Every year at this time, we find ourselves thinking of Susan Eckert, the founder of AdventureWomen who passed away in May of 2017. Susan was an inspiration, and you’ll frequently hear us say in the office “I wonder what Susan would have done in this situation!”
We wanted to share this story we received about Susan from Judy C. this year:
“Just want to introduce myself and let you know that I think Judi and the team are doing great things with AdventureWomen and honoring Susan Eckert’s groundbreaking work in the world of women’s adventure travel.
Many years back (1985) my husband had returned from a 3-month sabbatical and said, “I don’t think we need to go on vacation this year.” I had been at home with 2 middle schoolers, so that thought didn’t go over well with me! I had seen AdventureWomen ads (then Rainbow Adventures) in the paper and decided to sign up for a Llama Trek in the Rockies. That was the beginning of my association with Susan and the intro to a wonderful world of travel for me.
The following year Susan needed someone to help in her “office” while she cleaned and dried tents and prepared food for backpacking! She sent a “help wanted” postcard to all former participants in her zip code, and I was the lucky one who got the job. Several days a week I’d be sitting at the typewriter stand in her living room! Back then we had detail sheets printed at a copy center, and then I stapled them, addressed envelopes by hand, and mailed them off to prospective adventurers. Another task was to decide which color paper to print which adventure on: green for Costa Rica, blue for Boundary Waters, tan for Grand Canyon, etc.! We kept track of phone calls on a yellow legal pad. Eventually the office expanded to the apartment next door and a brand-new computer came to live there; fortunately, she still needed me too! I bartered work hours for a trip each year and was so very lucky to travel to India, Boundary Waters, Alaska, and more. When Susan moved to Montana and my husband and I moved from Illinois to Florida, Susan was good enough to keep me on as an associate—the position you now call “ambassador” and I used to refer to as “den mother.” I was so very fortunate to be able to continue my “travel habit” with AdventureWomen.
So, congratulations for doing great work and continuing to offer wonderful and exciting travel opportunities for women!”