Looking for a great time, a lot of fun, and a chance to try things that are completely out of your comfort zone? Look into the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program offered 40 states. The programs range from short one-day events to a full week of adventure travel.
What is Becoming an Outdoors Woman?
Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW, pronounced with a long O) is designed to give women a chance to experience outdoor adventure in a safe and friendly environment. It is a woman’s only event, although some of the instructors may be men. The most frequently offered program is a weekend event. For the weekend events, participants choose four workshops from of a list of 20, that they wish to attend over the weekend. Topics range from hunting and fishing to outdoor photography and scuba diving. Lodging and food is covered in the cost of the program.
Other programs are weeklong events. The 2011 Baja BOW takes place from April 14 through 20. Activities include hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
What is a Becoming an Outdoor Woman Event Like?
I attended a BOW event at the C.A. Vines Center, in Ferndale, Arkansas in September 2010. It was a blast. Several hundred woman attended the event. We slept in dormitory style rooms and we had 3 meals a day in the cafeteria. The food was pretty good, although higher in fat and calories than I would have liked.
The workshops I chose were duck hunting basics, shotgunning basics, rifle markswomanship and pioneer woman skills. All of the duck hunting workshop participants received a mallard decoy and a set of duck calls with a CD. We learned about how to shoot a duck, how to set up decoys, what equipment is needed and the instructor shared his favorite duck recipe. The workshop was taught by a representative of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The shotgunning and markswomanship workshops were wonderful and informative. I did not grow up around guns, and this workshop taught me how to safely handle and clean a firearm as well as how to shoot accurately.
The pioneer woman skills gave us a chance to dye a bag, start a fire with flint and steel, and to dress up in pioneer clothing. Each workshop lasted the entire morning or afternoon. You went straight from your meal to a workshop. There was free time in the evening. On the final night there was a raffle. Great prizes were given away, include a Remington pump action shotgun, a duck blind, a deer tree stand, and a Dutch oven cooking set. The staff had nightly activities for us which included a dance party and bonfire.
Where are Becoming an Outdoors Woman Events Held?
40 states in the U.S. offer a BOW event. Some women at the event I attended travel from event to event all year long. With choices such as single day events, weekend long events and advanced Beyond BOW travel opportunities there is something for everyone. With the exception of Beyond BOW, no experience or skills are needed to participate. You will learn everything you need to know at the workshops. I learned more about gun safety, duck hunting and shooting accurately at the BOW workshop than I did taking the Arkansas Hunter Safety Course. Check the BOW main website for up to date information about events in your area.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman started as a workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The program was developed by Dr. Christine Thomas in 1991. BOW has become so successful that it now offers workshops in most of the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Sources:Becoming an Outdoors Woman