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Women Outdoors: Unleashed!

So you’ve been active with Women Outdoors. You’ve done a few hikes around the neighborhood, maybe gone on an over-nighter or two, perhaps gone paddling, and you’ve very likely made some wonderful new friends. Maybe you’re wondering ... what’s next? Women Outdoors: Unleashed!

What is a Women Outdoors: Unleashed! Trip?

To those Women Outdoors members who traveled 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.

Women Outdoors: Unleashed! trips are, in essence, more intense than the norm. They might involve far-flung travel, for example, or an intensive service stint. Some examples of trips that have already happened, that are now under discussion or that could come to pass if a champion steps forward:

  • The 2007 trip to New Orleans to help rebuild homes with Habitat for Humanity.
  • A rafting trip down the Colorado River in Moab, Utah, in 2005.
  • The Wilderness Heals fund-raising hike for the Elizabeth Stone House in 2008.
  • A tour of Latin America.

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!

How to Plan a Women Outdoors: Unleashed! Trip

  • The trip organizer must be a member of Women Outdoors.
  • If the Unleashed! trip is a service project, Women Outdoors will consider providing financial assistance in addition to the support outlined in the event deposit policy.
  • If the Unleashed! trip is a recreational trip, Women Outdoors will not provide financial support but will consider providing the support outlined in the event deposit policy [PDF].
  • The trip organizer needs to complete the Unleashed! application form [Download the Unleashed! form in PDF or Word] and email it to for consideration by the WO board.
  • A WO board member will interview the trip organizer by telephone.
  • Within two weeks, the WO board will discuss, by email or phone, the proposal and vote on whether to provide the assistance outlined in the event deposit policy [PDF]. The WO board will also vote on whether to provide financial assistance for a service project.
  • The trip organizer can publicize the trip through the Women Outdoors Magazine, and a blast email to all members.
  • The trip organizer is also encouraged to attend local planning meetings and the Gathering to generate interest in her trip.

Happy Unleashing!

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