In order to give campers and parents an inside look at Frost Valley’s Female Leadership – Long Trail Adventure Trip, Adventure Director Zach Eigenbrodt answered some questions parents and campers might have about the trip.
1. Can you describe the campers this trip would be well suited for?
“The trip is for girls entering eighth and ninth grade. It will give campers the opportunity to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. Campers should be open to trying new things and exploring new parts of the country.”
2. What prior experience or approval is necessary to register for this trip?
“There is no approval necessary. It’s beneficial for campers to have experience camping overnight in a tent though it’s not necessary. They should, however, be willing to have a primitive camping experience. This trip will also require a high level of endurance since the girls will be backpacking 50 miles over the course of nine days.”
3. Why was it important to make this an all-female trip?
“We got some really positive feedback on our All-Female Long Trail Adventure Trip last year, both from the trip leaders and the campers. One of the trip leaders expressed the value in this type of trip, saying ‘an all female trip was so important because it gave campers the chance to step out of their comfort zones in a very safe and non-judgmental environment. All the girls were able to take on leadership roles, learn skills, and open up in a way that, at this age, they might not be able to do in a coed group. While I see a lot of value in coed trips, all female trips give young women the unique opportunity to grow and challenge themselves. All our participants ended last year’s trip feeling competent, strong, and confident in their ability to face adversity together.’”
4. Who will lead the trip? Can you speak about their qualifications/experience?
“Since this is an all-female trip, there will be two female Frost Valley trip leaders. Our Frost Valley staff members have Wilderness First Responder certification, which is the premiere emergency medical training for leaders in remote areas. They also undergo a rigorous two-week training process at Frost Valley prior to leaving for the trip.”
5. Which trail will the campers will be on?
“Campers will backpack and explore parts of the Long Trail, which is a 272-mile footpath that spans from the Massachusetts/Vermont border to the Canadian border. This trail climbs rugged mountains and passes pristine ponds, hardwood forests, and beautiful streams.”
6. What skills will they learn during the program?
“Campers will learn map and compass skills, Leave No Trace Seven Principles©, back-country camping and cooking skills, and how to appropriately pack a backpack. This trip is also a great opportunity for the campers to work closely as a team, learn conflict resolution skills, and gain confidence and leadership skills.”
7. What Leave No Trace Seven Principles© will they learn?
“In order to create as little environmental impact as possible while on the trip or camping out, campers will learn the Leave No Trace Seven Principles© including: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.”
8. What kind of meals will the campers have during the trip?
“The campers will have breakfasts that include things like oatmeal, granola, and cereals. The campers will do a lot of snacking during the day to keep their energy up. They’ll have things like tortillas with soy nut butter and granola bars. Dinner will include hot meals that include pasta and other grains, vegetables, bean burritos, and soups.”
9. What other activities will the campers participate in outside of backpacking?
“Campers will experience backcountry camping. They’ll learn how to use a camping stove, and how to take care to create as little impact to the environment as possible. They will also learn interpersonal skills. They will participate in activities that promote teamwork, confidence, and conflict resolution such as games that encourage campers to discover their values and celebrate their differences. There will also be time for journaling and self-reflection.”
10. Is there anything you’d like campers to know about the All-Female Leadership Long Trail Adventure Trip?
“During this trip the campers will be spend nine days backpacking through the beautiful Green Mountains in Vermont, soaking in unobstructed views from scenic overlooks. The slow pace of this trip will give the girls the chance to be fully present in the moment, to take in their surroundings, and create strong connections with nature and each other. This trip will give campers a wonderful opportunity to try something completely new, to break out of their comfort zone, and to step boldly into a leadership role in a supportive environment of their peers. Campers will gain a newfound confidence in themselves and their abilities.”