Why it's important that Girls Get Oot

We spoke to two young people from a recent Path Skillz project to find out how they have benefitted from being outdoors.

Chelsea and Mhairi

Mhairi Gilmour (18) and Chelsea Fowler (16) are students at Fife College and completed their Path Skillz training last year.
They have also been keen to get involved with the Girls Get Oot, a campaign which has been developed as part of Freshspace, a partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage, Young Scot and female volunteers.
It aims to break down the barriers that prevent young women from experiencing nature.

Chelsea has attended the Stenton campus since September and would like to pursue a career in sports and fitness. Chelsea is very interested in promoting the Girls Get Oot campaign as she’s passionate about highlighting the positives of young women getting outdoors.

Mhairi has attended the campus since last December and would like to pursue a career in drama. Mhairi actively promotes awareness about disability and highlights that people should not be ‘defined’ by their disability. Mhairi is interested in promoting the #GirlsGetOot campaign as she feels strongly about addressing barriers that prevent young women of all abilities to explore the outdoors.

Chelsea said:

It’s important that more young women don’t feel excluded from participating outdoors whether that is working in an outdoor environment, playing sports or just enjoying being outdoors. An outdoor environment can be quite sexist but getting more young women outdoors will help break down barriers like this as people become more educated on how important it is for women to enjoy the outdoors.

“I think it is very important for young women to get outdoors. I volunteer with Fife Council and we take out different age groups of children to do team building exercises. I think it is important from a young age, especially with girls, that they get the chance to explore the outdoors and get to know about how much fun it can be.”

Mhairi said: “The campaign is good as it is important for there to be equality when participating outdoors. Getting more young women outdoors lets people know we can do just as good a job in outdoor careers, and, if we can get more females out, they will inspire others to go and explore the outdoors.
“It is important that young women get to know how beneficial being outdoors can be for your physical and mental well-being. I would like to add though that it can be restrictive as sometimes the attitude is that ‘girls can’t do that’.

“I think young women miss out due to the stereotypes of outdoor activities whether it’s recreational or work related. It does seem that being outdoors is more male-orientated and that needs to be addressed.”

Asked about the challenges that stop young female from getting outdoors, the girls said: “Boys saying that women cannot do outdoor activities as well as them. It is very patronising. Attitudes need to change. We need to get out there to prove we can do what they can do, only better!”