Workshop Descriptions

Outdoor ExQueerience with Dana Wu (吳 淑 如) she/her, Christopher Criqui (he/him), Mónica de Resende Garcia de Mesquita (she/her)

Do you struggle to explain sexual dimorphism to your students without reinforcing the gender binary? Do you want more room for hermaphroditic slugs in your curriculum? Are you looking to queer up your learning space? Then join us for an interactive workshop that explores how we, as educators, can queer our teaching by learning lessons from the natural world.By recognizing the ways in which nature defies restrictive and oppressive structures that inhibit us, we hope to give attendees concrete tools to queer up their favorite curriculum.Feel free to bring your own lessons to examine at this workshop!


Let's Go Birding! with Martha Harbison (they/them)

Discover some of the beautiful and fascinating birds that live around the Rocky Mountains, including Violet-Green Swallow, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Black-billed Magpie, Northern Flicker, Cooper's Hawk, and Mountain Chickadee.


Queer Nature Writing with Liz Weinberg (she/her)

During this workshop, participants will explore nature and science writing from a queer perspective. We will discuss what it means to queer nature and the outdoors, and how other writers have paired queerness and wild spaces. Participants will have the opportunity to respond to writing prompts and share their writing with one another. This is a generative space that aims to spark ideas, invite reflection, and inspire new narratives.


Solo Walk / Guided Meditation with Michelle Dannehy (she/her)

Embark on a solo adventure through the beautiful natural setting of Estes Park. This walk will include a guided meditation to encourage a deeper connection and presence with your surrounding environment and self.


Knots and Applications with Michelle Dannehy (she/her)

Learn various knots and their applicatoins in the outdoors.


Altered Narratives: Centering Collaborative Story Telling with Thumper Ormerod (they/them)

As outdoor professionals we strive to make our communities welcoming to all, but can we teach our communities to really spotlight disparate voices? By practicing collaborative storytelling games with staff, participants, or just friends and family we can role model and inspire a culture of centering all voices. Find out what makes games like Dungeons and Dragons so good at subverting the dominant narrative. Play an easy-to-learn collaborative storytelling game, practice listening and empathizing with the lived experiences of others, and discuss the larger potential of collaborative storytelling games. Why not roll the dice?


Backpacking Basics: How to Pack and Prepare for Overnight Outings with Connor Henzel (he/him)

Want to start backpacking, but don’t know where to begin? Or, are you a beginner backpacker who wants to learn more about the 10 Essentials, and Leave No Trace Principles? This session will demystify the art of packing and preparing for overnight hiking trips while giving you the tools to do it safely: for both you and nature.These skills provide a solid foundation to backpacking in any environment, and for any length of time. We will end with a discussion on how you can start “queering the outdoors” on your next hike.


Queers Outdoors: How can colleges and universities train the next generation of professionals with Dr. Brian Forist (he/him)

How can colleges and universities support the Queer Outdoors movement and train the next generation of queer and queer-serving outdoor professionals? Session participants will share thoughts and stories and develop working guidelines for outdoor oriented academic programs. Facilitated by a faculty member from Indiana University (IU), campus efforts will be shared, including a very successful “Queers Outdoors” forum sponsored by IU Outdoor Adventures; cultural competence training for outdoor trip leaders; incorporation of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and actions in courses; and alliances on and off campus. Input from session participants will be collected for future planning and collaboration.


Impact of First Impressions with Katie Hecker (she/her)

Have you ever felt excluded during an activity because you do not share the same background as the rest of your group?Have you ever had a need but did not know how to address it because that culture did not exist? During this interactive presentation, participants will be engaged and inspired to think critically about the ways first impressions can influence the perception of trip participants.This session will provide a space for self-reflection and resources around LGBTQ+ inclusion and accessibility within outdoor programs. Participants will be encouraged to share and actively partake in group discussion designed to foster an environment where session attendees can learn from each other.