Nadav Sprague founded Gateway to the Great Outdoors after he realized that there was a lack of outdoor opportunities for children of low-income families in the St. Louis region. Thus, in October 2015, Nadav Sprague and fellow classmates founded Gateway to the Great Outdoors as a student-run organization at Washington University in St. Louis. The program aimed to give children from low socioeconomic backgrounds in urban St. Louis the opportunity to learn about sustainability, natural sciences, and the environment through hands-on, engaging outdoor activities. The organization worked with Lift for Life Academy and KIPP: Triumph Academy.

In November 2016, Nadav Sprague decided to turn this school affiliated program into an independently running nonprofit. Gateway to the Great Outdoors is currently in a period of expansion, both in its current programming and in reaching out to new schools in other urban areas.