The epic Girls Inc. summer scavenger hunt has officially commenced. Leading up to the Conquer Heights, Empower Girls fundraiser on Aug. 3, the nonprofit is hiding 100 carabiners around Santa Fe at locations chosen for their connection to inspiring historical female figures and local businesswomen.
The first person to find the gold one (all the rest of the climbing clips are red) gets to rappel 62 feet down the side of the La Fonda on the Plaza as part of the urban rappelling event. The first 92 individuals to raise $1,000 for the organization will likewise get the chance to go over the edge (100 total rappellers will include seven girls, 92 donors and one gold carabiner-holder).
But for those of us without that kind of spare change, who doesn't love a good hunt?
"A philanthropist and community activist, this woman donated land for the Laboratory of Anthropology and the Wheelwright Museum, gave the city its first animal shelter, and established the Garcia Street Club for neighborhood children. Her estate, once a gathering place for local artists, is now home to the School for Advanced Research. In her honor, the City of Santa Fe named a park after her—which is where you'll find the first carabiner."
This is the first of the five clues that have already been posted to the Girls Inc. social pages. Can you guess where it leads?
Okay, we'll tell you. (The location has already been disclosed online, so don't worry, we're not giving anything away).
The clue leads to Amelia White Park, named for a woman who left an indelible mark on our city and is a positive example for local girls, says Tara Melton, communications associate at Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, adding that three carabiners are hidden at each location. Several have already been found, but the organization will continue posting clues to new locations every few days for the next three weeks.
Even if you are scared of heights and don't enjoy the thrill of the hunt, individuals can make donations to allow seven teens to take to the ropes.
"This event really shows girls that they can push barriers and can take a big step and do things that people might not expect of them," says Melton.
And this is what Girls Inc. is all about.
In partnership with local schools and nearby pueblos, the organization offers summer and after-school programs, mentorships and workshops that teach girls ages 6 to 18 to feel confident in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals, even in areas where they might not traditionally receive encouragement.
"At Girls Inc., we teach girls the skills they need to be independent and strong and smart," Melton tells SFR, offering some examples of specific programs: "They learn about their bodies when they are little girls, they go on the learn STEM-related activities in the elementary [and] middle school ages. Those are fields that are typically dominated by male counterparts. … Then in our teen program, they do things like outdoor sports and activities and learn to survive in the wilderness, which is not something that parents typically teach their daughters."
The girls even learn to rappel at The Mountain Center in Santa Fe, which is good preparation for the Conquer Heights Fundraiser. The event will also include kids activities and games.
In the meantime: On your marks, get set, scavenge!