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On Oct. 8, elevateHER was awarded funding from Chaffee County Women Who Care for elevateHER’s piloted expansions in 2020. elevateHER will significantly expand its programming in the upcoming year 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 give elevateHER’s middle school participants the opportunity 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 foundational 10-week programming session to two cohorts of 12 in both Buena and Vista and Salida while also running three 3-day clinics and two 6-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. elevateHER’s 6-day camps will include 2 days of hiking, 2 days of rock climbing and 2 days of water activities.

In January, elevateHER’s base of operations will move from Buena Vista to Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center’s campus in Nathrop in order to better deliver programming.

In fall 2020, elevateHER will also be adding an additional cohort in Leadville. Similar to school-year programming in Salida, elevateHER will be providing the young women of Leadville access to outdoor adventure and life skills on Fridays during Leadville’s first year of a 4-day school week. This expansion will mean that elevateHER provides programming to the entire Arkansas River Valley.

Kristen Van Norman, founder and executive director of elevateHER, said, “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. 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 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. More information can be found on elevateHER’s website, www.elevateherco.org or by emailing the organization at elevateherco@gmail.org.

elevateHER is always thankful to the community for the support they provide and would like to extend a special thank you to the members of Chaffee County Women Who Care for providing support for elevateHER’s upcoming pilot expansions in 2020.

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