You Are Who You Hike With

Photo from The Women's Wilderness InstituteToday we are going to introduce you to Lori, who is the mother of “Little L” who will be heading into her third summer in The Girl’s Wilderness Program at The Women’s Wilderness Institute in just a couple of months.

Continue reading to see Lori’s testament to the program – and how it’s changed her daughter. And if you missed yesterday’s post introducing you to The Girls’ Wilderness Program, you can check that out here.

Mother & Daughter

A Mother and Daughter’s Experience with The Women’s Wilderness Institute and The Girl’s Wilderness Program

Wow, what can I say? These women are amazing! When I grow up, I want to be just like them!

My daughter, an only child, goes to a prestigious private school for girls in the northeast.

We are very fortunate to be in that academic environment and benefit from all of the gifts it offers. There is a difference in class that is evident.  We cannot afford the luxuries that most of the families enjoy on a daily basis. I have the oldest auto in the car line. I grew up in this wealthy town, there’s not even a chance that I would be invited to the next Junior League Charity Ball.

It is where I grew up, left after high school, spent the next twenty years in the west.  I loved rock climbing and hiking in the canyons. I wanted my daughter to have that amazing experience.  I found out about the program through my favorite librarian.

I hesitated to call thinking, how was I going to afford all of that equipment? it’s crazy! Forget it.

But, somehow my women’s intuition led me to call, and Im glad I did.

My first call was with Lori Matthews who is a top notch professional. She gave me parent contacts to get the real low down (the parents were really nice too, one offered to pick my daughter up from the airport for me). Lori’s friendliness and knowledge about the program made me comfortable. I was impressed by her consistent follow-up and attention to details.  It was unbelievable we didn’t have to go out and buy everything! We could borrow sleeping bags, tents, jackets, hiking boots, etc.

I liked the fact they had a Latino program, a mother-daughter program, women’s program, etc. Their staff were fully certified in wilderness first responder very experienced and program had very little or no turn over.


The changes I saw in my daughter after her first summer with The Girls’s Wilderness Program…she definitely appeared more motivated in all areas of her life, more outspoken and with the courage to think and speak for herself!

After the second summer she continued building on prior skills and now appears to really understand natural consequences of her actions and taking initiative to change. She’s forming close friendships with her girlfriends, finding trust, and bonding in times of crisis.

This summer will be my daughter’s third summer with The Girl’s Wilderness Program. (And we will hear from “Little L” herself tomorrow! :))