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GUTSY Summer Happenings!

Ahhhh Springtime! In Missoula, spring is the beginning of warm weather, Chaco sandals and outdoor barbecues. For the YWCA’s Girls Using Their Strengths (GUTS!) program, springtime means wrapping up our after-school and lunchtime groups to make way for mapping our routes, dusting off backpacks, patching tents, applying for backpacking permits and prepping girls for our Summer Outdoor Adventures!

It’s easy to tell that summer is on its way just by looking at our office: Piles of tents, bear spray, a box full of craft supplies and Tupperware boxes overflowing with cooking supplies. I know what you’re thinking…”What an easy job you have! You get to go outside and hang out with kids all day!” I will say that my job is absolutely fun and extremely rewarding. But what you might not know is that for every day spent outside with the groups, there are several days spent planning, preparing gear and food, securing permits, and recruiting and training staff and volunteers.

The GUTS! program is so fortunate to have great women who dedicate their time to making summer trips happen! And with that I’ll introduce you to some of our key players for GUTS! Summer 2013 (in addition to our year-round full-time staff: myself and Erin Barstow, program coordinator) :

Genevieve Day Gen is originally from Illinois and signed up for her first GUTS! trip as a shy 11-year-old on a recommendation of her grandmother who lives in Missoula. Gen has a big heart and a keen curiosity for science and outdoor education. Gen will be joining us for her 11th summer as a trip leader!

Kaya Juda-Nelson Kaya is a born and raised Missoula woman and is also a graduating GUTS! girl. Kaya is now a student at the University of Montana and spent last summer completing a National Outdoor Leadership (NOLS) course in South America.  We’re happy to bring Kaya on as a first-year AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate!

Lillian Kendall Lily, originally from New Hampshire, is a senior in the Community Health program at the University of Montana. Lily is our Summer Outdoor Adventure PlanningIintern and has been hard at work organizing our new bike day camp for girls ages 9 to 11. Lily likes to bike, hike, run and cook and will be helping to lead the bike day camp!

To sign up for a GUTS! Summer Outdoor Adventure, contact Roe at 406-543-6691 or [email protected]

Posted by Roe Erin, YWCA Missoula GUTS! Program Manager