults as a ropes course facilitator. Colin believes that experiential education is critically lacking within our schooling system, particularly for our under-privileged youth. Knowing first-hand how wilderness training can foster leadership, responsibility and abstract problem solving, Colin is eager to support BAWT in their mission. Please contribute and help give kids what a classroom can’t!


Cory Sanders – Mount Shasta Team

          Corey grew up in Northern California spending most of his childhood outside hiking, climbing, cave exploring and riding the occasional waterfall.  As an adult, Corey spent a number of years in the Infantry where time spent in the wilderness was infused with a certain level of misery that very few people can truly appreciate.  In the last few years Corey has rediscovered the joy of hiking, backpacking, trail running and climbing and looks forward to Climbing Mount Shasta.  This is Corey’s first event with BAWT and he looks forward to the challenge.  Please support Corey’s efforts to raise funds for “Climbing for Kids”!


Danielle Frei – Half Dome Team

          Danielle was first introduced to Bay Area Wilderness Training a few years ago through a friend who invited her on an overnight backpacking fundraiser. Their BAWT trained volunteer walked them through how to use all the gear and made this one of her favorite camping experiences. It was inspirational talking with her about BAWT’s mission to get youth outdoors through education and providing free access to quality gear. Shortly after, through AAA volunteers, Danielle was volunteering at BAWT’s gear library in Oakland. She is a huge fan of BAWT’s mission and want to raise awareness of this great cause. Over the years she has been lucky enough to have jaw dropping experiences like standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, watching the sunset over the red cliffs at Zion, and getting surprised by a bear in Yosemite Valley. Youth from all economic backgrounds should have the same opportunities to see and experience the outdoors, BAWT makes it possible! Please join Danielle in supporting this great organization by making a contribution to our fundraising efforts!


David SheridanDavid Sheridan – Half Dome & Mount Shasta Teams

            David grew up in Texas camping as a youth, he loved climbing boulders, catching fish, and sleeping under the stars. Every year he looks forward to wilderness adventures, either with his wife, nephews, or AAA colleagues. Wilderness experiences are essential for David’s health – they motivate him to exercise and they provide a recharging escape into the healing rhythms of nature. He is a volunteer board member and BAWT’s treasurer. David is fired up with excitement about experiencing this year’s climbs with his AAA colleagues. The most amazing part is:…Through the team’s efforts, hundreds of low income youth and youth of color will get to experience the outdoors! Please help him raise funds to

Help Get Youth Outdoors!


Jeff Huebner – Half Dome Team

          Growing up, Jeff loved the outdoors. As a kid, his birthday parties were hiking parties. As a teen, he hiked through the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. He met his wife on a hiking trip in his twenties. But, over the last twenty years, he’s been more of an occasional day hiker and he’s never been to Yosemite. He wants to climb Half Dome to reconnect with his youth and to help make the experience possible for others.



Jill Sprague – Mount Shasta Team

          Jill grew up in Northern California and loves physical challenges of any kind. Being outdoors is especially gratifying, whether it’s hiking, camping, skiing, trapeze or stand-up paddle boarding. We live in such a beautiful place with so many amazing options to get out and play — it’s exciting to be achieving a personal goal while helping kids discover all that the outdoors has to offer.   Jill is thrilled to participate in an organization that instills a passion for nature and movement!


Jose Cobangbang – Mount Shasta Team

          Jose grew up in a tropical country (Philippines) and has always preferred the comfort of modern/urban living. As such, he is terrified and excited (moreso terrified) by the chance to climb Mt. Shasta. Stories of colleagues and how their climbs have been transformative inspired him to try. While he anticipates his experience will be more comical than transformative, he hopes that the funds we raise will at least give a number of kids a shot at that transformative experience!


Kim Grant – Mount Shasta Team

          A Pacific NW native, Kim developed a love of both the outdoors and fitness early on, having spent a ton of time hiking, skiing and playing sports – all things she still enjoys today. She’s particularly excited to climb Mt. Shasta as she has seen it from afar on many family road trips from Seattle to California for her whole life. Kim is looking forward to giving kids a chance to experience something that has always played a big spot in her life.


Kristine Bataclan – Half Dome Team

          Kristine grew up the small tropical island of Guam, which has its highest altitude at just 1,332 feet above sea level. Upon moving to California, she appreciates the majesty of mountains and hopes to support BAWT in Helping Get Youth Outdoors so that kids in underserved communities can also appreciate nature’s beauty first-hand. Please join in Kristine’s effort to raise funds and support this cause as she returns to Half Dome!



PaulPaul McCaffrey – Half Dome Team

          Paul moved to California from Ohio two years ago when he joined CSAA IG as the CFO and he has fully embraced the company spirit of giving back to the local community and creating opportunities for youth. Paul is very involved with Junior Achievement of Northern California and BAWT. Paul is participating in his second AAA Climbing for Kids Adventure trip to Yosemite. He is most excited about what we will accomplish as a team: watching the sunrise from the top of Half Dome and pursuing our challenging fundraising goal.

Let’s Help Get Youth Outdoors!


Perry Liu – Mount Shasta Team

          Perry was born and raised in San Francisco and admits that he has spent a limited amount of time in the outdoors.  The Mount Shasta climb is a “bucket list” item for Perry and carries additional meaning given he’s approaching a milestone birthday (50) this year.  Perry has been a champion for diversity & inclusion and the idea of raising money for underprivileged youth to experience the outdoors motivates him to train and accomplish this climb.  The smallest of donations can make a large impact and Perry is asking that you support BAWT in this fundraising effort.


Rhett Frei – Half Dome Team

Rhett has been an honorary member of the AAA volunteer crew for a few years now, helping to clean up trails and campsites on the volunteer trips to our National Parks with his fiancée (now wife), Danielle. For a tech guy, Rhett loves the outdoors, hiking, camping and going for runs around Lake Merritt. He knows the value and restorative benefits of turning toward nature to get away from life’s everyday stress and responsibilities. Rhett is excited to take on this challenge and support BAWT in their mission to Get Youth Outdoors!


Wuping Lu – Mount Shasta Team

Wuping is an outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys activities in natural and wilderness areas. He likes to take his two kids outdoors almost every weekend. Hiking, Skiing, Mountain Climbing, and Kayaking are his most favorite outdoor activities. In October 2007, he successfully completed the day hike to Mt Whitney. This year, Wuping will climb Mt Shasta to fundraise for youth of color and low income youth to create equitable access to outdoor experiences for them. Please support Wuping’s efforts to raise funds for Climbing For Kids.


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