Be #inCHAARG at Penn

Changing Health, Actions, and Attitudes to Recreate Girls (CHAARG) is an organization that has been popping up on campuses all around the country, and it will be coming to Penn in the spring of 2020! CHAARG is a women’s health and fitness organization that “liberates girls from the elliptical” by giving them opportunities to “find their fit” and showing them that fitness can and should be fun! It provides an opportunity for young women to join a supportive community of other like-minded girls, all on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle. With more than 70 chapters in the United States, CHAARG will soon join Penn, making it the first Ivy League school to be #inCHAARG. 

Alexa Rybicki, a sophomore studying Bioengineering in SEAS, was inspired to bring CHAARG to Penn after seeing the amazing experience her sister was having with the program at Indiana University. After noticing that Penn had nothing resembling this organization, she decided to start her own chapter; she is now the Founding Ambassador of Penn’s chapter. 

Rybicki wants to motivate women to find their own way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle without feeling nervous about hitting the gym. 

“So many of my friends had told me how intimidating it is to go to the weight room in Pottruck, and I am really passionate about girls gaining confidence in the gym and finding a workout they love to do,” she said. 

CHAARG helps girls find new ways of exercising by having weekly workouts where chapters partner with local fitness studios. These workouts can be anything from Orange Theory to barre classes! The workout will be at the same time every week (most likely in the evening or at night so it doesn’t conflict with other activities), so it encourages you to include workouts in your schedule. My biggest excuse for not working out is that I’m “too busy,” but CHAARG will put that extra hour into my week. 

CHAARG is not only a workout organization, but also a community and an opportunity to make new friends. 

CHAARG Founder Elisabeth Tavierne has said, “I hope all of our members grow to embrace a healthy and happy lifestyle. I hope that they find a supportive and encouraging community and that they meet not only workout buddies, but lifelong friends.”

Getting a CHAARG membership involves a one-time payment of $47 per semester. The membership covers a new workout each week, along with the small group workouts and two social events! One class of kickboxing at Rumble alone can cost up to $37, so paying $47 for multiple classes is an easy way to save money without compromising exciting classes.

A supportive, driven group of girls applied and were chosen to serve as CHAARG’s Founding Executive Board for the program’s first semester at Penn. Each executive member will be leading optional Small Groups — 10 to 20 girls meeting once a week to bond through social activities like grabbing smoothies or watching a movie together. 

Secretary Erica Shaulson (College ‘22) was intrigued by CHAARG because of the role healthy living had on her life at Penn. 

“Being at a school like this brings a lot of stress, and I’ve found that the gym is my way to best deal with this pressure,” she said.

One of two event coordinators, Lily Carpenter (College ‘22) joined the Executive Board to get out of her comfort zone. 

“I usually shy away from positions with that much responsibility. And that’s exactly why it was such a good thing for me. I’m excited to get outside my comfort zone and grow a brand new skill set,” she said. 

As you can see, the opportunities with CHAARG are endless!

Abigail Metzler (College ‘22), who is the VP of Membership, perfectly described CHAARG as a badass girl gang.

“If you are looking to start working out, join CHAARG! If you are looking to try new fitness classes, join CHAARG! If you want to make new friends, join CHAARG!” she said. 

This community of strong women, as well as the opportunity to “find your fit,” are open to students of all years, with all levels of experience with health and exercise. Click here to learn more about UPenn’s CHAARG Chapter and feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns. Be sure to like the chapter’s page on Facebook and follow @upenn_inchaarg on Instagram!