Featured Leader of March: Lin Wilder

Featured Leader of March: Lin Wilder

February 22, 2019

Each month, we're featuring one of our amazing leaders! Bold Betties leaders' volunteer their time and energy to plan and host amazing adventures that are guaranteed to help you #discoveryourbold! 

This month we're featuring Lin Wilder, an Alpha Betty from our Ft. Collins, CO chapter!

Lin Wilder smiles in a hat, scarf, and coat as she hikes in the snow.

What made you want to be a leader for Bold Betties?

I love making things happen. I’m a very organized person, and I have a lot of experience informally organizing and leading outdoor adventures for friends and families. When I found out about Bold Betties, I was so excited to learn that there was an opportunity to be involved as a leader, and to help build this group and membership through making sure that there are many, varied events and activities for everyone. There is no better feeling than helping a woman have fun, meet other like-minded women and “find their bold”!

What has been your favorite Bold Betties event so far?

Beginner Ukulele Lesson and Potluck Dinner

A group of smiling women proudly holding their ukuleles.

What made that event so great?

I have loved the two “Beginner Ukulele Lessons and Potluck Dinner” events I have led. There has been a lot of interest in these get-togethers. So many women say they have always wanted to learn the ukulele and this is their chance! The women who come are total beginners on the ukulele, and by the end of an hour and a half of informal instruction, they know 5-6 chords, a number of strumming patterns, and can play a handful of well-known songs! People are always amazed that we are playing these songs together so quickly! There is such comradery in the room when you are sharing music together and when you are learning something together. Its very "Bold Betties"!

Bold Betties' mission is to help women everywhere get out of their comfort zones to discover their own bold. Can you tell us about a time where you helped one of your members do just that?

It seems that each of the events I have led has come with an opportunity to help encourage a member of BB to find her bold. For example, in a Poi Flow class, many people didn’t think they would be able to twirl these little balls in any sort of pattern, and then, with encouragement and the ability to “fail” they were excited that they could! For a chocolate making class, so many women came thinking that making their own chocolate at home would be difficult, and many of us were surprised to find it was so easy and we are now making our own chocolate regularly. In my ukulele classes, people sometimes come thinking they don’t have musical ability. I tell them that everyone has some musical ability, and even if they don’t believe me at first, by the end of the class, they are excited to think of themselves as a ukulele player! And when snowshoeing, several people had never been snowshoeing before or were having a hard time catching their breath at elevation, but with encouragement and permission to take things at their own pace, everyone was able to feel good about their snowshoeing experience.

What adventure are you looking forward to next?

I am working on putting together a Memorial Day weekend Bold Betties trip to the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation the Black Hills in South Dakota where we will do some sort of volunteer service (last year it was planting trees) and participate in fire dancing and other activities with our Lakota hosts. Stay tuned!

What's the boldest thing you've ever done?

In Maine, where I grew up, the highest mountain is Mount Katahdin, which is a tough, long and exposed climb. The most infamous part of Mount Katahdin is the “knife edge”, a sidewalk width path at the very top that drops off sharply on each side. The wind is always a factor up there, and people have been blown off the knife’s edge by sudden gusts of wind. I’m not a big fan of heights, but I set my mind to conquering the knife’s edge and succeeded and even did it multiple times afterwards. As I look back on this, I can’t even believe that I did that! (And I’m glad I have checked that off of my bold bucket list so I don’t have to do it again!)

Two smiling women wearing red Bold Betties shirts with fox ears and this smile happily.

What's the boldest thing you want to do?

The boldest thing I want to do really isn't about any sort of trip or adventure, although there are many things on that bucket list in varying levels of "boldness." But I think what is the most bold for me is an everyday attempt to be 1) mindful; 2) authentic and 3) vulnerable. I'm pretty darn good about being mindful and in the moment, though it takes lots of intention and attention. Being authentic and vulnerable is the hardest - expressing my truth, learning to let go of control, take risks, and even ask for help are all things that I am practicing and that take a lot of "bold"!

What's your day job?

I am the Community Impact Team Director at the Health District of Northern Larimer County. We work with partners and stakeholders in the community to address big system level issues that impact health. A lot of what we do is related to mental health and substance use. One key goal is that everyone in our community who has a mental health and/or substance use related issue is able to get the same level of quality services and treatment for their condition as someone with any other chronic health condition.

What piece of advice would you give to a Betty who has never been on a Bold Betties adventure before?

If you have a certain activity, trip, class or event that you would like to see us offer, let one of us leaders know! Or if you aren't seeing activities that fit your specific interests or abilities, tell us what type of activity you would attend if it were offered! This helps us meet your needs and, in the process, meet the needs of other women too!

A group of smiling women around a table.

Has being a leader for Bold Betties improved your life? If so, How?

It has absolutely improved my life because I know that I am improving the lives of other Bold Betties. I love it when women involved in an event I have hosted take the time to tell me how much fun they had, or something they learned about themselves, or thank me for being so welcoming.

What's one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

I enjoy telling people about how I grew up poor in rural Maine in a house with no running water, toilet, or central heating; and with a mother with significant mental illness. This was an amazing and often challenging way to live, and I think that this upbringing was part of me having to “find my bold” very early on. I hauled water daily from a spring a mile from my home, chopped wood, grew our own food, and hauled the “honey bucket” out to the outhouse in the frigid Maine winter. I sure do appreciate my indoor plumbing and a nice long hot shower and don’t tend to take those for granted! And my work in improving care for people with mental health has its origins with having family members with mental illness.

Smiling women with Lin in a red bold betties shirt and fox ears, stirring a bowl of chocolate.

Interested in being a leader for Bold Betties? Let us know! Email laura@boldbetties.com!

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