So you’ve been active with Women Outdoors. You’ve done a few hikes around the neighborhood, maybe gone on an overnighter or two, perhaps gone paddling, and you’ve very likely made some wonderful new friends. Maybe you’re wondering ... what’s next?
So are we! That’s why we’re thrilled to announce a new initiative that we’re calling Women Outdoors: Unleashed!
What does that mean? Anything we want it to! To those Women Outdoors members who travelled to New Orleans to work for a week building houses with Habitat for Humanity, it means a service trip that put us somewhere where we could help to change people’s lives. It can mean a trip that’s more intense than most in other ways, whether it’s a longer time commitment, a trip that carries you to exotic lands, or long-term training to accomplish a fund-raising marathon or long-distance hike.
Check out some of the events our dream calendar for Women Outdoors: Unleashed! might hold:
March 5–18, 2010
In 2006, Habitat for Humanity India launched an ambitious five-year campaign, called IndiaBUILDS, to provide shelter and stability to 50,000 families.
As part of the campaign, Habitat India is bringing different segments of society together to build – including women from all backgrounds. In March 2010, Habitat India will host more than 100 international volunteers, from several different countries, to help build houses. The volunteers will work alongside members of local women’s savings groups as part of Habitat’s “Women Build” initiative.
Wilderness Heals: White Mountains
Wilderness Heals is an all-female, three-day pledge hike to raise funds for the Elizabeth Stone House. The hike brings together women from all over New England to raise awareness about domestic violence and trauma, and also raises the much-needed flexible funding that helps the Stone House meet the needs of the families it serves. Each hiker is responsible for raising a minimum of $1,200, which goes directly to supporting the work of the Elizabeth Stone House.
How do we make it happen?
The trips we’ve listed here are just a sample of what we, as a group of talented, energetic, motivated women, could accomplish if we set our sights high. Do you have other ideas for Unleashed! trips? Excellent, we want to hear your ideas!
So where do we go from here? As you can surmise, Unleashed! trips need more planning than most Women Outdoors trips. They need champions who are devoted to seeing them happen. They entail more logistics, whether it’s travel, lodging, or liaising with sponsoring organizations.
Women Outdoors is asking for champions to step forward and take ownership of an Unleashed! trip. That means researching such trips, dealing with trip logistics, recruiting Women Outdoors members to participate, delegating responsibility and whatever else a particular trip requires.
If you’re up to it, we’re up to helping you make it happen. We’re willing to use the Gathering to help you nurture your Unleashed! trip, whether it’s an informational workshop you want to present on your trip or simply a venue to pass out flyers to Women Outdoors members as you work to solicit participation.
So let’s do this: Start thinking about what you want to do with your life. Start thinking about the good that you can do others. Start thinking of the countries you’ve always wanted to visit and the cultures in which you’d like to immerse yourself. Start thinking of Women Outdoors as the organization of women who will happily walk with you, hike with you, and strive with you, to make your dreams come true.
Now’s the time to make it happen!
Already have a great idea for an Unleashed! trip? Tell us about it, so we can start helping you plan! Tell us whatever you know about your trip and send it to SpecialEvents@womenoutdoors.org.
Examples of information you can start amassing to bring your dream trip to fruition:
- Purpose of trip
- Costs involved
- Support that Women Outdoors could provide
We look forward to dreaming with you!
Lisa Vaas, Special Events/Women Outdoors Board of Directors