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Frequently Asked Questions

About

Who Founded Ch8sing Waterfalls And Why?


Ch8sing Waterfalls was founded in 2017 by Deborah McGlawn, after experiencing a profound healing from depression during a first-time-ever visit to a waterfall. Deborah wanted to create an environment and vehicle for other Black women to experience healing in nature. Learn more here: About | ch8singwaterfalls.




What Is The Mission of Ch8sing Waterfalls?


Our mission is to:

  • To empower Black women to find healing in nature;
  • To create a safe environment for Black women to show up and be their authentic selves without judgment;
  • To support and encourage Black women to go beyond their comfort zone to build confidence in the outdoors;
  • To diversify outdoors spaces by changing the narrative surrounding Black people in the outdoors.




What Is The Significance of 4:44 or 444?


It began with the inconsolable loss of a child. The number 444 started to appear in different forms in various places and times. I was “too busy being busy with my day-to-day” to understand what it all meant. I finally took the time to research the meaning, and I was blown away. The number 444 helped me realize that my “angel” was with and is watching over me all the time. You have to read all three parts of the 4:44 story to fully understand. About | ch8singwaterfalls




Is Ch8sing Waterfalls a Non-Profit Organization?


Yes. Ch8sing Waterfalls is a registered 501(c)(3). non-profit organization in the State of Georgia.




Is There A Motto?


Our motto is “Emb8ce the Ch8se.” Women are encouraged to lay down burdens, dispel negative thoughts and attitudes in order to gain a fresh perspective and embrace the healing power of waterfalls and nature.




Who Leads The Hikes?


Hikes are led by the Founder, Deborah McGlawn, and “Ch8se Champion'' leaders. Learn about the leadership team here: Team | ch8singwaterfalls.




Where Are You Based?


Ch8sing Waterfalls is based in Metro-Atlanta, GA, but our membership extends into the Carolinas. We travel to wherever there is a waterfall within a days trip. In 2022 we will extend our reach to other states.




How Many Waterfall Ch8ses Have You Done And Where?


We have consistently chased waterfalls each month since 2017. Visit the map and click on a numbered icon to see each waterfall visited. Ch8se Map | ch8singwaterfalls





How To Support

How Can I Support Ch8sing Waterfalls?


There are several ways to support us:

  • Attend a waterfall ch8se, and invite a friend also.
  • Help spread the word about what we’re doing by liking, commenting and sharing our social media posts.
  • “Share your shine” by posting about your ch8se experience on your social pages. Be sure to tag @ch8singwaterfalls on the post and use the hashtags #ch8singwaterfalls, #embr8cethech8se and #brownfacesingreenspaces.
  • Consider writing a blog post about your reflections and the personal impact of the waterfall ch8se. Email your submission by 12:00pm the Monday following a ch8se event.
  • Purchase merchandise from our online shop on the website.
  • Participate in fundraising efforts.
  • Become a member of Ch8sing Waterfalls




Do You Accept Monetary Donations?


One-time monetary donations of any amount are welcome, and will help further our mission to help more Black women “embr8ce the ch8se” and find healing in nature. Donate | ch8singwaterfalls




Do You Have Merchandise?


Branded and other merchandise can be purchased directly from our online shop. Shop | ch8singwaterfalls




Can I Become a Member of Ch8sing Waterfalls?


Paid memberships will be offered in early 2022. Paid memberships will help cover organizational expenses and further our mission and outreach efforts.





Who Can Attend Ch8ses?

Is This An Inclusive Organization?


We believe everyone has a right to a safe and inclusive experience in outdoor spaces regardless of race, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, native language, religion, age, disability, physical or mental impairment, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law. Our events and outreach do center the shared experiences and needs of Black women in order to foster healing. Those who participate understand our focus and support our mission.




Can Allies Attend Ch8ses?


We collaborate with allied persons and organizations that:

  • Understand our mission to foster healing for Black women;
  • Share our love for nature;
  • Promote diversity, equity, inclusion and access in outdoor spaces; and
  • Interact in a manner that makes all attendees feel welcome and safe.




Are Men Allowed To Attend?


Our events are primarily for women and those who self-identify as women. We believe this allows attendees to show up as their authentic selves and express themselves freely. The event description will indicate whether an event is a collaboration or other special event that men can attend.




What Are The Requirements To Attend?


Each person must RSVP on the website, sign the electronic Liability Waiver, and pay any associated fee(s).




Are Children Allowed?


Our events are open to attendees age 13 and older. Teens ages 13-17 must RSVP for the event separately and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Teens age 18+ must RSVP, but are not required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.




Can I Bring A Family Pet?


For safety reasons, family pets are not allowed to accompany attendees.




Is There A Cost To Attend?


Currently, there is no fee to attend a waterfall ch8se. However, there may be a fee to enter a specific destination, special event or parking. Any fee(s) will be indicated in the event description.





About The Ch8se

Is Transportation Provided?


For now, attendees must make individual travel arrangements. There is a designated meet-up location in Metro-Atlanta for carpooling purposes. Carpooling info and driving instructions are indicated in the event description.




Is Lunch Provided?


Ch8sers should bring their own snack/lunch and beverage unless otherwise indicated. Sometimes we visit a local restaurant after a hike. This will be indicated in the event description.




How Long Does The Ch8se Event Usually Last?


Attendees should plan to spend the day with us. Please take into consideration travel time and distance, hike duration, and lunch when you RSVP. All the details about the event will be in the event description.




What Should I Wear?


Many wear workout clothing that is stretchy and comfortable. Recommendations on what to wear include:

  • Clothing made of moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabrics like synthetics, rayon or wool. Cotton is not recommended because it retains water and keeps sweat close to the body. This will keep you hot in warm weather and chilly during cooler or wet weather. This article provides more information on what to wear while hiking: Hiking Clothes: What to Wear Hiking.
  • Footwear that is supportive and has soles that can grip uneven surfaces. You may also consider waterproof footwear. This article is helpful for selecting footwear appropriate for hiking: Hiking Boots: How to Choose Hiking Shoes.
  • Socks should be appropriate for the weather conditions, provide comfort and be absorbent if your feet sweat. Socks can be made of acrylic, wool or synthetic blend.
  • Always carry a rain poncho in case of liquid sunshine.




What Should I Bring?


  • Medications and personal medical devices like an EpiPen or glucose monitor;
  • Minimum 2L+ of water based on hike distance, duration and temperature to prevent dehydration;
  • Snack/Lunch;
  • Trekking poles if needed for stability;
  • Headlamp or flashlight;
  • Rain Poncho.




How Difficult Are The Hikes?


Hikes range from easy to strenuous. Difficulty levels are outlined in the event description as follows:

  • Easy: Suitable for those in fair physical condition; walker and beginner hiker; 1-3hr hike duration; slightly uneven terrain; <1000ft elevation gain
  • Moderate: Suitable for those in good physical condition; consistent walker or hiker; 3+hr hike duration; uneven terrain; 1000-1500ft elevation gain
  • Strenuous: Suitable for a very active walker or endurance hiker with no injuries; 4 hour+ hike duration; uneven terrain; steep incline/descent; 1500-3000+ft elevation gain
  • Please contact us if you have a specific physical disability or impairment.




What Kind of Physical Condition Do I Need To Be In?


Participants of every shape, size and physical condition are welcome. You are advised to consult your physician if you have specific health concerns that might limit your participation. The event description provides information to help you determine whether or not a hike is suitable.




Do I Have To Be An Experienced Hiker?


Many of our ch8ses are beginner-friendly. The event description will help you determine suitability for your experience level.




Can I Participate If I Have Mobility Challenges?


Some of the waterfalls we visit can be enjoyed from ADA-compliant viewing and/or parking areas. Other waterfalls are more remote and require hiking a distance on uneven/unpaved surfaces and terrain with steeper inclines or descents. The event description will help you determine whether there is conducive viewing access. Email us before registering at ch8singwaterfalls@gmail.com if you have any specific concerns.




What If I Have A Physical Disability or Other Impairment?


We are happy to discuss any physical disability or other non-visual impairment, and how we might accommodate your needs. For example, a registered service dog that is “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability” is one such accommodation. Please email us at ch8singwaterfalls@gmail.com prior to registering for an event to discuss your specific needs.




What If I Have To Use The Bathroom?


Here are a few tips on how to answer Nature's call in the outdoors:

  • Walk at least 200 feet (about 70 steps) from potential water sources.
  • Try to urinate on hard surfaces, like rocks, to limit animals digging at pee spots.
  • Never urinate in a stream, creek or pond.
  • Avoid using wipes or toilet paper. If you do use paper products, bring a sealable plastic bag for soiled items. We recommend a pee-only cloth like the Kula cloth which is antimicrobial and quick-drying. Kula Cloth.
  • If you need to do #2, follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to avoid contaminating water sources, prevent the spread of disease, promote decomposition, and minimize social and aesthetic impact. This helpful video shows you how to do #2 properly: How to Dig a Cathole: Leave No Trace Skills Series.
  • Be sure to wash your hands.




What About Inclement Weather or Cancellations?


Ch8ses have been cancelled less than five times since 2017. Only harsh and hazardous weather conditions deter us from ch8sing waterfalls. We ask attendees to wear and bring the appropriate gear to handle the elements. Registered attendees will receive timely notification if there is a weather-related or other cancellation.




How Do I Join A Ch8se Event?


Visit the Events section and RSVP for the event you would like to attend. Prior to attending a ch8se event, you must have a completed waiver on file. You only need to complete this waiver one time. If you need to update your information on the original waiver, please submit and indicate the change on a new waiver. Thank you.





Emergencies

What Happens If There Is A Medical Emergency?


Hike leaders carry first-aid kits to handle minor, non-life threatening injuries. For injuries that require immediate medical attention, we carry a satellite communication device that allows us to send interactive SOS alerts for local emergency agencies. The “Emergency Call” button on locked phone screens also enables contact with local emergency personnel. Here are a few tips to avoid and/or handle emergencies:

  • Carry medications and medical devices that can be self-administered, and a mini first-aid kit in your daypack.
  • Inform the Hike Leader(s) prior to the hike of any condition that might require emergency assistance (diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, physical or other impairment).
  • Provide emergency contact information when you RSVP. This information will be on hand during the hike.
  • Leave your phone unlocked in case we need to notify someone other than the emergency contact.
  • Make sure your phone stays charged.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to help prevent weather-related emergencies.
  • Have the proper gear, like trekking poles, if you have stability issues.
  • Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear and your laces are securely tied.
  • We have protocols in place to handle emergencies as quickly and efficiently as possible. We ask all attendees to follow the directions of the Hike Leaders.





Connecting With Us

How Can I Connect With Ch8sing Waterfalls?


Go to the “Get Social'' section on the website to discover the many ways to connect with us. Get Social | ch8singwaterfalls. You can also join our texting platform to receive text updates and notifications: https://bit.ly/Ch8seTexting Email us at embr8cethech8se@ch8singwaterfalls.com if you have any further questions.





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