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Group offers teen girls challenges

Venturing Crew 16, a newly formed Sonoma-based organization, provides young women ages 14 to 18 with an opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally by participating in high adventure outdoor activities. The group is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley.

Pioneered by Abigail Craig, the 16-year-old daughter of Sonoma residents Sara and Johnny Craig, Venturing Crew 16 was formed to give young women the opportunity to challenge themselves in a positive and supportive environment.

Watching her younger brother Jack Craig, a member of Boy Scout Troop 16, grow increasingly confident and skilled as a result of his participation in challenging physical adventures sponsored by the Boy Scouts, Abigail Craig searched for a comparable venue for teenage girls. She learned about Venturing through the Boy Scouts of America and formed Crew 16.

A graduate of St. Francis Solano School in Sonoma and now attending Justin-Siena High School in Napa, she has recruited girls from both counties attending public and private schools, building bridges between divergent teen communities in the process.

Crew 16 members take on the grassroots responsibilities of forming their organization, including recruiting, fundraising and budgeting. The girls elect their own peer officers and plan their own ventures, which include activities such as community service, ropes courses, moon-rise hikes and overnights, rock climbing and rafting trips, all of which promote both team-bonding and self-sufficiency.

Crew 16 has a five-member adult board of advisors serving as mentors and guides.

The advisors are “hands off” in terms of the operational planning, implementation and management of the group, further empowering the girls to become future leaders and productive members of the community.

For more information, call 738-7330.

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