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Queer Wilderness Project: Scouting

Women's Wilderness
Event organized by Women's Wilderness

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When people hear “scouting” they often think of Boy or Girl Scouts. We have a more specific definition of scouting—it is the art of blending in to your environment, going unnoticed, and collecting information about your environment. This can be practiced in order to reduce your impact in natural settings which will help you become a better naturalist and become more aware of your non-human kin. It can also be practiced in order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in times of threat or danger.

It can be difficult to describe really what this class will be like, but some of the concrete skills that we will focus on to anchor this theme will involve various awareness and intuition exercises and games that can help you hone your powers of observation of both your surroundings (which includes other beings) and your internal landscape, ways of moving your body that reduce your energetic and sonic impact on the world around you, how to use the natural world and various materials in order to conceal and camouflage yourself, and more. We will explore these skills through both group games/exercises, partners, and also solo in a safe outdoor setting. Learning these arts together is an embodied experience that puts us intimately in touch with the natural world, creates strong group bonds, and tends to bring out the kid in everyone!

As queer folks, we may have many reasons for already being used to ‘taking a step back’ and assessing our prospective safety, resources, and threats when we enter social and public spaces. This disposition to hyperawareness of our social and political environment can be beautifully leveraged in the arts and sciences of scouting.

NOTE: This class ends after dark.

Difficulty level: Lots of movement outside at a slow pace, but not strenuous. May involve utilizing balance and coordination for movement exercises. Some activities will occur after dark with minimal light. Some activities revolve around the senses of hearing, touch, and vision. Participation is encouraged but self-care trumps everything. Participate as you are able and comfortable.

This workshop is intended as a safe container for LGBTQIA folks of any gender to engage in the culture and practice of wilderness-self reliance and earth-based living skills.

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Boulder, Colorado