Women's Wilderness has the mission of strengthening the courage, confidence, and leadership qualities of girls and women, through the challenge and support of group wilderness and community-based experiences. The Girls' Wilderness Program is an innovative strengthening and prevention program designed to develop the self-efficacy, self-confidence, leadership skills, and capacity for authentic relationships that have been shown to be significant protective factors for girls.
Women's Wilderness was established in 1997, and began offering leadership programs for girls in 1998. Wilderness programs for women were introduced in 1999. The organization has since grown to offer as many as 60 courses annually, including open enrollment courses for the general public and contract courses for partners including Girl Scouts, Naropa University, Mile Hi Church, the Army National Guard, and dozens of other organizations.
In 2008, Women's Wilderness received full accreditation from the Association for Experiential Education which means that we have met the safety, program quality, and risk management standards and practices of outdoor, experiential education.
In 2018 we are celebrating our 20th anniversary! This year we served over 100 girls, with 60% attending because of our financial aid opportunities. We also started the second of our year-round programs for girls, with indoor climbing program at Earth Treks climbing gym in Golden AND Englewood, CO. And, we continue to grow our women's programs, our Queer Wilderness Project offerings, and our efforts at inclusivity and diversity in the outdoors through our new Trailblazers: Women Identifying BIPOC Outdoor Program.
"I think I really found courage in myself that I never knew I had. I have learned to speak my mind, and not hold back because I might sound stupid. This experience has brought out the best in me."
-Sarah, age 15, Girls' Wilderness Adventures Alumni
"I remain changed from my Women's Wilderness trip. It was incredibly challenging for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I had to pull strength from deep within me, strength I wasn't sure I possessed. I went from
constantly repeating I can't, to saying 'Yes, I can.' Even two years later, when I am faced with challenges in life, I think: 'I did that backpacking trip, so I can do this, too.'"
-Hannah, age 17, Girls' Wilderness Adventures Alumni