It’s kind of a given that boys are expected to get outside and play, but for some reason it seems girls are less inclined to be active, especially outdoors. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, can’t, or won’t if given the opportunity.
That’s where we come in. A few years ago, we saw the need to provide outdoor experiences for young women entering college who expressed interest in outdoor activities, but perhaps didn’t have the means to pursue them. With help from an alumni donation, we filled that need by creating Mountain Challenge Girls, a group led by some of our female staff to provide access to specialized adventures especially for Maryville College women.
The pilot program, which included hiking, paddling, and whitewater rafting trips, took place over the course of the 2013-14 academic year at Maryville College, and culminated in a girls’ weekend getaway in Asheville, North Carolina.
We’ve found that girls love to get outside and play in the dirt just as much boys, if not more. We think there is great value in a group of women coming together to have fun while promoting healthy behaviors and attitudes towards each other and themselves. This kind of bond among women and nature is unique, empowering and arguably life-changing. Just ask our group of Mountain Challenge Girls.