New Mission and Vision

The Hardy Girls Healthy Women board and staff took some time in October to think about our future. There is a lot for Hardy Girls to be proud of and a lot more we want to accomplish. With this in mind, we rewrote our vision and mission, wanting to highlight the activism that is unique to our approach to working with girls.

Mission: Hardy Girls Healthy Women takes girls seriously and puts the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. We dare adult allies to join us in standing with girls. With the vision of girls causing a ruckus. 

We were inspired specifically by former Girls Advisory Board member, Emma’s particular articulation of what is so great about Hardy Girls Healthy Women. Check it out!

Lyn Mikel Brown Fellowship

Lyn Mikel Brown Fellowship

 At our Board/Staff planning session in October, we expressed immense gratitude for a few departing board members: Lyn Mikel Brown, Tobi Scheider, Mary Lou Michael and Pam Cobb. To honor co-founder Lyn Mikel Brown‘s stepping off the board, we created the Lyn Mikel Brown Fellowship in partnership with Colby College. Lyn’s decades-long dedication, research and commitment to girls’ healthy development is the foundation of Hardy Girls. The fellowship was created with Colby, where Lyn has taught in the Education Department for many years, to carry on her legacy by engaging Colby students in the crucial work of standing with girls. Our first Lyn Mikel Brown Fellows started in October and already they are giving so much! Lyn will continue to be involved with Hardy Girls.

Freaky 5k was a Spooky Success!

We had a wonderful day at Colby College on Sunday, November 1st with 160 participants in the seventh annual Freaky 5k Race. The Freaky 5k is a reminder that Halloween should be about imaginative and creative costumes, not the frighteningly sexualized ones peddled to even the youngest girls. The costumes that we saw at the race were wildly creative and a great reminder of how imaginative people can be.  Check out some of our press coverage! and more press coverage!

The costume contest winners are: Trash and recycling cans for most creative, Chuckie for scariest, and the Furies for group winner.


The race results are also in!  Congrats to our winners. (Check your snail mail for your prize!)  Full race results can be found here.

Female Overall Winner: DANIELLE SMITH, 19, NH, 21:51

Male Overall Winner: THOMAS O’SHEA, 20 WATERVILLE, ME, 17:21

Female Age Group 0-17 Winner: ALEXIS PORTER, 13, WINSLOW, ME, 23:10

Male Age Group 0-17 Winner: NICK DALL, 15, WATERVILLE, ME, 17:33

Female Age Group 18-29 Winner: ERIKA SMITH, 19, 21:52

Male Age Group 18-29 Winner: JOSIAH JOHNSON, 19, WATERVILLE, ME, 18:39

Female Age Group 30-39 Winner: KENDRA EMERY, 36, FARMINGTON, ME, 22:58

Male Age Group 30-39 Winner: NICK CATRIGLIA, 36, FARMINTON, ME, 19:16

Female Age Group 40-49 Winner: SARAH SCHULTZ-NIELSE, 41, 33:26

Male Age Group 40-49 Winner: ARNE KOCH, 44, WATERVILLE, ME, 27:14

Female Age Group 50-59 Winner: KIESHA L, 52, 24:23

Male Age Group 50-59 Winner: ROBERT ROSEN, 58, WARREN, UT, 21:47

Female Age Group 60-69 Winner: JOYCE BOURNIVAL, 63, EMBDEN, ME, 34:11

Male Age Group 60-69 Winner: PAUL MILLS, 63, FARMINGTON, ME, 25:36


Thanks to our sponsors:

Camp Runoia logoCMM logoCamp Matoaka

Lakeside Veterinary Clinic

Northeast Laboratories

Cribstone Capital Management

Uhl-Melanson Investors 

Perry, Fitts, Boulette & Fitton

Joseph’s Market

Kennebec Savings Bank

Sappi Paper

Skowhegan Savings

GHM Agency

Chiropractic Family Health Center

The 107

Dead River Company

Kennebec Eye Care

Bring Scary Back!

Help Hardy Girls bring scary back to Halloween! Join us on Sunday, November 1st for the 7th Annual Freaky 5k Fun Run and Walk. The Freaky 5k is a reminder that Halloween should be about imaginative and creative costumes, not the frighteningly sexualized ones peddled to even the youngest girls. We’re encouraging everyone to be creative, fun and adventurous on the spookiest holiday of the year! Families, sports teams, and community members are all invited to join us. Create a fundraising page for your group. Watch out for roaming zombies as you run through town in your wildest, scariest, and funniest costumes. All proceeds support Hardy Girls’ efforts to create a world where girls have no limits. PRIZES for scariest, most creative, and best team costumes. Ready to get your scary on? Register here (Online registration closes on Friday, October 30th at 8pm. If you would like to run, there is plenty of room! Arrive at the Colby Fieldhouse between 9 and 9:45 to register!) Can’t make it? You can still support HGHW and other runners!


Freaky 5K 2015 is sponsored by:

Camp MatoakaCamp Runoia logoCMM logo

Lakeside Veterinary Clinic

Northeast Laboratories

Cribstone Capital Management

Uhl-Melanson Investors 

Perry, Fitts, Boulette & Fitton

Joseph’s Market

Kennebec Savings Bank

Sappi Paper

Skowhegan Savings

GHM Agency

Chiropractic Family Health Center

The 107

Dead River Company

Kennebec Eye Care

Calling all Adventure Girls!

Have you ever met a woman with an awesome job and wondered, “How can I do that?” Adventures Girls can introduce you! It’s a fun, no-pressure way to try something new, explore some new subjects and meet some cool women. At Adventure Girls you could meet: a Reptile Breeder, an Architect, a Physicist, a City Counselor, a Doctor, a Business Owner, a Lumberjill or a Dentist!  Our first adventure is on September 22nd.  Learn more on our Adventure Girls page!

Upcoming Training! Hardiness Workshop with HGHW Senior Researcher, Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown

At HGHW we believe it is not the girl, but the society in which she lives that needs to change, and we think social change is most likely to happen when adults learn how to effectively partner with girls. This daylong workshop is all about learning how to create the conditions that enable such partnerships. We begin with an introduction to hardiness and muse theory, both of which focus our attention on the kinds of relationships that support girls’ healthy development. We consider issues like girlfighting or “mean girl” behavior through a hardiness lens and offer solutions that engage girls in critical thinking, coalition-building, and activism. Finally, we examine intergenerational girl-led activist projects as a way to better understand how to support girls’ social change efforts.

Participants will leave with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Support and inspire girls to voice their thoughts and feelings
  • Cultivate “hardiness zones” – safe spaces where girls learn what it means to work in coalition and become allies
  • Develop girls’ critical thinking and healthy resistance to damaging stereotypes
  • Engage girls in their schools and communities to create positive change

Join us for a day-long workshop on June 24th, 2015 in beautiful Freeport, ME. Registration is $150 and includes training by Hardy Girls Senior Researcher and Co-Founder Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown, morning coffee, and lunch!

Interested? Register here:

Challenging Princess Culture by College Intern and Muse, Allie Jones

Challenging Princess Culture

by Allie Jones, Colby College Intern at Hardy Girls Healthy Women

As an Anthropology major and Education minor at Colby College, I’ve been fascinated with the impact of media culture on girls. The other day I watched one of Hardy Girls’ webinars from their parenting series called “Resolving the Princess Problem: Raising Empowered, Media Literate Girls with Pop Culture Coaching.” It was delivered by Dr. Rebecca Hains, author of The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years. In the midst of talking about the lack of racial diversity in Disney princesses, and the ways in which princesses are rarely cast as heroines in movies and shows, Rebecca suggested a new book series that parents could order for their children called Guardian Princesses. I wanted to find out why she thought it was such a great series, so I looked up their website.

I learned thGuardian Princessat the series follows a group of strong, brave princesses of diverse races and backgrounds who are the heroines of their stories. The website says, “Our stories transform the cultural meaning of the princesses into inspiring leaders who take action to protect the people and the planet.” So not only do these princesses break the stereotypical mold of a white damsel in distress, they are actually activists. The series is all about changing children’s perceptions of princesses by shifting the focus off the external beauty of princesses, and on to their talents and the ways in which they are doing good things to help the planet and others.

The organization acknowledges that the princesses are still slender and beautiful so that they can appeal to children already conditioned to Disney images, but they still have the power to challenge perceptions because the focus in on the princesses’ actions rather than their looks. The princesses “model compassion and intelligence, the power of knowledge and collective action.” The stories follow princesses seeking to fix current global issues, and in doing so to raise awareness about the environment and the importance of STEM.

Their first book series includes seven princesses who are Latina, African, European, East Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American and South Asian, and their second is will include their cousins, sisters and brothers of more races, genders, and abilities. Their mission statement says that they seek to promote cultural and gender inclusivity as well as racial diversity, so they will be sure to include princesses and princes of different sizes and abilities, including those with disabilities—vitally important given the lack of representation of disabled people in the media.

On their website they show the following illustration about diversity in children’s books.

kids book photo

Although I know there’s a a greater representation of white people in media, I never really thought about it in relation to children’s books, maybe because I always saw a version of myself in what I was reading. As the drawing indicates, 93% of children’s books in 2012 featured Caucasian people while only 3% were about African Americans, 1.5% about Latinos, less than 1% about Native Americans, and only 2% about Asian Pacific Americans. It’s crazy to think that in a society that is rapidly becoming more racially diverse, the media is still so unrepresentative, especially when it comes to media for the most impressionable audience.

I think that this book series is a great start to introducing kids to activism, giving them a more accurate representation of the world, and challenging media stereotypes! I encourage everyone concerned about these issues to pick up Rebecca’s book and to check out the Hardy Girls parenting webinars for more resources and suggestions for raising healthy, media savvy kids.


Parenting Webinar Series – March & April 2015

Parenting Webinar Series – March & April 2015

Did you miss this year’s Parenting Webinar Series? No worries! Register for a webinar via the link behind each title to receive a recording.

We all are facing parenting issues other generations have never seen before, but what our experts know is that we can still succeed in raising hardy, healthy kids. This new series will consist of seven 60-minute webinars with different experts in the field of child development who will share their research on how we can redefine the scope of childhood and offer tools that best support our role of parents.

Registration price: $20 each! To receive the webinar recording, click on each title below. For more information, call Hardy Girls Healthy Women at (207) 861-8131 or email

Can’t make the scheduled webinar time? No problem! HGHW will send you a recording of the webinar via email so you don’t have to miss out and can watch on your own time!

• Activism for You and Your Family – Maine Women’s Lobby (register here!)
The Maine Women’s Lobby will provide and discuss best practices, tools, tips, and techniques to help with activism for legislation, the media, and in your community.

• Mother-Daughter Book Clubs: How Parents Can Help Girls Thrive in Today’s Culture – Lori Day (register here!)
Learn about the power of mother-daughter book clubs as a way to push back today’s  culture. Lori Day will discuss the impact of media on children and how parents and faculty can teach media literacy to help girls learn to deconstruct the harmful and stereotyped media and marketing messages that bombard daily. Day will discuss eight of the biggest challenges facing our girls today such as: gender stereotypes and sexism, sexualization/objectification of girls, beauty obsession and negative body image, “mean girl” bullying, and more!

• Raising Culturally Competent Children – Michelle Chalmers, MSW (register here!)
Teaching children the benefits of human diversity and being a global citizen.

• Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children: Teaching Kids to be Smart Critics and Consumers – Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker (register here!)
This webinar takes a look at children’s consumption of sexualized media messages while providing parents, teachers, and professionals with strategies for dealing with their influence. In this eye-opening discussion, experienced child psychologist Jennifer Shewmaker takes a hard look at the impact of advertisements, products, and entertainment on a child’s psyche and offers strategies for helping kids become critical, active media consumers. Drawing from research in a wide variety of disciplines, the webinar explores the interpersonal factors within children’s lives that impact how they learn to process sexualized media messages. Participants will receive tips for promoting strengths in children and adolescents of both genders and learn about the protective influence of communities on helping children dismiss distorted media images in favor of a character-based mindset.

• Through the Lens of a Girl: Understanding the Role of Social Media in the Lives of Teen Girls – Kamla Modi (register here!)
The world of social media has expanded in just a few short years. It is critical to understand how girls are using social media, the role of social media in girls’ lives, and the impact of social media in the way girls communicate, interact, and understand the world around them. What better way to learn from the voices of girls themselves? In this webinar you will learn about the experience of social media for girls through research findings developed by the Girl Scout Research Institute and a teen expert in the social media space. You will also learn tips and recommendations for how to best work with and communicate with girls about their experience in social media.

• She’s Not Flawed: Starting With Strengths to Help Our Daughters Through Crisis – Lindy Graham, LCSW (register here!)
When teens engage in what we perceive as dangerous or self-injurious behavior, it is typical for parents to experience fear and anxiety, making it challenging to find clarity about how to help. This webinar will explore some of the potential meaning behind self-harming behavior (including disordered eating), and provide parents with tools and skills for helping their teens find their voice from a strengths-based perspective.

Girls Rock! Awards


Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s Girls Rock! Awards is committed to amplifying the voices of brave and amazing girls throughout our state.

Girls ages 9-19 were nominated in the categories of: Title IX Champion, Health Promoter, Against the Odds Advocate, Community Organizer, Entrepreneur, and STEM-gineer.

The winners have been chosen! Coming soon are sneak peak videos of their stories. Want to meet them in person? Attend the Girls Rock! Awards from 6-7:30 on Thursday, April 7th at Colby College (Osgrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building) in Waterville, ME.   RSVP today!

More details on the awards categories:

Title IX Champion: This girl is an advocate for girls’ equal access to sports, including athletic facilities, coaching, education or equipment.

Health Promoter: This girl supports and/or works on wellness policies or programs that promote healthy lifestyles and choices, such as mental, emotional and/or physical health.

Against the Odds Advocate: This girl refuses to be limited by what has traditionally been known as a physical or developmental disability. She is busy redefining “able” and making positive changes for girls in Maine along the way.

Community Organizer: This girl sees the importance of a united community and is making it happen by bringing together her school, peers, and/or community. She is not afraid to start changing the soil, especially for other girls!

Entrepreneur: This girl turned her passion into a paycheck by building up her own business and her bank account.

STEM-gineer: This girl succeeds in science, technology, engineering or math.  She rejects the idea these subjects are not for girls and has created a counter narrative with her accomplishments.  She could be an inventor, a competition winner, or a pioneer in her field.

Inclusivity Statement

Interested participants who self-identify as female are welcome to apply to our programs. This includes participants who were not assigned to the female sex at birth, but live and identify as female now. It also includes participants who are legally assigned to the female sex, but who identify as transgender or gender fluid.

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors.  Interested in being a sponsor? Contact Kelli McCannell.

Maine General