The Vancouver Outdoor Club for Women (VOCW) was founded on September 19, 1979 by Clasina van Bemmel, an Outdoor Recreation Director at the Vancouver YWCA. She saw a need for women to enjoy outdoor activities together, to learn to be comfortable in the outdoors by learning new skills and to become physically and mentally fit.
This women-only club was a first of its kind in Canada.
To launch and promote the club, two well-known female mountaineers were invited to speak: Phyllis Munday, a BC Mountaineer with dozens of first ascents to her name; and Joan Firey, who was part of the famous all-women expedition to climb Annapurna I in 1978. The tickets sold out, the evening was a huge success and the VOCW was officially launched.
Membership was limited to 50 women as, at first, there were not enough experienced leaders for the trips. Clasina led every VOCW trip for the first three years!
VOCW members are involved in many outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, road cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, birdwatching and organized sports.
We organize one or two weekend events a year to nearby lodges in Whistler and Manning Park.
We organize at least one camping trip every summer to a nearby provincial park.
We also organize dances, game nights, and many other social events.
All activities are organized by volunteers within the club who offer events of interest for all levels of physical strength and endurance.
We have around 150 members so chances are you will find someone with the same interests as you!