New Outdoor-Focused Nonprofit “The Wild Way” Now Enrolling Girls Ages 9-14

“The Wild Way” is a new nonprofit in Roanoke that provides expedition-based, outdoor experiences for girls of all backgrounds, experience levels, and incomes. The organization is currently enrolling girls ages 9-14.

Enrollment is now open for a special week-long unit that aligns with Roanoke City Public Schools’ spring break. Over five full days, girls will participate in fun and challenging outdoor activities, such as hiking, caving, and climbing.

The Wild Way is also offering a four-part rock climbing series in late May that includes indoor climbing, ropes courses, and outdoor climbing with certified guides. Programs also include a confidence-building curriculum, so that girls end the week feeling stronger and more resilient than ever.

Dates and How to Sign Up:

Why Get Girls Outside?

  • A survey of more than 1,300 girls found that between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels fall by 30%–at age 14, when girls are hitting their lowest level of confidence, boys’ confidence is still 27% higher.
  • Why is this?
    • As girls reach puberty and their emotional intelligence grows, they begin to pick up on societal signals that tell them that in order to be a “good girl” and succeed, they need to be careful, avoid risks, and, perhaps most damaging, value perfection above all else. These pressures are often reinforced by society, social media, peers, and even parents.
  • What can do to fight this drop in confidence?
    • Action! The outdoors is the perfect environment for this type of learning. Societal and behavioral expectations, self-consciousness, and lack of experience often lead women to feeling out of place in the outdoors. However, research has found that positive outdoor experiences can dramatically increase self-esteem, confidence, and perceived leadership abilities among women.

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