If you are visiting this website you are probably either involved in or want to be involved in working and/or recreating in the biggest and best playground of all, the great outdoors! Welcome to the site - I hope you find what’s here useful, informative and inspiring.
Before going any further, I’d like to point out that “GO! Girls Outdoors” is NOT anti-male in any way. In fact, this website can help men come to grips with some of the issues that can face women in an outdoor environment, in order to become better instructors or mentors.
The outdoors is a place where both men and women can gain immense benefits socially, mentally and physically. It is a place to gain environmental awareness and to learn about yourself and others. In the outdoors you can challenge yourself according to your personal skill level, whatever that might be, and gain a sense of accomplishment. You can learn about challenge and hardship, setting and accomplishing goals, working in groups and effective communication skills. Outdoor Education in schools is especially popular these days, thanks to all these reasons.
Today there are many people, including lots of women, participating in outdoor activities. However, in some areas there are less women than men - in particular in the more ‘extreme’ sports such as white water kayaking/rafting or mountaineering, and in management positions at outdoor centres or schools. Lots of research has been done on why this is the case, and researchers have come up with a variety of reasons as to why this is the case. Here are some:
· Masculine portrayal of the activities;
· Predominance of men participating;
· Lack of female instructors, mentors and role models;
· Lack of knowledge of techniques and strategies for effectively educating women in the outdoors.
Some outdoor activities do appeal to males more than females. However, as a female in outdoor education and recreation I have seen many girls and women flourish while engaging in properly managed outdoor activities. What a shame that some may be turned off by one or more of the reasons above!
In order for everyone to gain the benefits of outdoor activities, everyone must be given an equal opportunity to engage. Researchers have given us the following insights into the education of women in the outdoors:
· Females often require education and instruction that is designed specifically for women.
· Women need encouragement to participate, support while learning and exposure to female role models and mentors.
· Women need instruction from leaders who support the learning pace and style of women.
· Single gender groups can be beneficial for female beginners.
· Females working in outdoor education and recreation should be supported in order to boost the number of women in the industry.
Of course, there are many amazing women doing incredible things in the outdoors, and many programs and events that cater especially for women - just look up the Profiles section for some examples. This website has been created to provide an information hub and communication network, neither of which exist for any outdoor community in
Do you agree or disagree with any the statements above? Jump to the Forum and start a discussion about an issue of your choice!
Anything you think should be added? Do you have an article you would like published or a person, program or event you would like to see profiled? Contact Marjorie.