Inspiring Girls Leadership workshop

your chance to develop a field-based science program for girls

Girls on Ice Switzerland is hosting an instructor workshop for future expedition leaders. We also want to inspire new partner programs to expand Inspiring Girls Expeditions to other languages, countries and regions, so we can offer this experience to more girls. Erin Pettit, the founder and director of Inspiring Girls Expeditions, will be in Switzerland to lead this workshop.

We are looking for female scientists who are interested in teaching existing Inspiring Girls Expeditions, or who are interested in taking leadership roles in developing new programs based on the successful Inspiring Girls philosophy. For example:

  • Girls on Ice in your language/country
  • Girls on Rivers / on Volcanoes / in Snow / ... : linking kayaking, mountaineering, hiking, skiing with geomorphology, ecology, chemistry, physics, geology or snow science

Also - if you are an artist or guide who is interested in teaming up with a scientist to develop a program, we can provide help with connecting potential leadership teams.

Thank you for the many interesting applications - All the spots are filled, we do not accept any more applications.

Girls on Ice Switzerland

Workshop Information

When and Where

The workshop takes place in Switzerland from 11th to 14th of June, 2018.

Location: Pfadihus Holzgasse, Horgen, ZH

Horgen is located about 15 km outside of Zurich (southwards along the lake). The location can be reached with public transport (train station "Horgen Oberdorf") and a short walk (20 min).

We would like to start the workshop on 11th of June before lunch. Participants are therefore expected to meet us at the train station "Horgen Oberdorf" at 10:15 am. We suggest taking the train S24 (direction "Zug"), leaving Zurich main station at 09:51 am (

On the 14th of June, we will finish the workshop around mid-afternoon.


practical information

Sleeping and living:
There are mattresses, pillows and woolen blankets available. A light sleeping bag is mandatory to bring by every participant. To keep the house as clean as possible, everybody should furthermore bring their own slippers that can be worn inside.

We will organise food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and some snacks) for the entire workshop group. Please let us know about special needs (vegetarian, allergies) when confirming your participation.



Workshop and accommodation costs are mainly covered by Girls on Ice Switzerland. Travel cost to and from the course location are the responsibility of the participants.

We received a lot of applications, the number of participants attending the workshop is thus slightly larger than originally expected. We would therefore like to ask for a small fee of 50.- CHF per participant to cover parts of the accommodation and food expenses.



Applications are no longer considered. Participants will be informed soon.

In case of any questions, don't hesitate to contact us:

We received many interesting applications - thank you! Applicants that are chosen to participate in the workshop will be contacted soon.


Preliminary program and goals of workshop

Day 1

  • Goals for day
  • Introductions, including overview ideas for programs
  • Introduction and ideas, expectations of participants
  • What is Girls on Ice/Inspiring Girls?
  • Structure and Goals of workshop
  • What does it mean to use the “Inspiring Girls Expeditions” name?
  • Core Elements of Girls on Ice/Inspiring Girls – Instructor Goals (Personal Growth/Science Content)
  • Possible relationship between new program and existing program
  • Teaching Science in the field Overview (rainy day tent activities, instructor inspired investigations, big projects, and “teaching moments”)

Question of the day: Why do we teach?

Day 2

  • Goals for day
  • Introduction into Logistics
  • Concept of Safety
  • Field teaching approaches
  • Art/Science integration
  • Comfort zone/growth zone/panic zone concept.

Question of the Day: What is your relationship to Nature/Wilderness? To Science?

Day 3

  • Goals for day
  • Introduce teaching techniques and how they can apply to the field
  • Start the iterative process of flushing out the new programs
  • Detail Safety and Logistics issues
  • Field Team Leadership

Question of the Day: What is the role of science in society? And how do programs like Girls on Ice fit into this?

Day 4

  • Goals for day:
  • Teaching
  • Leadership/personal development
  • Logistics
  • Administration
  • Fundraising
  • Responsibility

Question of the Day: What are the challenges of being a woman in a male dominated field (science, mountain guiding, art)?