Know why it’s important for girls to experience adventure in the out-of-doors? Author, mother, and peakbagger extraordinaire Patricia Ellis Herr shared three reasons this morning during her keynote talk at the annual GirlVentures Empower! Breakfast in San Francisco. Thanks to the generosity of my good friends Judy and Bruce Todd, and my law firm, Farella Braun & Martel, who helped sponsor the breakfast, I was lucky enough to be able to attend, and I was reminded once again of what a terrific organization GirlVentures is. Providing “outdoor adventure for inner discovery” for 16 years, GirlVentures’ mission is to empower adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths by connecting urban Bay Area girls with the outdoors through hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, and backpacking. In so doing, the girls learn to make smart decisions for healthy living, to relate wisely to themselves, others, and the environment, and to emerge as confident leaders. [Link].
Trish Herr took up peakbagging with her energetic five year old daughter, and in Up — A Mother And Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, she tells the story of how she and her daughter bagged all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s highest mountains. I’m looking forward to reading the book, which is about Trish teaching her daughter Alex that “small doesn’t necessarily mean weak; that girls can be strong; and that big, bold things are possible.”
And about those three reasons about why outdoor adventure is important? Because while setting and reaching goals in any situation can be empowering, spending time in nature can bring greater mental and physical health benefits than a sedentary activity; outdoor adventure teaches people to be able to handle a wide variety of unpredicted circumstances; and success in the outdoors counteracts the likelihood that girls will internalize the abundant, devaluing messages that girls get in our society that they are weak. Hear hear! Check out GirlVentures if you’d like to get involved in a very worthy organization that invests in girls!