Schooled in the outdoors


The Girls’ Wilderness Program believes in using time in the woods to help girls develop confidence and build interpersonal and personal skills.

And they aren’t alone in the opinion that time outdoors helps girls grow up strong.

A study published in the Journal of Experiential Education in 2006 reported that girls who participated in wilderness programs “challenged conventional notions of femininity in diverse ways” by demonstrating perseverance and determination, a willingness to challenge assumptions of girls’ abilities and the notions of ideal beauty, and an increased ability to speak out and develop relationships with other girls.

The 15-year-old Girls’ Wilderness Program encourages girls to go backpacking, whether they consider themselves outdoorsy or not. This summer’s courses include “Adventure Camp” wilderness sampler classes for middle school girls, “Wilderness Expeditions” eight-day backpacking trips for high-school-age girls, a rock climbing camp and a Yellowstone trip.

The program is offering scholarships for girls from low- and middle-income families. Scholarship spaces are open until May 14, and a few may remain available after that date. For more information, visit or call 303-938-9191.


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