What is Little Bellas all about?
Our goal at Little Bellas is to create an experience where girls are smiling and having fun on their bikes. We strive to help girls find a sense of empowerment and self-confidence through interacting with positive mentors, conquering obstacles, and mastering a skill. In addition to amazing mountain bike mentors, the girls will have an opportunity to meet professional female cyclists, who are performing at the top of their sport.
What is the program?
The Little Bellas program is a non-competitive program that offers week-long half and full day camps, weekly program sessions, and event camps for girls ages 7 to 18 years old. Our mentoring model allows girls to have fun on trails and play games in an uninhibited environment that encourages them to be themselves.
What does the program cost?
We offer scholarships based on each individuals families need, so cost is not a barrier to participation. Our program cost is $225 for our weekly program, $330 for our full day week-long camp, $190 for our half day week-long camp and an average $150 for event camps. Our title sponsorship, Specialized, and supporting sponsor, G-form and LL Bean, generously help keep program cost low for all girls by subsidizing each participant entry fee on average of $70.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
We've provided aid to every girl in our program since the program started in 2007. If there is space in the program, we do our best to more than accommodate anyone's need. To apply for a scholarship, simply register for the program and click YES when the asked about a scholarship. After submitting an application while registering, we will be in touch to discuss the scholarship and retroactively charge the card on file if appropriate.
When can I register my daughter?
Our Spring programs open January 2nd at 9am local program time. For our Summer and Fall programs, we open registration on February 1st at 9am local program time. (For example, VT programs open at 9am EST and CA programs open at 9am PST.)
What is your cancellation policy?
We will issue a partial refund one month prior to the program start. One month prior to camp, we cannot issue a refund. We order program supplies specific to each participant. Within a month of the program, we've already ordered all these supplies.
Can I pay for the program by the day instead of a whole camp or session?
It’s perfectly normal for the girls to miss a few days of the program, and we designing our curriculum so each girl will be successful regardless of missed days. We do not take payment by the day under any circumstance. First, it would be a huge organization challenge and burden on the organization at large. Our expenses for a camp or program are not based on daily expenses. For example, we have to pay for insurance as if she attended every day.
How do we mentor?
We mentor on the trail by developing a level of trust with the girls and implement a planned curriculum that focuses on skills progression—accomplishing skills and building confidence. We have found that girls will bring some of their life challenges with them and work it out through riding with their peers and with their mentors. This all happens organically. We do not plan a curriculum that addresses body image, positive self-talk, bullying, fear/anxiety, however our mentors are coached on how to work through these issues if they arise.
What kind of bike should my daughter have?
We have a wide variety of bikes at the program. We do not allow coaster brake bikes at the program. They are dangerous for mountain biking. All Little Bellas participants should have bikes with hand brakes.
Why do most of our programs focus on 7 to 12 year olds?
We found that these are formative years in which girls are still receptive to adult influences while beginning to experience peer pressure. We've also seen that girls in this age bracket are more likely to drop out of sports. For these reasons, these girls particularly benefit from a positive team environment, positive mentoring, and learning the values of physical activity.
Why do you continue to offer programs for 13 to 16 year olds?
We have found that a lot of girls want to continue riding with the program after they are 12 years old, and we want to continue to offer programming for them. In these programs, we have been able to dive deeper into curriculum that explores female specific nutrition, challenging mountain biking terrain, racing, and becoming a mentor and role model to others.
Who are our mentors?
We have a diverse group of active women in each chapter that absolutely love riding their bikes and spreading that love for the outdoors and physical activity to girls. In addition to these consistent volunteer mentors, we also have a number of professional female cyclists that strive to meet and mentor every girl in the program.
Want to start a Little Bellas in your area?
We are growing and getting more girls on bikes than ever before! We are currently expanding our programming with a deliberate approach that will ensure quality in each new location. If you are interested in helping to start a new chapter, please fill out the new chapter questionnaire under "Get Involved" about your local riding community, trails, and potential program infrastructure. We would love to hear about your area.
How can I become a mentor?
We are always looking for new mentors! We have an interview and screening process for all of our mentors. Please fill out the volunteer application under "Get Involved" to begin the process.
What does it mean to be a mentor?
We have an amazing network of women that participate in our programs. We recognize that you most likely have a busy schedule, and we want mentors who are engaged in their communities and have an adventurous lifestyle. With that in mind, we expect that you can volunteer for 75% of the scheduled program days, (For example, 6 of 8 of the weekly two hour sessions.) Consistency is very important to building a successful bond with the girls in the program. The quality of our program depends a great deal on the commitment of our mentors. As a mentor, you are one of our greatest assets, and this role is extremely important to us.