By Shari Leach, Executive Director, The Women’s Wilderness Institute
This July, The Women’s Wilderness Institute will bring a crew of supporters to run an aid station at the Triple Bypass. Riders needing a boost will find the organization’s dedicated friends, staff members and volunteers cheering loudly and giving high fives while passing out water, sandwiches and snacks. Benefitting from the funds received from this event are girls ages eight to 18, most of them from Colorado and most of them without the means to experience our state’s beautiful wilderness. Specifically, the funds will create scholarships for girls to attend the organization’s Wilderness Expeditions and Leadership Course.
In its 16 year history, The Women’s Wilderness Institute has never turned away a girl for financial reasons. Scholarships are created to offer girls life-changing wilderness experiences through our Girls’ Wilderness Program, providing one-to-14 day adventures for girls ages eight to 18 in a supportive ‘girl-positive’ environment.
These programs prepare girls for a lifetime of adventure by teaching outdoor skills and techniques. Our model of choice-based, girl-specific wilderness education effectively teaches skills crucial to building self-sufficiency, confidence and personal strength. While backpacking, camping, climbing, or sharing stories, girls become more familiar with their inner voice and power, and often return home feeling confident and inspired to lead bigger, bolder lives.
Leadership development is an important component of the courses, and is a focus for the Wilderness Expeditions and Leadership Course. These multi-day expeditions for High School girls incorporate leadership development, community service, navigation, backpacking and climbing, and offer skills for making choices and becoming more in control of one’s life.
This year, our goal is $40,000 to support full and partial scholarships for girls. This partnership with the Triple Bypass is meaningful to our organization and the many Colorado girls whose lives are positively impacted by the funds received from this event. We are grateful for this tremendous support and look forward to more fun at this year’s ride. If you’d like to volunteer with us or learn more, visit www.womenswilderness.org or call (303) 938-9191.