Hannah Snyder considers herself an outdoor enthusiast, but found that Owensboro lacked an outdoor community that was not specific to hunting and fishing. In December 2021, she changed that by creating the Women’s Adventure Club.
The group currently has 375 members, and while Snyder didn’t expect people to join so quickly, she’s excited about the friendships that are formed among the members.
“We are just a group of women empowering other women,” she said.
Snyder started the group after joining other hiking groups in the area, where she said she felt unsafe. The Women’s Adventure Club is a members-only group, but a simple application to join the group and agreement to follow the rules allows women to join and view scheduled events.
“Group events are only visible to members to make sure everyone feels safe,” she said.
Snyder said the group isn’t specific to Owensboro, but most of the members are from here. The group is open to surrounding areas and most events involve travel of four hours or less. Some events also allow children to participate.
“However, members are welcome to plan events anywhere,” she said.
Events are scheduled year-round because Snyder believes all seasons are synonymous with beauty. While most events take place on weekends, there are occasional trips during the week.
More recently, the group went caving in the caves. Snyder said that as membership grew, more diversity in types of events also grew in appeal, such as hiking, climbing, camping, skiing and mountain biking.
Club member Pat Fuqua said she found this group shortly after she was widowed. She had always found healing in outdoor activities, but she felt she could be guided.
“This group welcomed me with open arms and I gained friendships, knowledge and new confidence to try new adventures,” Fuqua said.
Earlene Preher said that since her family doesn’t like hiking, the group is giving here a chance to do something she loves.
Most of the women in the group say joining the Women’s Adventure Club has allowed them to step out of their box and work on self-healing and self-care while bringing more people into their lives with similar pursuits.
“I stepped out of my comfort zone and was greatly rewarded with wonderful new friends and experiences that I’m truly grateful for,” said Gail Collins McBride. “I’m proud of myself for accomplishing the events I’ve attended, but also humbled and honored to know that my family is also proud of me. I’ve learned a lot about the outdoors and I’m able to share those knowledge for new adventures with my own family. As a group, we not only share exciting and fun outdoor activities together, but we also support each other through our own personal challenges and achievements. I am grateful and blessed to know these wonderful ladies.
Snyder said that although she’s the only one who’s scheduled the events so far, it’s open to all members of the group and she encourages others to suggest any trails or hobbies they might be nervous about. to try alone.
Annah Cecil is one of those members who found security by going with a band.
“My favorite event by far was the Wild Cave Adventure,” said Cecil. “I’m actually a real chicken, although I have adrenaline junkies as best friends. I was anxious and fearful the whole time because slippery rocks are a big fear for me. I think the group aspect played a big part in my confidence in this event. It pushed me to go somewhere I would never have gone alone if it weren’t for the others also ready to dive into the unknown.
Snyder looks forward to more adventures with the group and hopes it will continue to grow.
“I hope this group continues to thrive and grow in size dramatically,” Snyder said. “The more members we have, the more diversity of events there will be to choose from.”
If you’d like to join, head over to the Women’s Adventure Club of Owensboro and Area Facebook page.