In an effort to grow women’s opportunity and participation on the trails, Trail Sisters in partnership with The North Face has created the Childcare Grant.
We know from having listened to so many of you, how hard it can be to find the time to get outside while managing all that moms do.
While we can never underestimate the importance of being there for your family, we know that sometimes being the best for your family means also taking care of YOU!
While it’s only a small gesture we hope that if awarded a grant, you can put this money towards childcare* and enjoy some ME TIME out on the trails.
* Learn about what counts as childcare
Grants of $400 will be awarded twice per year, including a The North Face Backpack and a gear kit from Trail Sisters. Additional grants may be added based on community donations! Your financial support in its entirety will go straight to additional applicants in need. Help us create more opportunities with additional grants by donating today.
Outdoors gives me a chance to meditate. When I'm by the lake, I can hear the water rolling in, and it instantly soothes me. All day I am "on", but being in nature allows me to reflect on ways to better help my daughter and students.
The outdoors, and the hills and mountains in particular, keep me centered and grounded. As a divorced mom working full time I rely on my time in the outdoors for clarity, decompression and to maintain some semblance of sanity. The outdoor community has also been integral to rebuilding my life after my divorce.
My ability to just get out into the woods and run is super limited. I try to get out every few weeks, but I primarily run in my neighborhood lately due to trying to keep the load equal with my husband. When I get to go to the woods to run, I get up early, pump, sneak out before my baby wakes up and then hurry to get home as fast as possible to nurse my son. It is an amazing gift to get to go out and run but I feel like I have to hurry to keep everything equitable with my husband.
When my daughter started preschool, I decided to start running. As an extreme introvert, running gave me the peace and tranquility I had craved after being stuck indoors attached to my child for her entire life thus far. I was able to be a better mom to her because of my love for running and the time I started taking for myself. Being outdoors on the trail were the best times to bring myself back to the present and be at peace.
My daughter was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3. Before then, I did not know anything about autism. Since I love being outdoors, I took my daughter to a nearby lake and I saw how happy she was. She loves being in the water. Being outdoors has helped/healed both of us.
Being outdoors makes all the difference. I feel when I get my kids out to run, bike, hike and play outside they are in a much better mood, sleep better, and overall have more fun. I also like that they get to explore and appreciate all that nature has to offer. Getting outside energizes and motivates me to be a better mom and appreciate the beauty of life.
Unfortunately, my location does not have a lot of options for getting outdoors. I live in a farming community and while I love the space and being able to see stars at night, parks and forests are a solid 45 minute drive from me, often much more. I still take trips when my schedule (and my parents schedule, so they can watch my son for me, allows. But it is few and far between at this point. Not only that, but having a child is expensive and I make just enough to be able to cover our day to day bills.
I feel truly alive when I am outdoors. I have learned about my strength and abilities through lessons on the rocks, roots, and dirt under my feet. I've learned how to fall, literally and figuratively, and developed the grit to continue to rise. Most importantly, I've learned how to breathe; to drink in the air and to hold onto the moments before they vanish. Volunteering at trail races and collaborating with local land trusts with my impressionable daughter has allowed me to help her discover the gift the land around us is.
During the isolation and overwhelm of parenting two babies while working from home during a global pandemic, I started hiking through the trails close to my house in an effort to find some peace and calm. I slowly started running those same trails and found my local Trail Sisters group. The peace and joy I've found trail running makes me a better mother. Being in the outdoors and gaining back confidence in myself gives me more patience and ability to be calm with my daughters.
When my children were infants, we spent most of our time inside. As they have got older, their love for being outdoors has re-fostered my love for being outdoors. When we are outside we are able to just be and explore.
I've absolutely loved the outdoors ever since I was a little girl. There is something special, almost magical about being among the trees with the dirt beneath my feet. One of the things I promised myself, was that I'd take Astrid outside as much as possible. Luckily we have several paved trail systems nearby that allow for a jogging stroller. I love that we are able to be out in the sun enjoying its rays together. Being outdoors has also been an escape for when things get to be a bit too much. Other days all I need is a walk to think things through or to unwind and just enjoy the beauty around me.
I use the outdoors as time for myself, time to process, connect with my mom and dad. It has given me friends and community. It also shows my boys the love of running that I learned from my mom, and I can model doing something healthy for myself. It has given me space to practice mindfulness and to listen to my body. Without it, I don't know where I'd be. The outdoors has been a big part of my mom-life, taking my kids camping, hiking, biking, swimming, and road trips.
Time spent in the mountains running, renews my spirit every time. I cannot always travel to run, but there are nearby trails that will lift my soul in only 10 minutes. The energy of the trails is healing. I've needed more healing than usual lately, and I'm grateful for the spiritual connection that I have with the outdoors.
I love being outdoors and it's the place I feel most whole. The days where I'm able to be outside and have those moments to myself are when I'm also a better and more patient Mom. I have always had a relationship with nature that has evolved over time. I turned to trail running last year as a way to navigate the difficult waiting process that comes with adoption. I found Trail Sisters, and as a result, signed up for a 50k which was a huge coping tool for me as we navigated the adoption process.
I love being outside. I try to spend as much time outside as I can, and am relearning what that looks like with a little one in tow. I enjoy small outings like a walk around the block and big adventures like camping/hiking/running in the pacific NW. My body needs the stress release of running the trails, and I can tell when I haven't been able to find the time for myself.
The outdoors are a haven for me. When I am stressed, I imagine myself running on the Wildwood Trail. That is my happy place, my therapy, and my health. I love backpacking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, and spelunking. The more adventurous, the better. Whenever I make it out, I come back feeling rejuvenated. I wish I was able to get out more, but my responsibilities can make that difficult.
The outdoors has always played an important part in my life. I have a BS in Environmental Education and know that the natural world has a huge impact on my mental health. I need snowflakes falling on my face and mountain views. I need quiet time in the trees and meaningful conversations with friends as we run trails and hop rivers. The outdoors helps me put life in perspective and find calm moments to reset. That space allows me to be a better version of myself and a more tolerant, fun, and present mom.
Childcare can be anything including the following and more; traditional daycare services, buying your parents a gift card or meal for watching your kid(s), hiring your next door neighbor as a babysitter, or even putting the dollars toward your family traveling with you to a bucket list race.
Also, we support the use of funds to purchase a baby-carrier or similar device so your child can accompany your adventures.
We do ask that you clearly state how you intend to use funds in your application.
Grant applications will be reviewed by representatives from Trail Sisters and The North Face. We intend to award a diverse group of moms with applications that resonate and make clear that they will use the funds towards childcare or efforts to help with childcare. We welcome moms who run or hike, and from all experience levels, paces, and backgrounds.
The first group of grant awardees will be announced the first week of July.
Applications not selected will roll forward for the second selection. The deadline for application submission is September 30th. The second group of grant awardees* will be announced in late October.
Dependent on community donations, the second selection may award more than ten grant recipients.
Donations provided by our community through the form on this page will go directly back into the Childcare Grant.
By making a donation you are contributing directly to the grant. If you would like to support Trail Sisters we suggest visiting our store!
Unfortunately, it is not. Trail Sisters LLC is not a non-profit entity, so while we can ensure that your proceeds are used only for the grant, the donation is not tax-deductable. Hopefully this does not hold you back from contributing, as your donation makes a bigger impact than you may realize.
Thanks for asking!
When submitting your application you are agreeing to allow Trail Sisters & The North Face to share information from your application. Please provide answers that you are comfortable sharing publicly. Other than that, awardees will receive a request for their photo.
Due to legal issues the Childcare Grant is available to USA residents only.
Thank you for your understanding. We wish this wasn’t the case.
Help provide opportunities for more women to adventure outdoors.
If you can relate and want to pay it forward this is a great opportunity. Not all moms have the support they need. We hope to share the power of Trail Sisters with those who need a boost.
Donations will be used in full for grant awardees less transaction processing fees. Trail Sisters LLC will take no management fee to run the grant.
The 2021 Childcare Grant received a total of 374 submissions and $1,845 in additional donations! With the increased financial aid, Trail Sisters and The North Face were able to award 41 women a $150 grant! A big thank you to all those who donated!
Though we wish we could award everyone a grant, Trail Sisters and The North Face are happy to help the folks that we can and are looking forward to providing more aid to moms in the future.
If you’d like to submit an application for a grant or you’d like to donate, scroll up!