Guts_Logo_Color_thumbnailGirls Using Their Strengths (GUTS!) is a unique, community-based leadership and empowerment program designed by and for young women, ages 9 to 18. GUTS! encourages young women to explore their own personal values and discover their strengths through wilderness adventures in the summer, as well as after-school groups and community service projects during the academic year.

In the face of a culture that sexualizes young girls and places more value on external appearance rather than inner strength, GUTS! provides a safe and supportive environment for girls. Our women staff and volunteers help girls build their confidence, explore important issues, develop strong and healthy relationships, practice their leadership skills, learn about nature, laugh, play, and have FUN!

Girls Representing In Trades


The GUTS! program is recruiting young women between 6th and 8th grade to take part in an exciting new program called GRIT (Girls Representing In Trades). Anything from construction, to welding, to commercial driving, to bike and auto mechanics! Our goal is to expand girls’ perception of the range of educational and career options attainable to them. We believe increased education and exposure will help them see trades as an actual career option, a great field many girls don’t even consider! This 5-day camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and will focus on learning the basics of trades while also visiting local businesses and job sites.

Registration for this program is currently closed.

Summer Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Wilderness Adventures

(Summer) Led by qualified women instructors, GUTS! girls increase their self-confidence, hone individual strengths, and cultivate their appreciation for the natural world in an environment free from societal pressures. Our outdoor adventures are designed to develop leadership skills utilizing recreation and discovery as catalysts. Summer Outdoor Adventures are generally six-day trips that incorporate several outdoor skills such as backpacking, canoeing, farming and biking while introducing participants to the GUTS! leadership method.

To fill out an application or view our summer calendar, click here. 

School & Community Groups

Action Groups

(School Year) Action Groups give participants the chance to learn and practice leadership skills in their homes, schools and communities. Small groups of between five and ten girls meet throughout Missoula on a weekly basis with two or three women facilitators. These groups discuss topics ranging from healthy relationships and body image to long-term goals and values. Groups develop and complete an action project each school year, providing them with the opportunity to utilize their individual skills to produce real results in their lives.

Community Adventures

(All Year) All of the Action Groups meet together once a month with women role-models to discuss topics developed by the participants, learn community change techniques, take field trips and go on mini outdoor adventures. Community Adventures give participants a chance to connect with GUTS! girls from other schools and work together to make positive change at the community level.

To join an after-school group, call Roe Erin at (406) 543-6691 or email

GUTS! Events

There are lots of GUTS! specific events that happen throughout the year and each item is listed in a GUTS Category our Events Calendar.

GUTS! Volunteers

Volunteers in the GUTS! program work to provide a safe and supportive environment for young women to discover who they are and what skills and talents they can offer the community. Upon completion of six hours of training, GUTS! volunteers lead outdoor summer adventures, facilitate action groups through out the school year, and help out with community adventures all year long. For more information or to get involved, contact GUTS! Program Coordinator Tabby Espinoza at (406) 543-6691 or at

GUTS! Orientation dates:

Thursday, January 26, 12:00-1:30pm OR Mon, Jan 30, 5:30-7pm

AND GUTS! training: Sat, Feb 4, 9am-1pm

* Both required. All at the YWCA Missoula.*


Create a GUTS! Group

GUTS! offers program start-up guides and facilitator manuals and training for those interested in implementing girls’ empowerment groups in communities outside Missoula. Contact Roe Erin, GUTS! Manager at (406) 543-6691 or for more information!