Every summer between the ages of eight and fifteen I spent a month in the magnificent Pecos Wilderness north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Brush Ranch was a magical place that shaped me into the person that I am today and introduced me to the life-changing experience of wilderness backpacking. Navigating backcountry trails and sleeping under the stars gave me an unwavering sense of personal confidence and taught me to appreciate the sense of fulfillment that comes from self-reliance. When my colleague Angela introduced me to the Big City Mountaineers organization, I knew that I had finally found the perfect way for me to give back to my community in a way that had deep personal meaning.
The mission of Big City Mountaineers is to instill critical life skills in under resourced urban youth through transformative wilderness mentoring experiences. The core BCM program is a weeklong expedition at the center of which is a five-day wilderness backpacking or canoe expedition led by a professional field instructor with a 5-adults-to-5-youth, single gender program design.
This summer, I had the privilege of sharing the transformative power of wilderness with six amazing girls on an expedition through the Josephine Lakes region of the Holy Cross wilderness. I was lucky enough to capture the expedition on video. As you will see, there were challenges and there were triumphs, but it was unforgettable, and I can't wait to do it again. For more information about BCM or how you can support the organization through volunteering, mentoring, or Summit for Someone, please visit bigcitymountaineers.org.