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On Oct. 8, elevateHER was awarded funding from Chaffee County Women who Care for elevateHER’s piloted expansions in 2020. With this funding, elevateHER has announced that it will be able to expand its programming in the upcoming year significantly and has three unique pilot programs planned.

In Winter 2020, elevateHER is collaborating with Salida Recreation to expand programming to a younger demographic participating in Camp Fridays. This will allow elevateHER’s Middle School participants to mentor younger girls, passing on invaluable technical and life skills. Activities will also include service projects. Projects this year have included decorating knit caps for local cancer patients with Caps for Courage, cleaning up the local Poncha Springs Disc Golf Course, and making recyclable grocery bags for the community.

Next summer, elevateHER will continue offering its foundation 10-week programming session to cohorts of 12 in both Buena Vista and Salida, while also running three three-day clinics and two six-day outdoor camps. Both will be overnight experiences. The clinics will include a backpacking trip, an introduction to rock climbing at Rifle Mountain Park, and a rafting mini-guide school on the Arkansas River facilitated by Canyon River Instruction. The elevateHER’s six-day camps will include two days of hiking, two days of rock climbing, and two days of water activities.

elevateHER logo

In January 2020, elevateHER’s base of operations will move from Buena Vista to Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center’s campus in Nathrop. The move, say, elevateHER staff, is being done to better deliver programming across the county.

In Fall 2020, elevateHER also plans to add an additional cohort in Leadville. Similar to school-year programming in Salida, in Leadville, elevateHER will be providing the young women of Leadville access to outdoor adventure and life skills on Fridays. This coincides with the Leadville School District’s first year of a four-day school week. This expansion will mean that elevateHER provides programming to the entire Upper Arkansas River Valley.

“We are so excited to be growing and expanding through offering more programming to the young women of the Arkansas River Valley, impacting more lives and providing invaluable life skills,” said elevateHER founder and Executive Director Kristen Van Norman, who added that the organization is excited about the upcoming year. “We see so much personal growth in the girls that we work with and are excited to be able to get more girls involved in such a life-changing program.”

elevateHER Snowshoeing (Photo courtesy of elevateHER)

elevateHER will be recruiting new members for its Winter Cohort in December and spots are limited.

This winter elevateHER will provide technical instruction in rock climbing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing at Monarch Mountain, in addition to providing wellness workshops focused on bullying, nutrition, healthy relationships, and self-care. Integrated into all programming is leadership skill-building focusing on five core life skills.

elevateHER says that it is always thankful to the community for the support provided and says that it extends a special thank you to the members of Chaffee County Women who Care for offering support to elevateHER’s upcoming 2020 pilot program expansions.

More information can be found on elevateHER’s website, or by emailing the organization at elevateherco@gmail.org and with questions, please contact Van Norman at (970) 401-4210.