FGH Chapters

Hey y’all!

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I’m doing lots of work to get FGH chapters opened in cities all around the US & Canada!  I know fat positive, inclusive & diverse outdoor community is important to so many of you.  I am so grateful to all the ambassadors who are leading hikes & building community in their areas.  I am also so grateful for Ginamarie, the fabulous Merch Queen for her support with all things FGH!

In creating chapters, I am talking with every ambassador/hike leader personally, (sometimes) hiking with them & having conversations about how they can build community in their city.  I know y’all want a chapter in your city & I’ll do my best to make as many as possible!

Here are the FAQs of FGH chapters / becoming a FGH ambassador:

What does it take to be a Fat Girls Hiking Ambassador?

I am looking for 2 ambassadors for each city where there’s interest for a chapter, to work together as a team to research & lead hikes. Its really important to me that the integrity of  Fat Girls Hiking is the same across all chapters.  What I’m looking for in ambassadors I select is knowledge & belief in the Fat Girls Hiking mission.  An ideal ambassador would be Health At Every Size informed, fat positive, inclusive of people who are LGBTQIP+, be able to offer hikes for all-abilities, be inclusive to people who are gender non-conforming, transgender and/or POC.  No hiking/outdoor experience is necessary, I’m happy to train y’all in that.  More than anything, I want ambassadors who are passionate about creating fat positive inclusive outdoor community.  Knowledge of the 7 Leave No Trace principles is a bonus but that info is easy to access online here: https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

What will I have to do when I lead a group hike?

Welcome all who join the hike!  Have folks sign waivers (I’ll send you the file to print.) Chat with folks until the group has arrived.  Circle up for intros (names/pronouns/icebreaker question) & go over ground rules.

I always focus on the community aspect of Fat Girls Hiking.  As a community we don’t leave anyone behind.  We stay together.  (This is a tricky one…but I try to emphasis that it’s a GROUP hike and we are hiking to connect with one another as a community.) We support one another.  We honor the needs of our bodies and stop as often as needed to sit, drink water or have a snack.  Self care in the outdoors is SO healing.  It’s important to emphasis that we are here to celebrate each other!  When we can all show up exactly as we are & receive support, it’s incredibly empowering.

ALL genders & ALL sizes are welcomed on group hikes. You do not have to identify as a Fat Girl to participate.  We love when allies show up for us!  We do not allow diet or weight loss talk.  Every FGH ambassador must be comfortable creating a space where racism, sexism, homophobia, abelism, transphobia and fatphobia are NOT welcome. Slow hikers, new hikers, indoor people and people of all abilities are welcomed!

Take photos / videos to send to me to promote your chapter!

Have fun!  Connect with people & talk to them about their experiences!  I have met so many amazing people through Fat Girls Hiking.

So, How can I become an ambassador?

When there is a call for ambassadors for your city (this will be announced & posted on Instagram & Facebook), email Summer at fatgirlshiking@gmail.com. Or join the chapter’s hike you’re interested in being an ambassador for.  Some chapters have opened with only 1 ambassador so we are looking for a co-ambassador for those chapters.  In those instances, join a hike lead by the ambassador & chat with them about being a co-ambassador.  I want to ensure that you’d be a good fit with the existing ambassador & I do chat with them about who they’d like to co-lead with.  After attending a hike, email me to let me know you’re interested (Fatgirlshiking@gmail.com) & we’ll talk more.  Please be patient with me through this process!  I receive an overwhelming amount of messages about chapters (not complaining-how cool that so many of you want to be ambassadors!!) & how to become an ambassador & I hope that the info above is helpful so I can focus on growing more chapters. Come hike with us!

How can I help support Fat Girls Hiking in opening more chapters?

I no longer have a day job so I am able to focus all my time on FGH.  Yay!  I need your financial support to do this important work.  My bills are minimal (cell phone, gas, food, storage locker, auto insurance) but I would like to ensure this work is sustainable for me. I have a Go Fund Me campaign to keep Fat Girls Hiking On The Road going!  With your support I will be able to build these communities across North America.  I started my life on the road September 6, 2018 in my 1996 Toyota Carolla & started the #fatvanlife in a 2001 Oldsmobile Silohette minivan on October 13, 2018.  I opened 16 new chapters with the first Fat Girls Hiking, On The Road tour in the NE US & SE Canada this last fall!

December 2018 update:  I’m fundraising now for the spring tour of FGH, On The Road to open chapters in Northern California, The Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Boise (and maybe more!) You can donate via Venmo @fatgirlshiking or Pay Pal fatgirlshiking@gmail.com or through the Go Fund Me link above.  Thank you so much for your support in growing this community!

May 2019 update: My beloved van, Vanatee, that allowed me to open the first 16 FGH chapters on the road bit the dust. So, I’m currently fundraising to replace her. I will continue to live/travel in my new van and also work on opening more chapters remotely as time allows. If you would like to support my efforts to open more chapters, please consider donating to the Fat Girls Hiking, Fat Van Life Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/fat-girls-hiking-fat-van-life

How will I know when a pop-up hike is coming to my area?

Info on pop-up hikes will be posted on EventBrite.  ‘Follow’ Fat Girls Hiking on EventBrite to receive an email any time we post a new event.  If you are interested in becoming an ambassador for your city, simply join the pop-up hike when it comes to your town & let me know you’re interested!

FGH Fall Tour: (bold cities are chapters that are now open!)

Missoula, MT / Jackson, WY / Rapid City, SD/ Milwaukee, WI / Chicago, IL / SW Ohio area / Pittsburgh, PA / DMV (DC area) / Philadelphia, PA / NYC / New Haven, CT / Boston, MA / Manchester, NH / Montreal, QC / Toronto, ON

I’m beyond excited to watch this beautiful community grow and make positive changes in the lives of so many people (including myself!)  It’s such an honor to witness.

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Summer,

Fat Girls Hiking Founder

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