Written by Kim Holloway and Stacey Hopstad
Seventy two girls flocked to the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center on a hot August day for the second annual Boise Wild Skills.
We were excited to welcome back some of our favorite community partners; Outdoor Exchange, Air St. Luke’s, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, and Albertsons. New to Wild Skills Boise this year, was the addition of a mountain biking station. We were thrilled to include Boise Bicycle Project to round our group of awesome community organizations who support our event as station leaders.
The girls started off the day meeting girls their own age in their color coded teams. Boise Ambassador, Nicole Jorgenson, then lead them through 15 minutes of yoga to get them warmed up and mentally focused for the big day ahead.
With the wealth of trails in the Boise area it only made sense to add Mountain biking instruction to Boise Wild Skills and it proved to be both challenging and exciting. The Boise Bicycle Project volunteers were fun, energetic, knowledgeable and made sure each girl had an awesome day. BBP also generously donated 7 bikes, helmets, bike locks and bike lights to our participants who didn’t have the proper gear. After learning about trail etiquette and pre-ride safety checks all 72 girls took to the trails (some for the first time ever) to explore some of the beautiful terrain Boise has to offer. We had a few tears, a few band aids, but all in all, we had A TON of smiles. THANK YOU, BBP!!!!
In addition to mountain biking, the girls went through stations filled with valuable education on Shelter Building, Navigation, 10 Essentials & Leave No Trace, and First Aid. In Shelter Building, a group of volunteers from Outdoor Exchange taught the girls what to pack for shelter, but also how to make a shelter using items found from their surroundings if they were ever stranded. The girls saw this as a fun opportunity to build with tarps, emergency blankets, and even garbage bags.
Navigation was lead by the experts from Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue. They taught the girls the basics of how to read a topographic map and of course to Never Eat Soggy Waffles. The girls even used real compasses to put “Red in the Shed to find true North.
Next up was 10 Essentials & Leave No Trace. SheJumps own Executive Director, Claire Smallwood, took the lead to teach the girls how to pack and prepare for an adventure as well as how to protect the beautiful places they visit. The girls took turns telling stories about a time when they were disappointed to find garbage or other ways humans had disturbed the animals or plants around them. They all left inspired to be advocates and experts at Leave No Trace.
The last, and possibly most busy station, was First Aid. The girls were able to learn the process of what to do in case of an injury when they are out in the wild; Stay Calm, Get Help, and how to use their packed First Aid items. During the class the girls drew fake injuries with markers ranging from scrapes and broken bones to more elaborate/creative cougar attacks. They then treated these injuries with the help of the Air St. Luke’s experts. They also were able to watch the experts in action on real scrapes and bruises that came in from the mountain Biking station.
Wild Skills Boise was made possible by a our special group of volunteers who gave their time to help make this an event the participants will never forget. Delicious volunteer lunches and snacks were donated by the ever generous Albertsons food store. Thank you all to helped make this such a special event for these young ladies.
To learn more about our community partners, visit them at:
Boise Bicycle Project: http://www.boisebicycleproject.org/
Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue: http://www.imsaru.org/
Outdoor Exchange: http://www.outdoor-exchange.com/
St. Luke’s: https://www.stlukesonline.org/
We look forward to Wild Skills 2018!