Our Impact

The Benefits of Girls+ Only Outdoor Programs: Empowering Young Women Through Nature

In today’s rapidly evolving world, it has become increasingly important for young women to have spaces where they can thrive, grow, and discover their full potential. This is why we are shouting about girls+ only outdoor programs as loudly as we possibly can. By combining the power of nature with a supportive, female-centered environment, these programs have proven to be transformative for young women. The Cairn Project supports girls+ only outdoor programs across the country.

The Cairn Project and Its Programs

By providing grants to local organizations across the country from our More Girls Outside fund, we help to create and sustain girls+ only outdoor programs. These programs range from wilderness expeditions and backpacking trips to environmental education initiatives and leadership development opportunities. By focusing specifically on the needs and experiences of girls+, The Cairn Project ensures that these programs are tailored to provide an empowering and inclusive environment.

Benefits of Girls+ Only Outdoor Programs

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

Girls+ only outdoor programs provide a safe space for young women and gender expansive youth to challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. By getting outside and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, or kayaking, girls+ learn to push their limits, conquer fears, and build confidence in their abilities. Through these experiences, they develop a sense of accomplishment and develop a positive self-image that transcends the program and impacts their lives beyond.

Fostering Leadership Skills

In a girls+ only environment, young women are encouraged to take on leadership roles, make decisions, and contribute to group dynamics. Outdoor programs provide opportunities for girls+ to navigate challenges, communicate effectively, and collaborate as a team. By engaging in these experiences, girls+ develop essential leadership skills that can be applied in various aspects of their lives, from academics to careers.

Encouraging Physical and Mental Well-being

Girls+ only outdoor programs promote physical activity, offering an alternative to sedentary lifestyles and screen time. Spending time in nature has been linked to reduced stress levels, increased physical fitness, and improved mental health. These programs provide young women with an opportunity to connect with the natural world, fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment and a healthier lifestyle.

Cultivating Environmental Stewardship

Girls+ only outdoor programs foster a sense of responsibility and stewardship towards the environment. By immersing themselves in nature, participants develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the importance of preserving our natural resources. Through environmental education initiatives, girls+ learn about sustainability practices, conservation efforts, and ways to become advocates for the environment.

girls favcing the camera wearing helmets smiling
Photo courtesy Wild Hearts Idaho

Nurturing Empathy and Collaboration

Outdoor programs provide young women with opportunities to develop empathy and compassion for others. In a supportive all-girls+ environment, participants learn to respect and appreciate diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. By working together, sharing resources, and supporting one another, girls+ develop essential collaborative skills that help them thrive in a team setting.

More Girls Outside

Girls+ only outdoor programs have the power to transform the lives of young women, providing them with valuable skills, confidence, and a sense of empowerment. The Cairn Project plays a pivotal role in creating and supporting these programs, ensuring that girls+ have access to transformative outdoor experiences. By combining the healing power of nature with the benefits of a female-centered environment, girls+ only outdoor programs enable young women to discover their strengths, nurture their passions, and become resilient leaders in their communities. Let us continue to support and advocate for the expansion of these programs, so that more young women can embrace the transformative power of nature and reach their full potential.

Learn more about the programs we support.

Make a donation to support girls+ only programs throughout the country.

Roxy Dawson
Industry & Operations Specialist at The Cairn Project

Roxy Dawson was born and raised on the east coast but found her true stride rolling around the west in a van. She is part community manager, part journalist, part editor and now splits her time between her van and Golden, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, adventure pup, and son. She is most alive when her community is close, the environment is thriving, and nature is truly accessed by all that wish to enjoy it.