Info for Parents

Why just girls, and why outdoors? Girls are different! There are very few outdoor programs that recognize girls' unique strengths and needs, and balance the challenge of physical activity with the development of the healthy relationships that are crucial for girls' confidence and self esteem. An outdoor expedition is an ideal format for girls to learn to honor their bodies for their strength, to speak up about their values and beliefs, and to learn to take the appropriate risks that are needed to be successful in the world. On a Girls' Wilderness course, girls see positive qualities in all the women around them-in their leaders, their peers and themselves. And, on an all-girl expedition, girls are more likely to take leadership, to fully "own" their experience, and allow themselves to be playful, strong and capable.

What will they do? The Girls' Wilderness Program is rooted in the tradition of experiential education, and your daughter will learn a lot, do a lot, and be a full participant in the direction and content of her course. She'll be taught the outdoor skills to gradually assume the responsibilities of the expedition, including navigation, cooking, setting up camp, and making decisions, with the support of her group and two leaders. Staff will also initiate activities, games, and discussions that encourage each girl to be her "real" self, and to develop her confidence and leadership skills. Group size is limited to ten girls. We pride ourselves on listening to the needs and interests of each girl and each group, and
adapting itineraries and course content accordingly. Your daughter's rights and decisions will always be respected, and no girl is ever forced or "talked into" doing something she does not want to do.

Pre-Trip/Parent Meeting The morning before the girls head out on their adventure, there is a meeting where she can meet the staff and other participants, and borrow any needed clothing and gear. There will also be a parent meeting so you can meet the staff and be fully informed about the course.

Service Projects As part of the Girls' Wilderness experience some of our courses include service
projects where girls will put the leadership and backcountry skills they've
learned on course into action in our community. Service projects provide a
unique opportunity for girls to put new found skills to use and feel an immense
sense of accomplishment.

Safety Your safety is the very first priority on our courses. We have an excellent safety record and a strong commitment to making our courses as safe as possible. The Women's Wilderness Institute uses safety procedures and protocols that are considered "best practices" in the field of wilderness programming. However, all of our courses are real wilderness experiences, and there are inherent risks whenever you venture into the mountains or desert. Field staff will teach you how to recognize hazards and how to "think safely" at all times so that you can be an active participant in staying safe. All field staff are certified as Wilderness First Responders, an 80-hour training in backcountry medicine.

The Women's Wilderness Institute recently received it's accreditation from the Association for Experiential Educators (AEE). AEE accredited programs meet or exceed recognized industry standards for risk management, safety, and sound practices.

To read our Parent Handbook please click here

Application ProcessParticipants will be asked to complete and submit an application to participate on a Girls' Wilderness or Women's Wilderness course. Each form in the application provides us with the most, and best, information to give each participant a great experience. In addition, we are also required to keep an immunization record of all participants in orur Girls' Wilderness Program on file. Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis; completing and returning the application as soon as possible is recommended!
Please call our office if you are looking to register for a course within two weeks of a course's start date.
If you have questions regarding the application process, please call our office at 303.938.9191 or also visit our Registration Page

Fitness and HealthGirls' Wilderness Program courses are meant to be challenging, but "do-able." Regular exercise in the months before the course will be helpful, but a positive attitude and willingness to try are just as important.

Diversity We believe that people flourish in environments that welcome and respect differences, and that diversity is a crucial element in a healthy organization and in a healthy society. We welcome all girls on our courses, and will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, spiritual beliefs, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or disability in any area of the organization, including hiring of staff or selection of participants.

What to bring Not much! We have top-quality backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, climbing gear, and all the other outdoor equipment you might need. If girls have any of these items, she may bring her own. We can loan fleece clothing, rain gear and even hiking boots if needed. You will receive a list of things to bring with your enrollment packet.

Food All food is provided, including healthy meals and plenty of snacks. Our staff will teach how to create wholesome, delicious backcountry meals with enough fuel and nutrition to keep you happy on your course. We can accommodate some common food allergies. Please give us a call if you have specific needs or questions. 303-938-9191

Transportation Transportation leaving from and returning to Boulder, CO is included.

Please let us know if you have questions; call 303.938.9191 or email moreinfo@womenswilderness.org.