Extraordinary Women Leaders in Speleology © 2017
leadership in action
Extraordinary Women Leaders in Speleology (EWLS) was created to unite, support, and encourage women to become leaders in caving that participate in activities that are related to cave conservation, education, and exploration. We achieve this goal through building strong ties in the caving community, building safety and inclusion practices for women and other minority groups, recording women's history and achievements in caving, building youth outreach activities, and reaching out to science communities related to speleology.
Our vision is to build a community that will do real work and especially provide annual scholarships that sends women to cave-related trainings such as rescue and mapping! This vision requires support from a large community. For more information about how you can get involved, contact us here.
Our mission in no way excludes men but requires their participation to succeed. In fact, it is estimated that over 75% of all USA cavers are male and at least 60% of those who have contributed their time to build our annual event are men. At EWLS we believe that we need both genders to participate to create a community that makes caving more supporting to the needs of the female caver.
EWLS hosts an annual three day event called the All-Grrs-Cave-Trip that invites men and women to celebrate women cavers. In 2015 the event name was changed from "All-Girls-Cave-Trip" to "All-Grrs-Cave-Trip" to better communicate that this is a co-ed event. The first day women and men cave separately and meet together for fun ceremonies where we swap stories and enjoy amazing entertainment ranging from guitarists, accordion players, and fire dancers. On the second day attendees all cave together to visit the most beautiful cave we can find in the area. Here we have cultivated friendships and moved out of our comfort zone to become leaders in ways we never have before.