Capable Young Women
Wed, 11/20/2019 - 08:00
Our children are our future. As a parent, teacher, or mentor, you know this. What we teach young people today ripples out into the world as they move forward in life, acting on the values and convictions gained in childhood. We hope that the future will be more equitable, more accepting, with more opportunties for all kinds of people. We hope that the girls of today grow into a generation of women who feel that they have the freedom and confidence to choose exactly the life that suits each one of them.
How do we nourish and encourage girls toward this vision of the future? Too often, we rely on words, rather than experiences, to teach a young woman that the world can be her oyster. “You can do anything you set your mind to,” we say. “The sky’s the limit.” But how often do girls have a chance to build the qualities and confidence that will help her encounter the world this way? In a society that has definitely not reached its potential for equality, actions speak louder than words to help see and believe in what they are capable of.
That’s why investing in the Alpengirl experience for the young woman in your family is worth every penny. It can make a real difference in her future. What sorts of skills will your daughter, granddaughter, or niece gain at Alpengirl? Skills that will serve her everyday as she grows into a strong, capable, and confident young woman.
Success usually doesn’t come from “knowing the right answer.” The ability to pass a test with a perfect score, an ability that is highly valued in out school system, does not necessarily correlate with future successes. Success comes from being able to assess a situation, adapt to it, create a plan, and move forward. This is one of the essential ways in which Alpengirl Camp is different from a regular school environment. At Alpengirl, girls have opportunities both as individuals and as a team to work through real-life decisions and participate in the results of their problem solving processes. From learning to build a campfire or designing the menu for the last part of camp, to addressing the social frictions that arise within a group - camp is full of challenges and opportunities for problem solving that yield tabgible rewards and build girls’ confidence. They learn that even if they don’t know the perfect answer, they can get creative, think critically, and find a successful path forward.
Every parent or guardian wants to see the kids they care about grow up into strong, healthy adults who know how to support themselves emotionally and physically. Alpengirl will help your young girl begin to develop the resilience and self-management tools appropriate for her age. While it’s not always easy—for child or parent - to have a young one away from home, an all-girls sleep-away adventure camp is the ideal setting for your daughter to explore her independence in a safe atmosphere. Plus she’ll learn outdoor skills that will empower her to experience “the freedom of the hills” for years to come.
Younger generations are being raised amid the challenges and unpredictability of a changing natural world. The awareness of ecological crises is an important part of children’s educations, but often the problems seem so huge that kids feel helpless and overwhelmed.
Alpengirl Camp offers an important first step in developing a positive relationship to the environment by connecting kids with nature. Just being out there - realizing that the water we drink comes from streams and trash doesn’t just “go away” - helps youth understand that we are part of a larger, interrelated world. Through Leave No Trace and other backcountry best practices, Alpengirl engages young women in active stewardship while having fun. A girl doesn’t have to be the next Rachel Carson to remember to strain food particles from the dishwashing water before dispersing it - though Alpengirl will help give her the confidence to be the next Rachel Carson if she wants to!
It’s not easy being an adolescent girl in today’s world. Messages and pressures to look and act a certain way are everywhere, especially in the constant media presence in kids’ lives. Self-esteem and self-image are some of the biggest challenges teenage girls face. That’s why one or two weeks unplugged from the barrage of messagesand images, outdoors with a diverse team of friends, can do wonders for girls’ sense of self worth. Carrying a hiking backpack might be hard in the moment, but afterward it’s worth a million bucks to see the pride she’ll feel in learning what she’s capable of - and never knew she could accomplish before. Alpengirl offers girls the opportunity to experience their bodies not just as pretty pictures, but as amazing resources that can carry them to unimagined heights. That sense of self worth will help them reach their future goals, on and off the trail.
So give that special young woman a break from the mirror and the phone. Give her the gift of Alpengirl, where she’ll build skills she’ll have for life!