A program in Jackson is expanding to offer 17 scholarships to female skiers and outdoorswomen who want to improve their skills on the mountain. The Jackson Hole Babe Force scholarships will allow women to participate in American Avalanche Institute courses, the Elevate 1 Women’s Ski Camp in Jackson, and Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls in Oregon. The group also offers a reimbursement scholarship for competition costs in both winter and summer sports.
Jackson Hole Babe Force board member Jennifer Wolfrom said the organization started about five years ago as an alternative ski club for women.
“It’s now grown into a more year-round organization that’s focused less on just having a friend to ski with and more on a group of women who are really excited and interested in supporting other women, and helping them become more knowledgeable, more safe, and just more confident in the mountains,” she said.
Wolfrom said the group felt the need to provide scholarships and training because they began noticing a lot more women taking up backcountry skiing and mountaineering around Jackson.
“However, we also noticed a lot of them were kind of leaning on their male counterparts to lead them in the mountains. They often don’t feel comfortable speaking up if they don’t feel safe, or they might not feel as knowledgeable as they should to make the right decisions,” said Wolfrom.
In 2015, the group offered just two individual scholarships; this year they raised about $12,000 to help offer more scholarships and different types as well. Women of all ages and abilities are encouraged to apply by November 30. For more information and application materials visit www.jacksonholebabeforce.com/scholarships.