The Vermont Connection


Millions of women and girls participate in outdoor recreation and adventure each year (Henderson, 1996), and yet they exist in appallingly small numbers as (student and professional) technical trip leaders, directors of outdoor programs in university settings, and directors of national organizations with outdoor emphasis. This disparity in leadership indicates the need to increase the quality of women’s experiences in the outdoors. In this paper, I will review feminist critiques of outdoor adventure theory and explore the controversies surrounding gender-specific outdoor experiences and/or trips. Additionally, I will address alternative theories and practices that empower, support, and enable women to buy into outdoor adventure and leadership without personally or professionally “selling out.”