I am a big believer in women’s sport camps and clinics. There is something about the supportive nature of women crushing together that, at least for me, really helps to learn, push harder, and feel more confident in trying new stuff. Whether it’s Chicks with Picks, Trek Dirt Series, or KEEN’s new Rippin Chix program, the number of camps and clinics for women to learn and master new sports is on the rise.
In Vermont last weekend, I was introduced to Sabra Davison, co-founder of Little Bellas together with her sister Lea. Both these amazing athletes wanted to find a way to give back to and foster the female biking community, so decided to create a national organization of bike camps for girls—Little Bellas.
The main goal of Little Bellas is to help young women realize their potential through cycling. Through a variety of camps, the group aims to create a community that will empower girls through biking, emphasize the importance of goal-setting, promote healthy lifestyles, and recognize the positive effects of strong female bonds. While this program is centered around fostering camaraderie for girls on bikes, it is most importantly about having fun in a constructive environment.
The program brings together girls, ages 7 to 16, and female mentors in a variety of summer programs across the country. Once a week or during a multi-day camp, mentors and girls ride together at a local trail network and focus on improving skills as well as participate in team-building activities.
The program is organized around a curriculum that builds upon previous skills and girls are broken up into groups based on age and ability. After the group ride, the groups participate in games that incorporate that day’s skill focus. Each session always includes the all-important snack.
National camps take place at large national level events (like Sea Otter) and allow the girls the opportunity to meet lots of nationally ranked pros. Regional camps often have visits from pros, and the curriculum and mentoring groups are consistent throughout the summer.
If you have young girls, I would definitely check out Little Bellas. I wish they had programs like this when I was growing up.