It all started with a pair of really cool trail shoes that popped up on a Facebook ad in January 2020, pre-COVID. I thought, "hmm, those are really awesome. If I got a pair, then maybe I could get back out on the trail once again". And then I thought, "wouldn't it be something if I could get some of my gal 'tent friends' to also get those shoes and maybe we could get together for an adventure with matching shoes?"
From 1982-2010, I coordinated Outdoor Adventure programs for 4-H members in Oklahoma, Virginia and Kansas --- we backpacked, canoed and white water rafted in wilderness areas. As a result, I shared some mighty powerful outdoor experiences with many teens and adults. I am a firm believer in the power of Mother Nature and Tent Therapy -- and building communities.
Back to the shoes....I created a Facebook group called "Trail Sisters", featuring a photo of the trail shoes and invited about 30 women of all ages, scattered around the country, to join the group. Some of those friends were teens back in the 80's, now career moms while others were adult volunteer 4-H leaders, now approaching retirement age. And they joined Trail Sisters!
My dream of bringing together a diversity of women for an outdoor adventure came true in 2021 when 14 of us from five states gathered for a week in the Snowy Range Mountains west of Laramie, Wyoming. In 2022, I coordinated a Fall Gathering including families with 50 of us spending an October weekend camping in Kansas. We returned to the Snowy Range in 2023 for another week of trail adventures as well as painting barn quilts, sewing quilt tops and loving on a 10 month old baby! And, the planning process for a 2025 outdoor adventure will begin in the coming months.
Those trail shoes, and our love of and passion for the power of Mother Nature, is what draws us together into an intergenerational community of women with diverse careers and life experiences.
Guess I just can't get away from being a coordinator and building communities.