William & Mary

Women's Backpacking Trip


backpacking backpacking backpacking

For our project, we focused on encouraging female involvment in outdoor recreation. The outdoors has historically been a male-dominated space, and there have been many studies showing the psychological affects of engaging in outdoor recreation. It helps improve body image; participants learn to see their bodies as tools rather than objects to be viewed. Also, it fosters confidence and leadership.

We met with the director of Rec Sports at the college, and organized an all-female backpacking trip through the Outdoor Recreation department. We fundraised to help lower the cost of the trip, and advertised to try to encourage girls who had never been backpacking before to join our trip. We spent 3 days and 2 nights with a group of 11 girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it was a blast! We had some programming regarding female leadership that we did around the campfire, and overall I think we definitely introduced some new females into the field of outdoor recreation.