Girls enCourage is an outdoor leadership program for girls ages 12-14 that builds girls’ adventure sports skills, fosters their independence, and equips them to be healthy, safe, and active in the outdoors.
Girls enCourage expands upon existing Girls Inc. Sporting Chance program components for younger girls that are focused on the traditional movement and sports. Girls benefit from adventure sports programs that engage them in a safe, supportive environment. Positive risk-taking develops girls’ bodies and minds, while participation in consistent physical activity as children and adolescents can increase girls’ chances of lifelong physical fitness and activity. Girls enCourage establishes a noncompetitive, exploratory environment and puts girls’ needs first, giving them a supportive base from which they can test their limits.
The curriculum is composed of eleven sessions and four expeditions. The sessions include fun and interactive activities through which girls learn and practice new skills (e.g., rock climbing, rafting or canoeing); become more familiar with options for outdoor adventure (e.g., camping and day long hikes); explore concepts such as community and leadership; and think about how they will apply what they have learned to their own lives. Most sessions include a “Training Circuit” activity in which girls work on their flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness, both to prepare for the upcoming expedition and to build healthy habits for a lifetime of adventure. Other activities include map reading, map making, dress for success relay race, treasure hunt, the circles of comfort, trust building, and communication activities.