Wild Women Take the Path Less Traveled

Wild Women Take the Path Less Traveled

We’ve all encountered a path less traveled. Whether at school, at work, or elsewhere in our lives, we’ve come to a place where a certain decision would make all the difference. Throughout the season and at our Black Tie event, we will be talking about how COBS courses are a jumping-off point that set our students on a lifelong journey of discovery and the pursuit of adventure. Choosing the unknown offers great rewards, but always comes with some sort of challenge or barrier. COBS courses provide that initial life-changing moment to students where they are able to accomplish something they believed impossible. This catalytic experience changes them permanently, causing them to no longer see barriers as insurmountable. With great effort and tenacity, we can achieve the seemingly impossible, if we choose.

The path less traveled is full of surprises, and it often changes us in unexpected ways. However that is not to say that there won’t be footprints on this path – perhaps a fellow intrepid adventurer has gone this way before you. Our dear friend Gruffie is just such an adventurer. She has been down many of the most challenging, hard to find, and rewarding paths that are out there. Not only do we know the way is possible because she has been there before us, but then she also comes back to mentor us and show us the way. Gruffie is a legacy staff member and current COBS board member, having been a mentor to many current and past students and staff, too.

In her footsteps follow two other women, both inspired by Gruffie and inspirational themselves. 50 years apart in age, Marlene Manown and Ella Hartley have both been affected deeply by their COBS experience and by Gruffie. Both women are pursuing adventure within this year – Marlene through the Black Canyon Triathlon, Ella by through-hiking Te Araroa in New Zealand. Both women are using their feats to raise awareness and funds for the Gruffie Scholarship, which sponsors women between the ages of 16 and 25 on a COBS course.

Their efforts to support the Gruffie Scholarship will ramp up this August and September. in the time before these women set off to seek their ultimate challenges and glory. In the meantime, though, we will check in with them throughout the summer. Here on the blog and on social media we’ll share updates about training, gear, mental and emotional hurdles, inspirational poems, and plenty of humor and heart.

We hope you’ll join us.


You can read Ella’s blog here. Or check for updates on both women on the COBS facebook page.