Assertiveness in the wilderness and the workforce.

By Wilderness Adventures March 20, 2013

In her new book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg asserts that while girls are outperforming boys in most measures of academic achievement, men still hold the vast majority of corporate leadership positions. Behaviors that can help girls excel in the classroom can hold them back from achieving upper management levels in the professional sphere. While Sandberg acknowledges the obvious institutional discrimination that holds women from positions of power, she also calls on women to “Lean In” – to act more assertively and self-empowering in professional settings.


Since 1973, our outdoor adventures have put young women in positions of leadership, asking them to lookout for both themselves and the good of the group in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our programs empower girls to become more assertive, focused, confident peer leaders, preparing them for a life of achievement at the end of both the summer and the end of their academic careers. We build confident leaders by asking students to facilitate experiential group problem solving exercises, by serving as Leader of the Day and by processing the lessons learned in the wilderness so that they are immediately applicable in an indoor setting.


Whether it’s setting up camp, climbing a mountain or cooking dinner, each of our activities require students to work together as a team to solve fun, obtainable challenges in pursuit of a common goal: to have the best summer of their lives. Because our trips are first and foremost fun, they provide intrinsic motivation for students to work together to make decisions and solve problems – requiring the “buy in” and emotional ownership from each trip participant for the group’s great experience on the whole.


Our Leader of the Day program ensures that each student will be asked to complete defined, measurable acts of leadership during her adventure. For example, a Leader of the Day may be responsible for briefing the group on the day’s activities, ensuring that dinner preparations go smoothly or leading evening discussion groups. Aside from all of the organic ways that leadership development intrinsically integrates into our adventures, the Leader of the Day program gives students a defined leadership goal that they can work towards and feel confident about.


As the world’s most experienced and respected outdoor adventure program for teens, we know that the lessons learned in the outdoors are only as important as they can be applied to the indoor (“real-world”) environment. At the end of each day, our groups take the time to sit in a circle an reflect on the day; they laugh, share stories and solidify friendships, and also discuss the ways that their accomplishments of the day can help them in their family, school and real-life settings.


Since 1973, Wilderness Ventures has empowered great young women to become outstanding leaders. Our special All Girls Adventures in California, Jackson Hole, and the Puget Sound are amazing opportunities for young women to enjoy the enriching empowerment that comes from a single-gender educational environment.


California All Girls Young girls on this great introductory adventure will find the spectacular natural beauty of both California and themselves on this fun trip through Yosemite National Park and on the Pacific coast. Discover whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, surfing and the wonders of Yosemite while building great interpersonal skills that set each of our students up for a life of success and achievement. For girls in the 6th grade.


Jackson Hole All Girls Discover the magic of the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. Learn backpacking, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting and rock climbing while uncovering amazing natural beauty, forming fantastic friendships and building great peer leadership skills. For girls in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades.


Puget Sound All Girls Discover the magic of the Pacific Northwest. Learn backpacking, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting and canoeing while uncovering new areas and gaining confidence among a group of your peers. For girls in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades.


Whether it’s rock climbing in the Tetons, sea kayaking in Alaska or bicycle riding on the trails of Cape Cod, each of our amazing adventures fosters interpersonal development, growth of self-esteem and enhanced leadership ability among each of our amazing students. We invite you to discover the magic of a Wilderness Ventures experience. For our beautiful program catalog and references dating back to 1973, please call our family-run office in Jackson Hole at 800-533-2281. We look forward to speaking with you about the best summer of your life.