Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Marie Meador

If you’ve stopped in at Compass Point over the last year, whether that be for a live music event, yoga, or just to shop, you’ve probably seen Marie! She is often adding new products to the inventory system, finding new ways to keep things organized at the counter and helping people find gear. 

Marie has been a Dirty Girl member for about five years. Her first Dirty Girl Adventures event was the Eagle Hike. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Eagle Hike, it’s an annual event in late January where the Dirty Girls hike to a special location where it’s very likely you’ll see eagles, nests and other wildlife.

Eagle Hike

“The Eagle Hike intrigued me as I love seeing eagles, so I convinced my daughter to join me. We did the Eagle Hike two years in a row. I officially joined Dirty Girl Adventures five years ago.”

Each year, Marie really enjoyed the Eagle Hikes but was happy when she found another Dirty Girl to motivate her to try some other hikes and even an Intro to Kayaking event. After that, the rest was history, as most ladies say after a few DGA events. 

“Now, I have hiked the All the Way (29-mile hike at Perry Lake)  twice, attempted Pike’s Peak, kayaked the Kaw several times and a section of the Buffalo River,” says Marie.

Marie hiking at Pike’s Peak with her daughter.

Marie is an avid volunteer for multiple organizations. She has helped with Her Hikers, an organization that helps to get girls in 3-6th grade to enjoy the outdoors and is a volunteer firefighter in her hometown. Additionally, she helps keep things running smoothly at Compass Point and is a Certified Dirty Girl Sweep. 

“After doing several hikes, I have learned what my hiking pace is and I’m now a Certified Diry Girl Sweep, where I help others at the end of the group to hike their own hike.  At DGA it’s not a race, its an activity accessible to everyone with no judgment.”

In 2016, Marie completed her first All the Way hike and it is her favorite memory with DGA. 

“Thanks to Jennifer’s encouragement, I made it both days. That’s when I learned the best place for me was at the back of the hiking group. I may be the last to come in, but I enjoy taking my time and encouraging others that they can succeed too,” says Marie.   

Marie has also conquered her fear of water through many kayaking events with DGA. Her first time in a kayak was an overnight float on the Kaw River from Lawrence to Eudora. Denise and Jenn helped her with her paddling techniques and she learned to pick a sandbar to pitch her tent and set up camp. 

“This trip led me to many more trips on the Kaw and even stretches of the Buffalo River with other Dirty Girls,” she said.   

Marie is one of the most steadfast supporters of Dirty Girl Adventures supporters and we appreciate her generosity. Swing by the shop next time you’re in Topeka and say hi to Marie!

Adventure Bingo

The Adventure Bingo card is filled with DGA activities and Compass Point events.  Most of the bingo squares require you to attend an event with us or do some sort of outdoor activity on your own, share it on social media and tag us!

The current plan is to have an Adventure Bingo every quarter— so this bingo game will run from September 1-December 31.

Here are the rules…you can choose to turn in your card for a single bingo (5 spaces in a line marked)  OR keep going for a blackout (entire card marked). The first person to get a blackout ends the game until next quarter. If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you have to turn in your card and can’t keep going for a blackout. Once you need a square marked off, show us your proof and we will sticker your bingo card. To get your Adventure Bingo card, you must come into the shop and grab one!

Now for the fun part…prizes!

If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you can choose one of the following for your prize:

  • Free yoga class
  • Sticker of choice
  • DGA camping cup
  • Compass Point koozie w/ a beer
  • Canister of Republic of Tea (flavor of your choice) 

The first lucky person who gets a blackout to end the game will receive a black Dirty Girl Adventure canvas bag (on display at the shop) with the following items:

  • 3-liter Osprey dry sack
  • Wakami “Adventure” bracelet
  • Sawyer bug spray
  • Yoga punch card 
  • Shirt, tank top or hat of choice
  • Bring a friend for 1/2 off next event of choice

Once again, you must come into the shop to get your bingo card. If you have any questions about Adventure Bingo, shoot us a message on Facebook!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Jen Sieben

Three years ago, Jen Sieben moved to Perry, Kansas. Shortly after her move, she was at the courthouse in Oskaloosa signing papers. Walking out of the courthouse that day, she noticed a bus parked on the street. But it wasn’t just any old, regular bus— it was the Dirty Bus! If you’ve gone on an adventure with us in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve seen or rode in the Dirty Bus. 

“When I laid eyes on it, I knew it had to be some sort of bus for an adventure company. So, I googled it as soon as I got back home,” said Jen. Upon searching through the DGA website, Jen really connected with the Dirty Girl Creed. Next thing she knew, she was paddling down the Kansas river on an adventure with the Dirty Girls. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures was an instant resource to women who do the things that I enjoy doing. I’ve built so many connections with like-minded women who are kind, helpful and adventurous,” she says. 

Jen’s favorite Dirty Girl event is the Ass Kicker. This 20-mile paddle from Lawrence to DeSoto is at the end of August, so kayakers paddle through the summer heat all day. It’s quite the challenge, but the experience is so rewarding— spending time on the Mighty Kaw with wonderful women. 

Every Thursday at Compass Point, Jen teaches an hour-long yoga class. She’s been practicing yoga for 25 years and has been a certified yoga teacher for six years. Upon completing her yoga teacher training in 2014, she opened up her own community yoga room in Concordia and taught around 14 classes every week. 

“I wanted to provide that service to as many people as possible because it is so beneficial physically, emotionally and mentally. Yoga builds strength, courage, faith and community, all while preparing you for the trail, the lake, the river and more life off the mat,” Jen says. 

As an avid outdoorswoman and yoga teacher, Jen makes it a priority to connect with the environment and get a different perspective.  An important piece of being a Dirty Girl is getting out on the river or the trail and taking in all that nature gives to the eye— the expansive blue sky, riverbanks, trees and more. 

“You learn so much about yourself when you’re hiking, kayaking and doing yoga. Being outside ALWAYS helps boost your mood,” said Jen. 

Jen has a long adventure bucket list and she’s taking on a new project to ensure she crosses off all the places on her list….turning a Ford E-150 van into a camper! The van’s name is “Raya Sunshine.” 

“I am trying to do most of it on my own, but my husband helps me a lot. So far, I’ve ripped everything out, treated rust, sealed the back door for leaks and now I’m working on window shades,” she said.

We are excited to follow along with her progress on “Raya Sunshine”. Come see Jen on Thursday’s for yoga at Compass Point!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Mary Hogan

Back in 2014 when Mary Hogan heard about Dirty Girl Adventures from a co-worker, she had no idea it would end up changing her life for the better. She went home from work that day, did some research and signed up for a kayaking event at Lake Perry later that month. 

“I’d always been a water girl. I grew up boating and had done lots of canoeing in my life,” says Mary. 

In fact, on a family canoeing trip years prior, she had to rent a kayak because the outfitter ran out of canoe rentals. She enjoyed the kayak and decided to purchase one, but never had anyone to go with. 

After retirement, Mary was in a wired state-of-mind. She didn’t have her co-workers to talk to every day or much of a reason to leave the house. Everything worked itself out for her after joining Dirty Girl Adventures. She found an empowering clan of women who enjoyed outdoor adventure and other similar activities as she does, such as quilting. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has opened up so many opportunities for me and has brought so many wonderful women into my life,” says Mary. 

Mary has gone on many adventures outside of DGA with other Dirty Girls. From rafting down the Buffalo River and ziplining in Arkansas, to wine tasting and kayaking in the Eminence, Missouri area, she has connected to a clan of women who are always ready for an adventure, no matter where.

When Mary signed up for the very first Ass Kicker kayak paddle in 2015, she didn’t think she could do it and she most definitely didn’t think it would become her favorite adventure memory.

“I didn’t think there was a chance I could ever kayak 20 miles. But I did. I have learned that I don’t have limitations,” she said. 

Some of Mary’s favorite places to adventure in Kansas are the hiking and biking trails in Perry, the Iliff Commons trails and Banner Lake in Holton. Although she loves to hike and kayak Kansas, she has an adventure bucket list that includes hiking the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and various places in colorful Colorado. 

Aside from adventuring and helping out at Compass Point, Mary is also a longtime Purple Martin landlord. These birds depend on humans to provide them with a nest during their migration from Brazil to Canada. The birds arrive mid-March and start laying eggs in early May. Babies begin hatching in June and usually leave by mid to late July.

“Helping the Purple Martins brings me joy and a way to do my part in nature,” said Mary.

You can catch Mary at Compass Point helping out at the shop or on an adventure. Here is a photo of Mary with a beaver skull she found on a kayaking adventure this summer. 

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Shelly Liby

Today we tell the story of Shelly Liby, a Dirty Girl member since 2014! Shelly was always into participating in outdoor obstacle courses before she heard of Dirty Girl Adventures through a friend. However, like most, she wanted to take it to the next level. 

“I always had my eye out for what I like to call ‘good madness’, and an 8-mile hike sounded interesting. I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Shelly was always spending time outdoors as a child, but as it happens for most, once junior high came around, she found herself spending less and less time outdoors. Her family camped regularly, however, she didn’t find true love for the outdoors until she became a Dirty Girl.

In addition to finding true love for the outdoors, joining the club has given Shelly a deeper connection to the planet. 

“You really can’t ignore the planet when you’re outside a lot. When I hike or kayak, I see a lot of trash in the creeks and coves. I’m more attentive to how I can make the world a better place.”

Since becoming a Dirty Girl, Shelly has changed the way she shops so that she uses less plastic. She also quit taking home snail shells when she finds them on the trail. 

Shelly started taking steps toward making the world a better place because of DGA, but DGA also made her world a better place.

“I’ve met some amazing ladies and gone to places I didn’t know I wanted to go! I’ve learned from Denise and Jen to roll with what comes your way. It’s snowing? Hike anyway!,” she says.

It was hard for Shelly to pick her favorite DGA memory, but a few of her favorites were hiking in the rain at Indian Cave State Park, the adventure course at White Memorial Camp and hiking Pikes Peak. 

“Downtime with the Dirty Girls is just as dear to me as getting dirty. I always go home with a smile on my face and usually a new place in mind I want to adventure to.”

The adventure bucket list for Dirty Girls is never ending! Shelly is itching to backpack the Lost Coast trail in Northern California. If you are interested in adding this trail to your bucket list too, check out this link.

“Dirty Girl Adventures has inspired me to staycation in Kansas too. There’s a lot here to do if you look for it.”

Some of her favorite places to adventure in Kansas include Kanopolis State Park, anywhere in the Flint Hills, Horse Thief Reservoir and any of the county lakes.

“Kansas has some pretty sweet county lakes. I’m determined to visit them all,” says Shelly. 

“DGA has reignited my sense of adventure and I have places to go. Who’s going with me?” – Shelly Liby

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Stacy Hull

Another Dirty Girl who has been around since the beginning…Stacy Hull!! Stacy found out about Dirty Girl Adventures through her husband, who was friends with Denise’s husband, before it even started. Once she heard Denise had plans to start her business, Stacy was fully interested and the thought of hanging out with other women who liked the same things as her, sounded amazing! 

Stacy was not always an outdoorswoman. She was perfectly happy staying inside in the AC until DGA came into her life. Walking in town and participating in 5K races eventually started to become part of her routine, and once she heard about DGA, she was ready to take things to the next level and explore fitness in a different realm, hiking and kayaking. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has changed this introvert into someone who gets out of her own head and goes outside with other like minded women,” says Stacy. Before joining the club, she was worried that no one would talk to her because she tends to be on the quiet side. However, that was far from the case. Stacy has made so many friends and learned to enjoy company and conversation more since she has been with DGA. 

“Having a group of like minded women in my life brings diversity and new experiences that I may not have had otherwise. This group has given me some great friends, and hopefully some more to come.” 

Stacy’s most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was the first eight mile hike on the Old Military Trail at Perry Lake. “I was in awe of Denise on how many times one woman could run back and forth on this trail,” she says. Since this was one of her first outdoor adventures, this outing made Stacy more comfortable being outside and began her connection with the outdoors. 

“The first hike was memorable to me because it was the first crack in my ‘introvert life’ and it opened me up to new people I would’ve never met. It was also a much different workout for me than my typical 5K on paved roads.”

A huge core value of Dirty Girl Adventures is to learn to adventure where you are. When we asked Stacy if she could adventure anywhere, she said she would love to explore more of her home state, Kansas. A lot of people put Kansas at the bottom of their adventure bucket list, but there are so many places in the sunflower state to explore. Stacy wants to hike the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Elk River Trail. We love that she wants to explore more of Kansas. Stacy is a Dirty Girl at heart!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Karen Stockwell-Withers

Karen is in the midst of her third season as a Dirty Girl Club Member and loving it. A few years back, she found out about Dirty Girl Adventures at a teaching conference. During this conference, she met another woman who was already involved with the club and was introduced to DGA. 

Throughout her life, she has always loved nature and the outdoors, but her love continues to grow for it as she gets older. “I think I fall more in love with the outdoors as I age because I’ve had issues with depression in the past. The outdoors provides me with so much peace and happiness. Also, the more I learn about climate change and the effect humans have on the environment, the more I see a need to protect nature.”

Since joining the club, Karen says it has provided her with a community of like minded women who all have a common love and passion for the outdoors, which has been hard for her to find.   “Before finding the Dirty Girls my only outdoor buddy was my husband, now I have a ton of people to do things with,” she says. Having a group of ladies to go exploring with is wonderful for Karen, and makes her realize that there are lots of other women that care about the outdoors as well. 

Her favorite and most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was during her first year of being a member. Karen and some other Dirty Girls did a weekend getaway to Camp White and hiked the Tallgrass Prairie. “I knew I found the perfect group during that weekend,” she says. 

Karen and her husband have lots of places on their adventure bucket list that they plan to check off. Currently, they are goal setting for their adventure in Iceland in three years. They are going for their ten year anniversary and plan on camping all over the country and seeing puffins while they are there. MCI started offering it as their first direct international flight, so this helped them choose Iceland as their anniversary adventure. “We watched a Discovery Channel episode on puffins and Iceland. Then, I started seeing tons of pictures of Iceland on Twitter from all of the outdoor accounts I follow. What made it a solid decision was recently on a hike in Glacier National Park. We met several people who have been to Iceland and they told us how gorgeous the country is, so we decided it would be the perfect place to go.”

They plan on taking their new puppy, Moose, on their future adventures with them. Bosco, their other dog has gone on many adventures, even kayaking. Moose will be going camping with them for the first time this summer. Pets make outdoor adventure all the more enjoyable! 

Karen is thankful for all that DGA has brought to her. She is inspired and excited for her future outdoor adventures with her fellow Dirty Girls,  her husband and puppies. 

She is also the leader of the Dirty Girl Adventures Book Club at Compass Point. Check our event calendar to join Karen in discussing some award winning stories!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Melissa Frederick

This week’s story is over Melissa Frederick and how she learned to live her life with no restrictions through Dirty Girl Adventures.

Melissa Frederick is jumping into her 4th season as a Dirty Girl. Her childhood consisted of playing outside in the country and camping with her family. “I’ve always loved the outdoors but due to the ebbs and flows of life, it wasn’t always able to be a priority,” Melissa said. Happily, in 2004, her husband and kids decided to start RV camping so she was finally able to get back outside. 

Then, in the summer of 2014, she moved to McLouth, KS, where she met Denise’s husband Marucs, who was the police chief at that time. He told Melissa about Denise’s “outdoor business” and introduced the two. She was definitely interested, but didn’t want to make any commitments because they were still figuring out what post-army life was going to look like. In 2016, a friend of Melissa’s invited her on the Eagle Hike, and she said the rest was history. 

Unfortunately, due to Melissa’s size at the time, it wasn’t easy or enjoyable for her. She had heard about backpacking through DGA but knew she could barely carry herself a few miles, let alone a 30-40 pound pack over multiple days. Yet again, there was another outdoor activity she felt she couldn’t do due to her weight. Going on DGA events made Melissa realize that she was very restricted by her size.

 “At 5’7″ and 271 lbs, I was only able to hike 4-5 miles comfortably, and always at the back of the pack. I fell in and out of my kayak instead of getting in and out; everything was an effort.”

So, in 2017, she decided to have weight loss surgery. Dirty Girl Adventures played a significant role in her decision to have the procedure. She got tired of struggling to do the things she loved.

“My Dirty Girl tribe has been incredibly supportive and I love and appreciate them so very much for that. Being back out in nature on a more regular basis, and with a great group of ladies, made me realize   how much I loved being out there. Unfortunately, due to my size, it wasn’t easy or as enjoyable as I knew it could be. Combined with gaining about 15-20 lbs per year and wondering if the scale would stop, I knew I had to do something. Since I hit my goal weight last August, my motto has been Live Life With No Restrictions.”

Nowadays, Melissa participates in all of the Dirty Girl events. She says her favorite memory was in the summer of 2017, kayaking down the Delaware river. About half way through the kayaking trip, a huge storm started rolling in and the ladies had no choice but to paddle faster. 

“Looking over my shoulder at the looming black clouds, trying to outrun the gathering storm, and having to tow my daughter who has a bad shoulder made for quite an interesting paddle.”

Her favorite non-Dirty Girl event was hiking the Grand Canyon. “We were blessed with 4 amazing, knowledgeable guides who were so kind and helpful. The non-Dirty Girl members of our tour group were lovely and it was great getting to know them. We had such a great time experiencing and learning about the Canyon in a way that most people don’t. I had such a wonderful time that I’m hoping to take my family on a 7 day trip in 2022,” said Melissa. In the future, she has aspirations to hike in lots of different places such as Southern Bavaria, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. 

It is through Dirty Girl Adventures that Melissa decided to live her life with no restrictions, and she has done just that! 

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Julie Justus

Julie has been a member of Dirty Girl Adventures since the very beginning in 2013. She grew up and lived most of her life in California where she loved hiking, body surfing and camping.  “Adventure was in my heart,” says Julie. Life eventually took her to Kansas after her children were born and it was at this point that she lost her connection with the outdoors. 

“The bugs were scary and the weather was too extreme so I stopped and stayed inside most of the time.”

That all changed when she met Denise in 2005. When Julie’s son was six, they enrolled him in the local baseball program. Denise’s husband Marcus was the coach and Denise and Julie became immediate friends. Coming from California, Julie didn’t have much hope that there was any adventure in the fly-over state. However, Denise encouraged her to go outside and adventure with their kids through 4-H.

“Together we took our kids to every corner of the state through the 4-H geology program. She later took me hiking on local trails that I didn’t even know about.”

Over the many years Julie has lived here, she knows that although Kansas will hinder your adventure at times, if you are patient, there are many beautiful places to explore. “I love Kansas now and call it home. I know that Denise and I will continue to be good friends for a lifetime,” she says. 

Since Dirty Girl Adventures started back in 2013, Julie’s life has changed. She says she has met so many women that are from different backgrounds that she would not have met if it weren’t for DGA.  

“Dirty Girl Adventures has brought many different women into my life and has opened up the love to see people where they are. There is no judgement in this club. We all accept each other and bond with the common love of the outdoors.”

Julie’s favorite memory as a Dirty Girl member was the very first Ass Kicker. The Ass Kicker is an event where Dirty Girls kayak 20 miles of a section of the Mighty Kaw.  It was during this trip that she met many women who are now good friends.

“It was a memorable kayaking trip because it was our first tough adventure. We were in it together and we all finished with accomplishment. Firsts seem to always be more memorable than others.”

From the very beginning of this awesome club, Julie has been there to see it grow into the amazing community it is now. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures helped instill the love of the outdoors in my heart again and showed me that you can adventure anywhere you are.”

Have you read the Dirty Girl Creed? Do it!

Dirty Girls love the outdoors! They carry their own kayaks and put up their own tents. Dirty Girls are not afraid to get muddy or sweaty and they do not get a manicure before going camping. (Sometimes after…)

A Dirty Girl is not afraid of anything, but still might scream (a little) at surprises like a snake dropping in her canoe or a fish jumping in her kayak!

Dirty Girls are smart. They remember to pack extra sunscreen, extra beer and a rope in their kayak in order to be prepared for any eventuality or to tow injured friends back to the boat ramp.  

Dirty Girls make time for themselves; not because they are selfish but because they are smart!

Dirty Girls don’t say anything about their own bodies that they wouldn’t say to their Dirty Girl Friend!

Dirty Girls are open to learning new things and they aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it! 

Dirty Girls know how to pee in the water and the woods.  Except for Dirty Girl No-wah-pee who is the exception!

Even Dirty Girls cry when they drop their phone, camera or beer in the water, but Dirty Girls are resilient and after a lot of cussing, move on!

A Dirty Girl knows what to do when she gets poison ivy on her butt; A Dirty Girl knows what poison ivy looks like, but hey, it happens to everyone!

Dirty Girls are fun, funny, sensitive, kind and a little crazy.

Dirty Girls are loyal. 

A Dirty Girl is independent and can stand alone.  She doesn’t need a man, but she loves a Dirty Guy!  A Dirty Guy is strong, supportive, faithful, loyal and loving.  Dirty Guys love their Dirty Girls just the way they are – if they don’t then Dirty Girls don’t need them!

Men in big trucks with balls hanging from their bumpers do not impress Dirty Girls.

A Dirty Girl does not say bad things about another Dirty Girl.

Dirty Girls are determined and never give up. Dirty Girls fall off their mountain bikes, but keep on going. 

Dirty Girls don’t let a little blood stop them (stitches don’t hurt much).

Dirty Girls work together and encourage each other to have fun and to be independent.

If you are friends with a Dirty Girl, you can tell her anything and she won’t judge you.

Dirty Girls believe that life is a journey, changing all the time.

Dirty Girls are all different and they accept other Dirty Girls as they are; black, white, brown, tall, short, fat, skinny or strong, gay or straight, loud, quiet, shy or silly. Dirty Girls are all beautiful in their own way. Dirty Girls are mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, friends, single, divorced, married, but above all, strong in spirit and independent.

Join us; you can be a Dirty Girl, too!