Finding My Love for the Outdoors

I always wanted to go backpacking.

Maxima PC 2012

Having lived in a studio apartment with three other people until I was 10, I grew up with a less is more mentality. I loved the idea of carrying everything you need on your back and exploring the wilderness with no ties to a particular spot.

Sure, there were naysayers. Before I went on my first Project Courage trip, everyone I knew warned me that backpacking was not all fun and games. It was going to be difficult and strenuous and potentially dangerous.

I admit – the first couple miles were a little awkward. Getting used to the weight of a backpack isn’t exactly comfortable. But I looked around me. Every girl in our group had her own separate struggles. We were all there to share this particular struggle and to push each other through and past our pain.

I fell in love with the sport. While backpacking, I could escape the pressures of society. I could think clearly. I could really take a vacation from my life. I could find a sense of peace.

Since my first Project Courage trip, I’ve participated in almost all of GirlVentures programs – sometimes more than once. I’ve also worked as an Assistant Instructor. And this summer, you’ll find me behind the scenes in the role of Office Assistant.

Maxima TR 2015

GirlVentures has taught me how important it is to carry out my goals and dreams – and that doing so requires bravery. It’s just like repelling off of a cliff. You know the view and the thrill of lowering yourself to the ground is worth it; you just have to trust yourself enough to take the initial step.

I cannot think of an organization more worthy of your support than GirlVentures. It’s gifted me with so many formative experiences and essential life lessons. Most importantly, it’s given me a supportive community.