Last month, we celebrated International Women’s Day across Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver as a time to recognize the accomplishments of women and girls and provide opportunities for Club members to expand their understanding of what’s possible for them as young women.
Those opportunities are all around us, every single day at the Clubs. A Cope Club staff member, Nikki, read a statistic that girls are taken on outdoor trips much less than their male counterparts, sparking an idea for an all-girls group hiking trip! Cope staff decided to plan the hike for International Women’s Day – combining an empowering experience with outdoor education and STEM curriculum.
Along with staff, a group of 16 girls ranging in age from 6-13 headed out for an incredible day of hiking at Dinosaur Ridge. They spent the first part of the hike learning about Colorado geological, archeological, and ecological history. Staff member Savannah shared, “The kids had to be convinced for about five whole minutes that the dinosaur footprints they were seeing were actually real. They were shocked to learn that Colorado used to be under water and loved looking at the rocks showing the waves of the ancient sand beds.”
On the trail, Cope staff taught the girls trail etiquette, including right-of-way, why it’s important to stay on the trail to protect plants and animals, and not to cut switchbacks – which the girls called “nature jaywalking.” They spent an exhilarating few hours hiking up hundreds of feet to look over Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Green Mountain. This group of intrepid hikers wanted to keep going, but the sun was setting, so they headed back to the bus, with tired legs and newfound inspiration.
And, the sense of empowerment that came from a brand-new experience stuck. Savannah said, “We heard from about a third of the girls that they had never been hiking before! The entire hike, the girls couldn’t stop talking about ‘girl power’ and how they could do whatever boys could do, despite the challenging hills.”
At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, we are committed to providing experiences like these for our Club members all throughout the year, encouraging our girls to climb to new heights every single day. Through experiences at their Clubs, girls across the city are building the confidence they need to become the strong female leaders of tomorrow.