The Maroon

The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

Junior+Sebe+Shearer+enjoys+the+outdoors+with+two+Mathews+Elementary+students.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

Junior Sebe Shearer enjoys the outdoors with two Mathews Elementary students.

Junior Sebe Shearer enjoys the outdoors with two Mathews Elementary students.

Junior Sebe Shearer enjoys the outdoors with two Mathews Elementary students.

Junior Sebe Shearer enjoys the outdoors with two Mathews Elementary students.

Willa Roberts, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The new club and mentoring program, Girls Outside, took a field trip with Mathews Elementary students to give girls an opportunity to explore their environment and get outdoors. Girls Outside club juniors and seniors were paired up with elementary school-aged girls on a trip to Pedernales State Park to hike and fish, all while learning hands-on about the world around them.

“The club provides a great opportunity to get outdoors and expose young girls to nature which has been typically male-dominated in the past,” junior Sebe Shearer said.

Girls Outside high schoolers aim to make a difference in the world and empower girls starting at a young age. The elementary schoolers from Matthews Elementary that take part in the club range from 5 to 10 years old.

“I wanted to join Girls Outside because I wanted an outlet at school to give back to my community and do something I am very passionate about,” Shearer said.

The club was originally started by Anne Muller, the Outdoor Learning Specialist for AISD. She began the Girls Outside club alongside a cadre of teachers who feel strongly about supporting the message behind the club, enabling girls to have meaningful experiences in nature. In partnership with the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, the teachers wrote the grant for Girls Outside.

“There’s a great mentoring partnership between the secondary and elementary schools and I believe that mentorship is an important part of life,” Muller said. “Nature is also a great place to build that relationship, as nature has a lot to offer our physical and mental health while providing context for a lot of what we learn about in school.”

The club at Austin High is run by Spanish teacher, Profe Lawrence Sclerandi, and has grown significantly since the beginning of the school year, from 8 members to nearly 40.

“It is a district-wide initiative made possible by a large grant to provide an opportunity for girls from certain schools to experience outdoor learning at some of the state parks in central Texas,” Sclerandi said.

Girls Outside strives to give young girls a positive association with the outdoors and provide an opportunity for them to gain meaningful hands-on experiences of working out in nature.

“The primary goal of Girls Outside is to get girls across all ages into the great outdoors and interact with professionals in the field of Outdoor Education, breaking down the barriers and misconceptions that women do not/cannot work outside,” Sclerandi said.

School organizations take field trips to increase and broaden students’ understanding, and Girls Outside is no different.

“I love to be outside and I love the field trips,” Sclerandi said. “I have lived about 4 years of my life abroad and can say without a shadow of a doubt that experience is our best teacher.”

The field trip to Pedernales State Park took place on Monday, November 5th. The trip took months of planning to organize, including finding methods to fund the trip and find the day that would work best with Matthews Elementary School.

“The field trips we have taken so far have turned out really well. The girls have been respectful and have acted as good mentors to the little elementary girls who are very impressionable,” Sclerandi said. “I am very pleased with the enthusiasm and maturity that the girls from Austin High have exhibited on our field trips thus far.”

The girls involved in the club are able to establish a strong connection with someone from a different school they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to meet. The older high-school girls take on a mentoring role to make the experience for the younger girls more memorable.

“Being outside with my buddy was so much fun,” junior Joey Tellez said, “She was so adventurous and we got to see the most beautiful things.”

Sclerandi has given Austin High students experiences out in nature that may impact their futures by opening their eyes to a career in a field they had never considered before or inspiring them to take up a new hobby related to being outdoors.

“Hopefully the ladies that participate will remember having a good time and enjoying themselves while outside.  I just want them to have a positive association with the outdoors,” Sclerandi said. “Confucius sums it up like this, ‘Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I will understand.’”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    AGS Takes a Closer Look at Trash

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Flu Vaccine: Friend or Foe?

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Taylor Orders Immediate Evacuation of School as Flood Waters Rise

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Gender-Nuetral Homecoming Updates Tradition

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Discovery Dome Planetarium Transforms Library

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Whipple Honored with Texas History Teacher of the Year Award

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Parking Meters to be Installed Around Austin High

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    AISD Instates Clear-Bag Policy at Shared Athletic Events

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Student Voice Seeks Funding for Free Calculators

  • The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature

    News

    Students Help Pass Paid Sick Leave

Navigate Right
The student news site of Stephen F. Austin High School
The Girls Outside Club Helps Expose Young Girls to Nature