Girl in the Wild Kim McMullen

Kim McMullen/ Girl In the Wild

by

Christine Coughlin

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Ladies To Know

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Kim’s story of healing and entrepreneurship has inspired me countless times. If you love epic adventures and doing good, you won’t want to miss this!

Kim is the founder of Girl in the Wild, a not-for-profit that provides 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 life-changing, confidence-building camps for teen girls in wild spaces.

Photo credit: Bobbi Barbarich

If you took a peek into Kim’s Instagram page @kimberleymcmullen, you’d see a woman who lives her life with more enthusiasm in one day than many achieve in a lifetime. What you wouldn’t see is that Kim spent most of her life believing the lies her own self-loathing passed off as truth.

Lucky for us, Kim got wise to the lies and is now using her voice and talents to start a revolution, one that is teaching teen girls to love themselves unapologetically. 

I was curious how someone goes from healing themselves to creating a business with the giant goal of eradicating self-loathing for future generations, so I reached out to Kim to learn the source of her inspiration.

The Origin Story

Where did the idea for Girl in the Wild come from? Was it a clear vision from the beginning, or did it unveil it’s self slowly to you?

“The idea showed up on Valentine’s Day 2017. I had written a post on Instagram about learning to love myself, and a teenager named Bonnie messaged me and said that my post had inspired her to think about what she loved about herself and write and post it to claim her own self-love. 

Bonnie used my post as a template and changed the adjectives I used about me to ones that she would use to describe her. It was so touching and moving. 

And, to me, shocking. Because I was convinced for 40 years that my struggle with self-worth was mine alone. 

I mean, “how could any other girl or woman feel like shit about themselves?! 

They’re all so amazing! All of them but me.” 

I realized my story was every girl’s story to a degree. And I started to stay up late at night thinking about how I might spare the next generation from 30 years of self-loathing. 

GITW came to me on a mountain, thinking about how I found self-worth and what I could offer based on my own experience.”

Power From Pain

As someone who took almost 40 years to start questioning the thoughts that told me I was weird looking, boring, needy and not worthy of my beautiful life, I understand the power of being your own worst enemy.

My healing journey started when I realized that I would have to heal myself if I wanted a different outcome for my daughters.

I was curious when Kim realized she needed to make a shift in her life.

Was there one specific catalyst that started you on your self-healing journey?

“There was a catalyst. I was 23 and in a really toxic relationship. My self-worth was so non-existent that I knew he’d been cheating for years but felt like I deserved it because I wasn’t prettier or skinnier. And then one day, while I was waiting for him to come home from cheating and I just felt this spark in my belly and this voice in my head that said, “Kim, you deserve more than this.” And when he walked in the door, I had his bags packed.

I asked myself, then, “how do I want to feel?” I made a list on pink sticky notes that I still have on my wall: “Wild, Free, Healthy, Strong, Deeply Loved.” 

Then I asked myself: “What can I do right now to feel these things?” 

The answer that day, because I was doing drastic things, was to get dropped off by helicopter in the Yukon’s tombstone mountains and hike my way out over two weeks. I had never backpacked or camped before. And it was there, under a midnight sky and atop the summits of my first mountains, that it became clear to me that I was capable of all things and that I was a woman worthy of love — from myself. It was healing.”

Eradicate Self-Loathing

Kim’s story gave me chills. The truth is it’s a harsh world to be female in. Most of us start as wildly confident little girls, and somewhere in the transition to womanhood, we lose ourselves, and the walls go up. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could help our daughters never lose their own self-worth?⁣

Girl in the Wild, Kim Mc Mullen
Photo credit: Bobbi Barbarich

Kim’s Big Beautiful Plan

Struggling girls go to the most glorious mountain tops in the Pacific Northwest. Where they work through the tough stuff that teen girls experience in a safe and inclusive environment. They leave feeling empowered, connected and lighter. ⁣

The ripple effect of this camp is far-reaching. These girls leave leaders in the movement of spreading positivity, acceptance and love in their communities.

Women’s Retreats

New in 2022, Kim will be offering self-confidence-building camps for women. The idea goes like this, every women’s camp will fund one girls’ camp.

Boom! Epic adventures and doing good! It’s a magic formula.

The scary truth is, we are our girl’s models of womanhood. If we want them to thrive, we need to break down our own walls and explore the beliefs that are holding us back because when we thrive, they thrive. It’s a clear win/win.

For more information on the women’s retreats, you can sign up for their newsletter at girlinthewild.ca

Help Girls Rise

Girl in the Wild camps are entirely free for the girls, thanks to community donors and revenue from their online shop. 

Here’s how you can help:

  • Make a financial donation.
  • Purchase Girl In The Wild Apparel & Swag.
  • Help spread the word. 

Applications for teen camps open in March each year, and camp takes place in the summer. To apply, make a donation or purchase some gear visit their website at girlinthewild.ca ⁣

⁣Please share this post to help spread the word.⁣

XX Christine

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