There are so many outdoor adventures available in Idaho, yet many people hold back from engaging with some of these activities because they lack the necessary skill level or confidence.
That’s why SheJumps, a nonprofit that helps women and girls connect with various outdoor activities, is hosting a mother-daughter mountain bike camp in Victor.
“We’re providing a welcoming space and encouraging girls to try things they may have been too scared to try alone,” said Sarah Foster, the Wyoming Regional Coordinator for SheJumps. “We want the girls to know that it’s okay to fail. Just give it a go, it’ll be okay, and we’re here to support you and help you along the way because the outcome isn’t really the main goal, it’s just getting yourself to try it and you’ll improve through the process.”
The camp will give girls ages 9-13, and their moms or another significant female role model, an inclusive space to practice basic riding techniques they can take to the trail. Foster says some of these techniques include body positioning, braking, climbing up and over rocks or other obstacles found along trail and maybe even popping a wheelie.
Mother-daughter team Lisa and Anna Marno will lead the camp and help participants become more confident in testing their abilities through something called “transformative play.”
“Transformative play [happens] through experiences or events that allow folks to get outdoors in inclusive, welcoming, and comfortable environments … through those experiences, they can push themselves to places they wouldn’t be comfortable to do on their own and can experience things with the support of an awesome community,” Foster said in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.
For Foster, SheJumps has given her an outlet she can escape to when the doldrums of her day job as a civil engineer becomes overwhelming.
“Civil engineering is a male-dominated field, so when I heard about SheJumps, I thought, ‘That [would be] a great balance to my work life,’” Foster said. “Since then, it’s been a chance to meet more women and get outdoors with them and play outside.”
As someone who frequently mentors young women, Foster knows the bike camp will help girls improve their skills and confidence as they learn how to navigate mountain trails.
“[You] see girls’ eyes light up as they try something new that maybe they saw people in movies do but didn’t think it was for them,” Foster said. “It’s been cool to see them say, ‘Oh, I can do this too,’ and show them how playing outside is fun and awesome, but that there are so many other benefits to being in nature and pushing yourself.”
The one-day bike camp is on Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sherman Bike Park in Victor. Tickets for the bike camp are $50 per mother-daughter team. Lunch is included with the cost of the ticket, so participants just need to bring their own bike and helmet.
For information about future SheJumps events in Idaho, check out the events tab a shejumps.org.