Information for Preteens: Girl Ventures
Girl Ventures was previously known as the Bay Area Girls Center. They take young girls on trips into nature to learn more about themselves, make friends, and have fun. This is my personal experience.
About Girl Ventures
Girl Ventures is a two-week trip for middle school girls going into seventh or eighth grade. On this trip you go sea kayaking in Tomales Bay, rock climbing, and backpacking. You are supposed to be as close to nature as possible.
Trust me, it is possible to survive for two weeks without makeup, jewelry, shaving, deodorant, cell phones, boys, and all of the other items that we as people tend to cling to in our comfort zone. You not only learn how to stay clean with a bandanna and biodegradable soap, but you learn to find and appreciate your own personal power!
It may seem kind of strange and hard at first. However, you start to have a ton of fun and don’t mind the lack of creature comforts at all. Each group is unique, and has their own issues. They are expected to take care of some of the things that come up on their own.
At the end of the course you are allowed to take a “final” if you have behaved well enough and made the instructors know that they can trust you. For the final, you all rely on each other and navigate on your own. The instructors step back and let you take care of yourself.
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While I was on Girl Ventures, we spent the first day getting to know each other, then we spent the next four days sea kayaking on Tomales Bay. Our kayaking instructor, Jen, was really nice. She helped us all branch out and try new things.
We then spent one day doing self-care: we used mud masks, painted our nails, and practiced “sola.” During sola you are on your own for several hours and have time to think, as well as an assignment or two to keep you busy.
After that, we spent two days rock climbing at Goat Rock. We had lots of fun. Our instructor for rock climbing, Kirsten, was really nice and helped a lot. After that, we spent five days backpacking along Point Reyes. It was really beautiful, and everyone had lots of fun making jokes and being ourselves.
At some points it was hard – especially if we were doing a really long hike. But it was worth it because we learned about ourselves as young women in society, and what our lives are like compared to other girls (and just how lucky we are). We learned that, as the future generation, we have the power to change. If we want to make a difference, we need to understand ourselves.
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Madison, middle school writer
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013