ERIC Number: ED417044
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Women in the Wilderness: Theme-Based Outdoor Programming at the University of Florida.
Berger, Cheryl; Vollbracht, Christy
A female trip leader in the University of Florida's Travel and Recreation Program observed that women and men approached outdoor experiences differently, and suggested a women-only program. From this came the Women in the Wilderness program, a women-only outdoor education program designed to empower women through participation in adventure activities and group discussion. The initial proposal was denied based on the possibility of discrimination charges, but clarification of the program's objectives, involvement of other campus organizations dedicated to supporting women, and availability of counterpart trips to all students convinced the administration to allow the program. The format is a one-semester extended "conference" set in the outdoors with each of three sessions having a theme related to a women's issue and to the outdoor trip and adventure activity scheduled for the session. An informal dinner early in the semester provided a forum for discussing expectations and introducing participants to each other. On the trips, the topics were explored through group discussion, individual discussion, and games. To close the program, all the groups shared their experiences and conclusions with the larger group at a picnic, and evaluated the program via a written questionnaire. Successes of the program are discussed, as are suggestions for improvement. Seven suggestions for beginning a theme-based program were developed: define your objectives, select your format, prepare your staff, get the word out, meet your participants, provide information, and provide closure. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Single Sex Programs; University of Florida
Note: In: Back to the Basics: Proceedings of the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education; see RC 021 395.