The Outwild Ambassador Program
Outwild Ambassadors are past attendees who go above and beyond to serve the Outwild community. They are people we feel share our values and embody the Outwild spirit. If you are considering attending an Outwild event, we would encourage you to contact your ambassadors by email for a 15 minute chat about what attending Outwild is like! If you have specific logistical questions about the event, please reach out to email@example.com
KRISTI-LEE DEKKER SOVICH
Hi. My name is Kristi-Lee. Last year I went to Outwild in hopes of making some new outdoorsy friends. Being a hairstylist in LA, I don’t meet this type too often, and I wanted more people like this in my life to keep me motivated on what’s becoming more and more important to me: being outside.
At first, Outwild was just what you’d expect it to be. Over one hundred strangers gathered around not knowing quite what to do or what to talk about. It happened slowly at first, but through the workshops, the meal gatherings, and the activities, the layers started to peel back. We had all come here for similar reasons. I was lacking motivation at my job, feeling unaccomplished in my personal goals and lost in my late twenties. Hearing other Outwilder’s struggles brought mine to the forefront of my mind. I met
people who were dealing with the same things I was. I listened to stories of people who felt stuck in their jobs and scared to pursue their passions, people who lacked an outdoor friend group, but felt too intimidated to put themselves out there. It was eye-opening to hear these stories and realize how much similar they were to my own. Suddenly, these people didn’t seem like strangers anymore. To break through that final layer, the last night we had a dance party and even the most awkward and shy of us broke down a few moves ;) It was official, we were a family of Outwild.
I didn’t know it at first, but Outwild was exactly what I was looking for: a community. Since Outwild, I’ve stopped allowing fear to make my decisions. I’ve created a healthy work-life balance that helps me have a new appreciation for my career. My personal goals now seem attainable and I’m slowly checking things off the list. I realize even more now how important it is to care for the outdoor spaces that I love and to share them with others. This community is my safe space. I still have lots of learning and growing to do, but I know I can always count on them to listen without judgement, to lift me with words of encouragement, and to be there when I need a friend to get outside with.
I’ve always been a dreamer, but dreams without action don’t get you very far.
I attended Outwild at a confusing junction in my life. I had a dream: to start an adventure travel company that helps people navigate the challenges in their lives. But I felt insecure and afraid to turn my dream into reality. Worse, I felt alone! I felt like I was the only one with this sort of dream.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! At Outwild, I met the kindest, most welcoming group of people I’d ever encountered. Yes, there were world class athletes, but they were warm and authentic, sharing moments of vulnerability from their climbs on El Cap and Denali. Other attendees were much like me: we were a group who loved the outdoors, wanted to make a difference in the world, and were searching for direction in the journey. We were dreamers.
I met people like Nadia, whose dream is to start a Montessori school for underserved youth and to spend more time outdoors. I met Kai, one of the most passionate people I’ve ever known, who plans to spend summer 2019 guiding in Wyoming. I met Chris, who has already started an adventure travel company in California. Suddenly, my dream didn’t seem quite so far-fetched. I’d found my people in the mountains above Malibu.
Since Outwild, I’m bolder about taking action. My business is still small, but I’m guiding hiking and paddling trips this summer! When I feel the doubt creep in, I think about Kai getting his Wilderness First Responder, and Nadia taking her first backpacking trip. I speak with a sister or brother from Outwild almost every day; they’re some of my closest friends. When I feel discouraged, they breathe new life into my dreams.
The beautiful thing about Outwild is, it doesn’t matter who you are, what your goals are, how young, old, athletic, or “business-minded.” Outwild is about people, and community, and finding the courage to build a life you want to wake up for every day. Whether your dream is starting a business, or solving climate change, or simply learning more about the outdoors and having a blast, Outwild is the place for you! At Outwild, I found the courageous community of dreamers I’d been looking for. I found my tribe, and I wish that for each and every one of you too! :)