Perla, the young explorer

Posted by: Andrew Glenn

Our mission is to equip and inspire others for life changing adventure. This plays out in two big ways at Kammok: We create durable outdoor gear that serves as a platform to experience the outdoors more fully, and we donate a percentage of every dollar we earn to fund young explorers getting outside. Today we’re excited to introduce you to one of those explorers.


Here's what I learned from Perla:

  • It's the combination of challenge and whimsy that makes adventure life-changing.

  • Growth is fueled when something more is required from us.

  • On top of this, the experience is more beautiful, bearable, and memorable when shared.


Take some time to challenge yourself and invite someone along for the journey. We hope this interview inspires you.


Tell us about a special memory from the past year with Explore Austin. 

Perla is on a team with 14 other girls her age, led by 5 mentors. They go on Saturday adventures every month, leading up to a week long trip in the summer.  


Perla, far left, with a few girls from the group.


When I first joined Explore Austin, I was really shy because I didn’t know anyone. Last year’s summer trip as the first time I really started getting along with everyone, because we were separated into smaller groups of girls who don’t usually hang out together. We bonded for the first time, and crushed the rock climbing challenges.


Then, Perla and her mentor tell me a story about a time she had insane amounts of energy at the end of a long day hiking last summer. She was doing lunges, walking everyone to their shower, making the entire group laugh and smile.


Perla wants to be someone who brings joy to the people around her, all the time.


Why do you like being outside? 

I love how you learn things in nature. And with Explore Austin, you learn things with the people around you too. Being outside makes me feel so good inside. 


When you’re inside, in school or at home, you can learn but you get tired fast. When I’m outside, I get hyper, and I like that feeling. I like to jump around, make people smile.


I don’t want to be the person that just walks around like (Perla slouches in her chair and makes a sad face) “...Hey…how are you…"


No! I want to be the person like "HEY! How was your day!” And actually make them smile. 


Was there a time you've felt challenged by being outside with your team? 

Perla laughs. The answer is yes.

Everyone has different jobs every day on our adventure trips. Some of the roles are camp cook, kitchen clean up, bomb proofers–Perla explained bomb proofers as the “caboose” of the team–they make sure everything is cleaned up and ready to go.


One of the biggest roles you can get is called Leader of the Day. The Leader of the Day sets the example of what everyone’s supposed to do. It was fun, but so challenging. You have to be in the front of the line, and you don’t always know where to go. 


I felt proud of myself, but it was hard! I was worried people would think I was mean. But to describe the feeling, it was like “Wow–I can’t believe we did that” kind of feeling. 


What are some other things you’ve learned being part of Explore Austin? 

Belaying girls on ropes. 
Multi pitch climbing. 
Regular rock climbing. 

It’s all so fun, but also really hard. It would be nice to teach someone else these things, they are great things to learn. 


If you could write a letter to your mentors, what would it say? 

Perla takes this literally, speaks the letter out loud. 

I would say…

Hey! How is it been, how are you. 
I’ve been good. I hope you’re having a good time wherever you are. 
I’d mention something we’ve talked bout in the past. 
Making sure she’s okay. 

Thank you for showing me all you can, I know you’ve tried to do everything to help me. Even though we don’t see each other all the time, you’re always there for me…. You might not have all the time in the world for me but I really appreciate that you are there by my side whenever. 

What is a hope or a dream that you have for yourself, and then for your Explore team. 

For me, I want to be a veterinarian. I want to help all the animals in the world, no matter what. However big or small. I want to push myself to do what I know I can do, and even what I think I can’t. 

For my Explore group, I hope that we get far and we get far together. That the girls know they have tried. They don’t say “I have no life and I don’t do anything,” they know that they have done something that has impacted their life and impacted someone else. 



Adventure changes lives.

Learn more about our partnership with Explore Austin and our mission to equip and inspire for life changing adventure here.