Empowering Tomorrow’s Outdoor Leaders: Backcountry Squatters
Backcountry Squatters is a nationwide coalition of college clubs committed to fostering participation, leadership, and inclusivity among women and gender-queer folks within the outdoor industry and community.
Run by ‘Squatters alumni, this 501c3 nonprofit uplifts women and gender-queer folks at a pivotal moment in their lives by connecting them in the kinship, growth, and empowerment of shared outdoor pursuits.
We are opening the door to outdoor opportunities that women and non-binary folks have historically been excluded from. With chapters established accross the nation, Backcountry Squatters is rapidly expanding.
Your support helps shape the next generation of resilient, empowered leaders. Together, we can make a difference, creating a more inclusive, resilient, and environmentally conscious future.
on the blog
I wanted to feel more comfortable and empowered as an individual in the water as well as contribute to growing the Whitewater Kayaking Club at Columbia so I decided to take a Swiftwater Rescue Course this summer. This opportunity was only possible through the scholarship I received from Backcountry Squatters.
Claire reflects on her experience taking a Wilderness First Responder course through NOLS with the funds she received from the Backcountry Squatters Scholarship for Outdoor Education.
Kit Kocha, one of the co-founders of Backcountry Squatters and the visionary behind so much of what Squatters is today, is a self-prescribed dreamer. Fortunately, many of Kit’s dreams have revolved around her deep passion for outdoor stewardship and mentorship, beginning with her outdoor experiences in her youth.
February, the actual start of the year, is when you make good on some new resolutions, tidy things up, and rebrand yourself completely. In honor of the new year (Ibby’s New Year™), I thought I would share some of my “In’s and Out’s” for 2023.
Maggie is a recipient of the Backcountry Squatters Scholarship for Outdoor Education and received her AIARE 1 through the University of Colorado.
I crashed the Backcountry Squatters ski trip and it was hands down the best decision ever. We skied everywhere. Let me tell you from experience, skiing with a group of 10 people with various backgrounds can be tricky, but this just felt right.
What our community says:
From the beginning this movement has never been about how fast we can ski, how hard we can climb, or how far we can run–it has always been about pushing the boundaries of what women perceive as possible for themselves in outdoor culture, and in-turn, society. Through my own experience with Backcountry Squatters, I’ve found a meaningful sense-of-place in my community and have gotten to do so alongside women with an array of interesting backgrounds and stories–an experience I believe every woman should get the opportunity to have.
The Backcountry Squatters were a pleasure to partner with for avalanche education. The turnout for the classes was always high and the women were excited to learn. It’s great to work with a club that is eager to offer educational opportunities, as well as fun experiences.
I am always inspired by the women I have met through Backcountry Squatters. This community has introduced me to strong, confident, and amazing women who all share a collective enthusiasm for the outdoors. By maintaining a supportive atmosphere to pursue unique goals and have fun doing it, ‘Squatters has helped me build confidence in the mountains, on the river and even in school.
I got involved with the Backcountry Squatters at DU when it first got up and running because I wanted to not only inspire girls to join the outdoor community but also help other like-minded girls to find more gal pals to go get after it with. That’s why it has been so important to me: because we need more girl support in the outdoor community and an inclusive environment where we can grow and learn from each other.
WHO WE ARE
Backcountry Squatters is a vibrant community that empowers college women and non-binary folks at a pivotal moment in their lives. We are dedicated to fostering growth, leadership, and kinship through shared outdoor pursuits.
Our vision propels a new generation of leaders to thrive through college and beyond, making a lasting impact on the world. With a nationwide network of clubs, we prioritize community, leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion, education, and outdoor recreation, ensuring everyone can access the transformative power of the outdoors.