Girls on the Run participant reflects on the impact of the program

GOTR Director Mary Fauth with past program participants Vanessa Martinez, Josie Zamora, Sienna Miley and Michelle Casas giving younger 5k participants an energy award!

GOTR Director Mary Fauth with past program participants Vanessa Martinez, Josie Zamora, Sienna Miley and Michelle Casas giving younger 5k participants an energy award!

Working with the open hearted volunteers that come to Girls on the Run is rewarding in it’s own sense.  Watching them learn about the depth of relationship they are about to embark on with our 8, 9, and 10 year old girls, then to see it unfold through the 10-week experience, makes witnessing the culminating 5k event between coach and girl a precious memory I get to see hundreds of times throughout the years.  They are planting seeds, such as GOTR participant Michelle Casa shares below.

Joining Girls On the Run in elementary school was one of the best decisions I made in life. Not only was it a great way to get out and get active, but I also learned about confidence and self-worth. I learned about making positive decisions, standing up for myself, and standing up for others. Most importantly, I learned about treating other girls with respect and seeing their worth, rather than seeing them as competition like so many girls do today. I am forever grateful for the opportunity given to me in elementary school because without having a coach and other girls pushing me to get out of my comfort zone in a supportive and positive environment at an early age, I never would have gone on to do many of the things I do today.

Join us this spring as a coach, as a Girl on the Run, or as a participant in our community-wide Color Me Fearless 5k on June 3rd!  For more information: www.girlsontherunwrv.org.
 

A Girls on the Run coach perspective by Shari Kunz

"I have had many highlights in my life, but coaching Girls on the Run will always be one of my favorites. Looking into the eyes of girls with their whole lives ahead of them, and knowing you get to be a part of the wonder of their being, is something that forever stays with you. The beauty of being a part of this program is that in wanting to give and share with these girls, you come away with the girls having given and shared with you. And what you have given to one another lasts a lifetime. Come discover your own potential while helping girls discover their own...what are you waiting for?" ~ Coach & GOTRWRV Founder Shari Kunz

Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington 

Now Accepting Applications for Youth Board Members

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Are you a youth (or do you know one) that would like to embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness?

Do you nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health?

Do you believe in standing up for ourselves and others, while expressing joy, optimism and gratitude through your words, thoughts and actions?

Would you like to help us lead with an open heart and impact other young girls' lives in the Wood River Valley?

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for one youth to serve a 1-year term on our Board of Directors. Applications will be accepted through April 15th and the term will run from May until June of 2018. Youth in grades 9-11 are welcome to submit their applications online.

A Girls on the Run coach perspective - by Lindsey Williams

What was one thing that surprised you about being a coach?

As a GOTR coach I received the gift of insight into the girls' ideas, insecurities, aspirations, and genaeral wellness. Without genuine interaction like we have in Girls on the Run, we don’t get a real idea of what's going on in their worlds. They are each and every one fascinating and worth getting to know!

What is something you received from being a coach?

During my coaching experience I was surprised by how perceptive the girls are. At 9! When analyzing media, the girls very articulately described the true drivers that ads are designed around, such as the girls' wishes to 'fit in', 'be pretty', or 'have a perfect life'. They apply this same perception to everyone and everything they encounter, which made me behave more 'real' with them, because they would have seen right through anything else.

What is a favorite coaching moment for you?

There are so many moments from coaching that I love to reflect on. My favorite however was hearing my daughter Simone's essay about how GOTR inspired her to follow her dreams and when it was as the winner in a contest. Witnessing her take ownership of herself and her dreams is empowering, as her mother it was a special moment I will always treasure.

JOIN US THIS SPRING SEASON AS A GOTR COACH! For more information visit www.girlsontherunwrv.org/coaching

A Girls on the Run coach perspective - by Hannah Bauthues

What was one thing that surprised you about being a coach?

“I was nervous starting the program because I was not completely sure how to deal with that age group. Girls at that age are much more perceptive than I thought they were. They definitely listen and take more away from what you say than you might think.”

What is something you received from being a coach?

“An opportunity it's to give back to my community. Growing up, I had the privilege of having a role model and mentor and because I had such a strong role model in my younger years I saw GOTR as my chance to become that role model for someone else.”

What is a favorite coaching moment for you?

“During the practice 5k (while running with a girl that didn’t normally run during practices), she stayed right with me and lead the other girls. I told her I was impressed with her running capability. She said "I love to run!" and that she liked the feeling running gave her. She said she was nervous about middle school. I told her about the Heart and Sole program and other sports, and both were great options to meet people with similar interests. I hope to see her in the program again this spring so we can talk more.”

New coach training is coming up on Saturday March 11th. For more information about coaching during this spring season of Girls on the Run visit www.girlsontherunwrv.org/coaching

"What empowers you?" Photo/Essay Contest

What or who empowers you to pursue your dreams?  Submit a photo you personally took, along with a 100 word essay about how the photo represents what empowers you to pursue your dreams.  Submit by posting your photo and essay on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #GOTRempower, post directly to our Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valle facebook page, or email them to info@girlsontherunwrv.org. The winner will win $200 Visa gift card and be featured at Lunafest! Be sure to set your photo to be viewed publicly. 

2015 winner Gracie Peterson:

Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson & her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides"

Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson & her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides"

Photo credit: KT Miller

Photo credit: KT Miller

Youth board member for Girls on the Run Michelle Casas recently talked with Wood River Valley native McKenna Peterson about her film "Shifting Ice+Changing Tides".  A free screening is planned for Tuesday, March 15th at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Campus Auditorium.  It will also be featured at the Friday March 11th Backcountry Film Festival to be held in Ketchum.

MICHELLE: You and the rest of the women on your team really focused on limiting your environmental footprint and did so by sailing and climbing across the region.  Did it help you realize something particularly unexpected or surprising about climate change, the world around you, or even yourself? 

MCKENNA: Being immersed in nature and fostering a love and connection to the natural environment is what initially made me aware of the changing climate. While in Greenland - the effect that climate change is having on the world is more obvious than what I am used to seeing on a day to day basis here at home. Everything from talking with local villagers about how their weather patterns have shifted to not finding any sea ice where there was supposed to be sea ice opened our eyes a little. It was a reality check. The hardest part was the sailing, I had no sailing experience previous to the expedition. Learning to sail was very enjoyable - a new sport! 

MICHELLE: What did you hope to accomplish from this film?  

MCKENNA: The goal of the film is to bring awareness to the changing climate as well as promote female participation in outdoor activity. We wanted to show women (especially young women) that it is possible to dream big and make your dreams a reality. We had no clue what we were doing before this trip. It was a pipe dream and, together, we were able to figure it out and make it a reality. I also think it is important to show how we worked together as a team to make the expedition a success. We each played a role and it wouldn't have worked without the entire collective of the group. 

MICHELLE: Your expedition team was female led. Was there a specific reason for this? Do you think there was something unique about being surrounded by females who were passionate about the same things as you? 

MCKENNA: We were all fairly close friends going into the planning process. It took us over a year to plan and fundraise for the expedition and throughout that time we became a very tight knit group. We were all passionate about skiing and the environment previous to the expedition. Three of us participated in SheJumps Alpine Finishing School in 2012 which is where the idea originally sprouted. We all agreed that the way women work together in the mountains is different than what we had experienced working with men in the mountains. The female dynamic worked very well within our group and throughout the expedition. What we were doing was dangerous and difficult, I'm definitely grateful to have had 5 amazing women by my side. 

MICHELLE: How has being very involved in winter sports helped you feel more confident as woman?

MCKENNA: Being an athlete for my entire life has definitely helped shape my confidence; confidence in my body, my decision making, and my ability. Through sport I have experienced a wide range of obstacles, failures and successes. Learning to cope and adapt to what is thrown your way is an important life lesson. The people you meet and friendships that grow from sport and activity are uniquely special. My closest relationships are with old teammates or friends that I have made through skiing. 

MICHELLE: What would you say to young girls, who might be afraid of taking risks and exploring outside of their comfort zones? 

MCKENNA: Never back away from anything because you are afraid of failure. Go for it. Fail. Get back up and try again. Eventually, you will succeed. 

MICHELLE: How do you think that girls participating in the GOTR program can make a difference in their communities, or worldwide? 

MCKENNA: GOTR is a great opportunity for young girls to break out of their comfort zone and find inspiration. Whether that be in making new friends, realizing that they are capable, discovering a passion for running, or simply having fun; it's an avenue for growth. My little sister, Dylan, was lucky to participate in GOTR when she was younger and I know that it had a positive impact on her life. 

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for Youth Advocate Board Members

Are you a youth that would like to embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness?

Do you nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health?

Do you believe in standing up for ourselves and others, while expressing joy, optimism and gratitude through your words, thoughts and actions?   

Would you like to help us lead with an open heart and impact other young girls' lives in the Wood River Valley?  

Girls on the Run is now accepting applications for one youth to serve a 1-year term on our Board of Directors.  Applications will be accepted through March 31 and the term will run from May until June of 2017.  Youth in grades 9-11 are welcome to submit their applications online.

New Coach Training Set for Saturday, March 12th -- We Need You!

New Coach Training Set for Saturday, March 12th -- We Need You!

"Coaching for Girls on the Run was a joy!  The girls were so full of energy and spunk - and I looked forward to seeing them each week. I was impressed by the lessons and organization of GOTR.  It was easy and fun to follow, and I felt prepared to share with the girls. Every week I was amazed at what they were capable of - it was neat to see how they solved problems, worked together and encouraged each other. Giving these girls the gift of my time actually blessed me more than I imagined it would.  They really have big dreams, think big and are able to make a big impact.