Spring Updates: New Leadership, Donated Funds, & Successful Transition

chimney-picnic-area-1-2012-gsmnpDear Friends of Girls Outside with Ijams,

You may have noticed we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus.  It’s true, we needed some time to work out the details of our transition to Girls Outside with Ijams, and to identify and train new leadership.  But, never fear, Girls Outside with Ijams is ready to launch the spring season of hikes and even expand our offerings in 2017.

After several years of leading the charge, and with our wonderful new partnership in place, your loyal Girls Outside with Ijams leaders, Miriam Davis, Kelly Sturner and Lisa Silverman, are ready to take a back seat in GO with Ijams and make room for new people and new ideas.Thankfully, Victoria McFarland answered the call:

New Leadership:

Hello wonderful GO hikers, volunteers and wordpress lovers, I am Victoria McFarland and I am transitioning into leadership with GO with Ijams. I am so thankful to Miriam, Lisa and Kelly for all of the past work they have done to create and grow this organization into what it is today! I am excited to be taking on this new role and continuing to provide wonderful hikes and programming for our local girls.

Originally from Virginia I came to East Tennessee by way of Colorado where I fell in love with hiking and outdoor activities. While living in Colorado I earned my B.S in Human Development and Family Services and began my career working as an early childhood educator. During that time I also volunteered for Fort Collins Natural areas, earning a Master Naturalist certificate and providing nature programming for preschoolers. Since moving to Knoxville I have been itching to be involved with nature learning and outdoor activities.

In my own free time I enjoy hiking with my favorite spots being at Seven Islands State Birding Park and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Although I miss the high elevations of the Rockies, I have come to love the diverse and beautiful riparian areas on our beautiful rivers and more gently sloping mountains East Tennessee has to offer. I am so excited to kick off spring programming and am hoping to continue to enhance and grow the GO program.

Victoria3

Smokey Mountain National Park Cades Cove

 

Funding Update:

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In addition, to new leadership, we were recently the recipients of a generous donation from the Abby Gibson Memorial Foundation (AGMF). The mission of this foundation is honor the life and memory of Abby Gibson by helping to enrich the lives of East Tennessee’s children, teens, and young adults, while fostering a life-long love of animals.

Each year AGMF does a special service project in Abby’s memory for her birthday. We are thrilled that they chose to support Girls Outside with Ijams for this year’s project.

The funds raised will help provide scholarships for participants that might otherwise not have the opportunity to participate. We are also looking into the possibility of using these funds to provide transportation for hikers to join us who would not otherwise be able to.

Thank you so much to the Abby Gibson Memorial Foundation for this generous donation. We hope that we can make Abby proud with our work!

Spring transitions:

Please stay tuned as I finish my training and get the GO with Ijams spring schedule solidified.  As always, volunteers, are needed to provide our hikes.  To become a GO with Ijams volunteer follow this link.  And ofcourse, we need to re-round up the awesome girls that make Girls Outside with Ijams so fun to be part of.

More news soon!

 

 

 

 

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Announcing our New Partnership! Girls Outside with Ijams

Girls Outside has had many adventures at Ijams Nature Center before -- look for more adventures WITH Ijams Nature Center coming soon!

Girls Outside has had many adventures at Ijams Nature Center before — we are pleased to now announce our partnership with Ijams Nature Center to bring you better programming than ever!

Dear Friends of Girls Outside,

We, the leadership team of Girls Outside, would like to thank you so much for your past interest and loyal participation in our program that encourages girls to explore the outdoors through hiking to promote physical activity, independence and self-esteem.

As we look forward to the fall semester, we are thrilled to announce our new and exciting partnership with Ijams Nature Center! As a result of this partnership, we will continue to offer all-girl hikes for girls of varying ages as well as expanded programming to meet our mission. We are optimistic that this new partnership with Ijams will allow Girls Outside to provide girls in our local community with more exciting opportunities to spend time in nature with women role models. Offering our programs with Ijams will allow us to reach out to more girls and women in our community via their expansive marketing reach and to pursue non-profit grant opportunities together.

We will retain everything that is special about Girls Outside as we transition to be “Girls Outside with Ijams”. But, do expect a few minor changes as we integrate our programs with Ijams offerings, such as a new way to sign up. Also, our hikes will now involve a $5 registration fee per girl which will be invested back into our program, allowing us to purchase important things like first aid supplies, extra snacks, shirts for identifying volunteers and more, with a small percentage going to support Ijams’ mission.

In the coming weeks, we will provide you with further details on where you can learn more about this new partnership with Ijams, including dates for upcoming hikes.

Until then, if you would like to continue to receive emails about Girls Outside with Ijams, as well as other Ijams events, you do not need to do anything. However, if you would not like to receive future notices of these events and outings, we do ask you to please opt out by contacting us at knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com.

Thank you again for your continued support of and commitment to Girls Outside!

Best Wishes,

Miriam, Kelly, and Lisa

Your Girls Outside with Ijams Leadership Team

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Springtime Transitions

 

It’s been a lovely spring in East Tennessee (despite the allergies), and we hope you’ve been out enjoying it.  Like spring truly is, this has been a time of transition for Girls Outside.  The bad news is, due to unexpected difficulties securing insurance for our last two spring hikes (March 20 and April 16), we have had to cancel them and look for new partnerships moving forward.  The good news is, we have more than one exciting partnership possibility in the works.  We will spend the summer investigating these partnerships, making decisions, drafting agreements, and yes, enjoying the outdoors as much as we can.  This fall, we plan to announce our new arrangements, and we think you’ll be very pleased.  Please stay tuned to our website, facebook page, and email list, and we’ll be back in touch as soon as we can with good news and fall hike dates!

chimney-picnic-area-1-2012-gsmnp

Thank you for all you do to support us and get young girls outside enjoying nature, and developing the self confidence they need to be leaders,

Girls Outside leadership:  Miriam Davis, Kelly Sturner, Lisa Silverman.

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Girls had a blast hiking at UT Arboretum!

Nine adventurous and spirited hikers and their adult guides enjoyed a great day of hiking and exploring nature at the UT Arboretum on Feb. 27th. The weather was perfect with clear skies, the sun shining down, and temps in the 50’s. Who could ask for better hiking weather? First, we introudced ourselves and shared our favorite outdoor acitivities and then we reviewed important Leave-no-Trace principles, which we practiced throughout the afternoon. Next, we began our hike on the Oak Hickory Trail and continued onto the Lost Chestnut Trail and the Sink Hole Crest Spur. During our journey, the girls enthusiatically identified early signs of spring coming, such as hearing the sound of spring peepers, veiwing salamanders mating and salamander eggs, as well as tadpoles in the wetland ecosystem. We also sighted and discussed some other really cool occurrences in nature such as a tree gall, sinkholes, and varieties of oak and chestnut trees. A great time was had by all and the girls are definitely looking forward to their next outdoors adventures. Look out for information for our next hike for girls grades 2-4 on March 20th!

To view more photos of our journey click here.

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Looking for Spring on March 20 at Forks of the River!

Girls Outside is ready for spring!

Girls Outside is ready for spring!

Hello, spring! Come out, come out, wherever you are! Let’s celebrate the official first day of spring on March 20 by looking for signs that this exciting season has arrived at Forks of the River WMA. This hike is for girls in grades 2-4. We’ll take along our binoculars for birds, search the forest floor for spring wildflowers, and we’ll listen for the songs of frogs.

This hike will begin at 2 PM sharp at the Ijams Meads Quarry Parking Lot and finish at 5 PM in the same spot. We will cover 2-3 miles.

The deadline to register (March 16) has passed. Contact knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com to see if any spots are available.

Kelly Sturner will lead this hike. For further information please feel free to contact her at knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com. Every G.O. hike has at least four adult female volunteer chaperones, eager to share their passion for the outdoors with the next generation. The minimum number of hikers for each group is usually six, and the maximum is 12.

Please remember that each hiker must have a completed Health History Record on file. You may access, download, and print the form here. Your child’s immunization record is required as part of the form, and this can be obtained from your pediatrician. You can scan and email the form to knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com before the hike or bring the completed form on the day of the hike. This form will be kept on file for future hikes, so you only have to fill it out once.

Each hike begins with a fun get-to-know-you game and a brief lesson, from Leave No Trace principles to fun historical facts about the trail and everything in between. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring water and light snacks.

While the mission of Girls Outside is to enjoy nature, we also hope these outings foster independence and so we encourage parents to let their girls do the hike on their own as a part of the group. Remember to leave electronic devices at home to better enjoy time in nature.

Sorry there is no rain date.

This hike is free! Help us spread the word or invite a friend’s child by sharing our girlsoutside.org link and this handy flyer for posting! To see the fun we have on our hikes, visit our photo gallery on Facebook.

This event is held in partnership with the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians.

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First hike of the year on Feb. 27th for girls in grades 2-4!

Registration for this hike has closed, but please look out for infomation coming soon for our future hikes on March 20th and April 17th. 
Due to the excessively wet weather we have had, please note the location change of this hike to the UT Arboretum.
Usher in the spring season with Girls Outside by getting out in nature! Join us for our first hike of the 2016 spring semester on Saturday, February 27th at 1:30 PM. This hike is for girls in 2nd-4th grades! Please mark your calendars!

This hike will begin at 1:30 PM sharp at the Visitor’s Center Parking Lot (the only parking lot) at the UT Arboretum. Location map.  Address:  901 S. Illinois AvenueOak Ridge, TN 37830

The hike will finish at 4 PM in the same spot and will be about 2 miles.

Your coordinator for this hike is Lisa Silverman and your leader on the day of the hike will be Miriam Davis. For further information please feel free to contact Lisa or Miriam at knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com. Every G.O. hike has at least four adult female volunteer chaperones, eager to share their passion for the outdoors with the next generation. The minimum number of hikers for each group is usually six, and the maximum is 12.

Please remember that each hiker must have a completed Health History Record on file. You may access, download, and print the form here. Your child’s immunization record is required as part of the form, and this can be obtained from your pediatrician. You can scan and email the form to knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com before the hike or bring the completed form on the day of the hike. This form will be kept on file for future hikes, so you only have to fill it out once.

Each hike begins with a fun get-to-know-you game and a brief lesson, from Leave No Trace principles to fun historical facts about the trail and everything in between. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring water and light snacks.

On our hike, we will cover approximately 2 miles on various trails at the UT Arboretum.

While the mission of Girls Outside is to enjoy nature, we also hope these outings foster independence and so we encourage parents to let their girls do the hike on their own as a part of the group. Remember to leave electronic devices at home to better enjoy time in nature.

Sorry there is no rain date.

This hike is free! Help us spread the word or invite a friend’s child by sharing our girlsoutside.org link and this handy flier for posting! To see the fun we have on our hikes, visit our photo gallery on Facebook.

This event is held in partnership with the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians.

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Announcing Spring 2016 Hikes

 

hike

Although it seems that we have a bit more cold weather and shorter days to get through until spring finally arrives, Girls Outside is already busily planning our hikes for this spring and very excited to announce the dates for our up coming hikes. Please mark your calendars and hold the following dates open so your enthusiatic and adventurous hikers can join us. We are very much looking forward to getting your girls outside!

1.Sat. Feb. 27th grades 2-4

2. Sunday March 20th grades 2-4

Registration is now open for our March hike so register here!

3. Saturday April 16th grades 1-2

 

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