"There ya' go! Push down, pedal, there ya' go!" a counselor called out.
Encouraging girls along the trails is just one of the ways Girls Move Mountains is turning teens into "dirt divas." With eight sites and 100 participants throughout Vermont, this educational adventure is teaching girls aged 11-13 that no obstacle is too big.
"I've learned if I trust myself, I can do anything" said Hibo Jafar, a dirt diva.
"They've been a blast really," said Jean MacBride, a dirt diva.
Along with learning how to ride mountain bikes, the girls learn media literacy, leadership and communication skills in this week-long program.
"The biking piece of what we do is just the vehicle to cultivate confidence, courage and leadership in these girls," explained Meghan Giroux, the marketing director for Girls Move Mountains.
Some of the best advocates for the camp are the instructors themselves. Take Kayla Carter who use to be a camper back in the day and now is a junior instructor.
"Just getting a group of girls together and letting them be in an environment they can be themselves. It's really good to see that so they can really open up and do things they want to do," Carter said.
Although the bike riding is tough, the real challenge for these girls-- like most-- is adolescence. But counselors say they see these girls from different backgrounds and social classes work together, evolve and mature in just one week.
"You get girls that come to the program that are really nervous and tentative and Friday they leave excited to stay-- they don't want to go home, they want to come back next summer," Giroux said.
A 100 percent return rate might be a good indicator that this experience is one your diva will never forget.
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