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May 25

10 posts to inspire young girls and women to get outside

Posted on May 25, 2017 at 2:35 PM by Ben Schorzman

Girl skateboarder at WJ Skatepark

Gender stereotypes about women in nature have changed a lot through the years, but even in 2017 there’s a constant fight for women to be seen as equals in the outdoor industry.

Companies like REI, Patagonia and Columbia have all run campaigns and advocated for equality in the outdoors, and in recent years — especially since the outdoor industry has been recognized as $500-billion force in the U.S. economy — there has been a rise of wilderness programs focused exclusively on girls. While it’s certainly smart business for them to target advertisements to half the population, we also know that representation in media matters and it’s important to have positive role models and portrayals inspire young people.

Whole generations of women have grown up outside and learned to be independent, community leaders. More programs and advocacy groups are being created to help young girls challenge conventional stereotypes and contribute to self-esteem, leadership and other positive traits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time for kids and balancing it with other healthy activities. The more time kids spend outside, the better their mental and physical health becomes. And the more time girls spend outdoors, the more it contributes to many to a healthy, positive outlook.

Through the River House Outdoor Center, Eugene Rec is offering four outdoor camps this summer just for teenage girls. There’s an overnight surfing trip from Aug. 11-13 to the coast, a whitewater kayaking camp for beginners in August, a girls-only skateboard camp right before Labor Day as well as an overnight girls-only stand-up paddleboard trip in July.

All the camps are meant to empower young women to get outside and learn skills in welcoming, safe environments. If you and your family are looking for other inspiring stories about women being awesome outside, check out these links.


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