Scholarship applications are currently being taken for the Women’s Wilderness Institute girls’ programs. The Institute offers four- to 14-day trips for girls beginning at age 9. Their classes allow girls to try out backpacking, rock climbing and hiking a peak, or delve into a committing trip, like an eight-day backpacking expedition. Courses are also offered that pair art and the outdoors, bring a parent or adult mentor along to learn outdoor skills with girls, and bring Latina girls out to have outdoor experiences on day trips led by Latina women.
“What I love about the program is how it positively changes girls’ lives, teaching them real-world leadership and communication skills using a model designed especially to meet girls’ needs,” Shari Leach, the executive director of the institute, said in a press release.
Full and partial scholarships are available, based on family income level. In 16 years the program has been running, it has not yet turned away a girl who wanted to attend due to financial need. Last year, it awarded $30,000 in scholarships, 94 percent of which went to Colorado residents, according to the institute.
“The Women’s Wilderness Institute has taught me to trust myself in what I do and who I am through rock climbing,” a 2012 participant told the institute.
The first programs start in mid-June and run through the end of August.