Oh me, oh my, Queens – what a year it has been.
When Framps and I chatted last summer and agreed to build a ‘thing’ together, we had no idea that this ‘thing’ would spread like hot butter on a plump English teacake. It seems that my ability to be very gobby about the importance of women getting outdoors, and Framps’ ability to do… well just about everything else important to growing a community, are quite the neat little combo.
In just 365 little days we have blossomed from a handful of women to now standing at over 5,300. We have 42 volunteer Chief Queens doing everything from keeping an eye on the goings on in the Facebook group, writing blog posts, running our Instagram channel and acting guardians of the 31 local Queens groups, in the UK and beyond. We are forever grateful to these amazing generous Chief Queens – it simply wouldn’t be possible without them.
Over the last year, we have held 8 events – in-store workshops with @Arc’Teryx, learning gear tips from Arc and navigation skills thanks to OS maps. And we have been supported in our campouts by our friends @kathmandu. We have calculated that we have collectively consumed 1,923 marshmallows, rambled over 30miles across the UK and that a whopping 1,000+ of you have popped your wild camp cherries this. Plus, we’ve even been featured in ‘My Weekly’ – just sayin’.
Of course, it ain’t about the numbers…
We know that. But it is about bringing you together and making sure that you’re able to find others who dig the same dirt under the nails, sleepin’ on a hilltop, swimming naked in a lake lifestyle that you do. That you can find those women, surround yourself with them, and redefine your normal.
So, what the Dickens does the next 12 months hold?
We continue to run this as a non-profit organisation, and this truly is a passion project. We do it on trains, in the evenings, while we’re running, when we should be sleeping – anything and everything so that you have the means and know how to get outdoors, without money being a barrier to that.
That said, as we grow – we’re finding new ways to feed spondoolies into the community so that we can run more events, offer more advice and help more wild women. To assist with that, we’ve recruited a ‘merchandise magician’ – so you can expect more of a chance to adorn yourself with Adventure Queen goodies soon.
Events and things:
We’ll be continuing to offer regular campouts and also our workshops – a chance to learn new skills, be inspired and meet up with each other. We’ll also continue to share monthly tips and advice through the newsletter, as well as give away lovely books and outdoorsy things to those on that newsletter list. Because everyone loves lush outdoorsy things.
New content, written by you:
We will soon be putting a call out for blog contributors, and with a spanking new set of guidelines for you to follow, any of you and all of are encouraged to put pen to paper and share your knowledge or musings with the community.
All hail the Insta of the Gram:
We’re also hell bent on pumping more love into our ever-growing Instagram channel – which allows us to reach out to new Queens and share some of the stuuupendous pictures that you take. And on that note, we’re also hell bent on keeping that channel real. You will not find super-posed, tummies-tucked-in shots there – but real women enjoying the outdoors – getting sweaty, muddy and looking however they downright please.
The Adventure Queen Grant:
When Autumn rolls around, we’ll also be reporting back on what our Adventure Queen Grant winner, Super Sue, got up to on her summer running and cycling along the spine of the alps, and launching the Adventure Queen Grant for the second year in September 2018, offering one Queen £1k cash and £1k of kit, courtesy of Arc’teryx.
Lastly – we are launching a book corner. Hurrah!! Yes, yes – we have a literary expert in residence who is going to advise us monthly on some fabulous reads and generally geek out on adventure books. Mmmm. Books. More on that soon.
All that remains to be said…
Is that in all of this, Framps and I are merely the facilitators. That is, what we have grown to love so much about this community is that it is run from within. We light the touch paper but you ladies sure do make the (camp)fire burn. And it’s burning so very brightly.
You are lighting the way for the mothers, sisters, aunties, grannies and daughters of this world. You are showing them that you do not need to know everything at the outset, but instead just be open to learning. That you do not need to be unafraid, because only fools are unafraid. Fear, nerves, anxiety – that says you care. Fear says you are about to do something important that will catapult your life in a new direction and re-connect you with your fabulous wild self.
So thank you for being with us, thank you for your good vibes, your amazing photos, your openness, your honesty, your stories of mishaps. Thank you, in short, for an amazing first year – here’s to the next one.
With much adventure love,
McNuff and Framps xxx