A new club for outdoorsy women

Since the beginning of the 2015 fall semester, Sarah Calautti, a sophomore at Johnson State College, has been brainstorming and envisioning the development of a club that will offer something entirely new to help enrich the lives of female members of the JSC community.

“Women of the Wild” is an upcoming club at JSC that will be offering female students a chance to make connections with other women who are passionate about outdoor adventures and spending time in nature. This club will offer a place for women to join together and have a mutual support system through a shared passion for the great outdoors.

“Whether you’re a beginner or an expert outdoorswoman, this is your chance to tackle the trail with other women whose main goals are to get outside, make lifelong friends, and cheer one another on through every obstacle our paths throw at us,” said Calautti. “It’s a club for women to harness and encourage self-love and self-acceptance, while delving into the beauty of the wilderness.”

Members of “Women of the Wild” will have weekly meetings to plan outdoor adventures that will include hiking, backpacking, exploring nature, rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and overnight camping trips on the weekends. Calautti highly encourages members to suggest their own ideas for club adventures.

“I want anyone to be able to come to the club with ideas for outdoor adventures they are interested in for the club and the vice president and I will try our hardest to make it happen,” said Calautti.
Kendra McGuire, vice president of the “Women of the Wild” club, said that a club like this will help foster the empowerment of women and will be a resource for group support.

“By joining this club you will become a part of a group who will support you and push you to reach your goals,” said McGuire. “We hope to encourage young women to find positive experiences through our environment, personal growth, and with the support of the group.”

McGuire and Calautti hope that women who would otherwise be nervous about getting out and trying unfamiliar outdoor adventures will feel more comfortable with the support of a group of other women who have different skill levels and different experiences.

“I want a lot of beginners to join so they can get involved with the beauty of nature,” said Calautti, “and to help encourage them to take risks and experience what nature has to offer, especially if they were otherwise intimidated or nervous about getting out there.”

Calautti said that she has always been involved in the outdoors, often camping, hiking, and boating with her family throughout her childhood. She said that to her, nature is a kind of parent for children when they are growing up, and she believes that her close relationship with nature throughout her childhood helped shape who she is today.

“I think a club like this will help women connect with one another more,” said Calautti. “It will be a place for the women on campus to grow as individuals, share in a support system, and to help them discover who they are through nature.”

Calautti’s club is still in development and the specifics and how it will be funded have not yet been decided, but she encourages anyone with an interest in the outdoors, new experiences, and connecting with other like-minded women to contact her. Once there are more members, the group will be able to make a decision about the days and times of the meetings.

Weekly meetings will include brainstorming, planning trips, group discussions, and organizing fundraising events for trips and volunteer work for the club to participate in.
Whether you are a beginner with outdoor adventures or already a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, “Women of the Wild” has something to offer you.

“I think women are naturally drawn to Earth Mother,” said Calautti. “It’s important to have a quiet place away from campus and out in nature as a way to reconnect with yourself and get away from the hustle and bustle of school and the stresses of everyday life. I believe that nature, both on a spiritual and physical level, is a healer.”