“I can’t figure out what I loved the most. The experts and awesome classes, the vacation from family, the wonderful food, or the camaraderie of amazing women! I can’t wait to get outdoors with my new skills!”
Mindy Brown, Gilbert Arizona (April 2010 participant)
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is a non-profit, educational program offering hands-on workshops to adult women. A supportive environment conducive to learning, making friends, and having fun is core to the program. No experience is necessary and BOW is for women of all ages and fitness levels.
Participants choose four classes from a field of 32. Subjects range from rappelling to fishing to geocaching. Classes are roughly divided into one-third consumptive (hunting and fishing), one-third non-consumptive (like hiking and canoeing) and one-third outdoor knowledge. The outdoor knowledge classes have proven popular and many have been taught since inception. Arizona has life zones from desert to alpine, you can learn about them in Arizona Wildlife and Habitat. There is a basic land navigation class, a birding class and a tracking/animal identification class. A perennial favorite is “I’m Lost, Now What?”
In addition to learning new activities, BOW participants are also treated to a variety of evening entertainment. There will be a game and wine taste, featuring wild game dishes and samples of our now famous prickly pear margaritas. Night fishing and fly tying will be available as well as featured speakers with live critters as special guests. Saturday night is lots of fun with a fund raising raffle, silent auction and ‘talent’ from the participants.
There are many reasons why women come to BOW. For some, it is just some ‘ME’ time. A different take on a girlfriends weekend away. Perhaps fly-fishing seems appealing but the cost prohibitive especially for recreation untested. Equipment and expert instruction is provided for fly-fishing, archery, canoeing, shooting and more.
Lodging is in rustic cabins but they have full bathrooms and electricity. Meals are provided and cooked by the camp staff. The focus for the weekend is learning in a comfortable atmosphere.
“The goal of the program is give women the knowledge and motivation to get outdoors. Often, women experience personal growth and that is a just wonderful side effect,” says Linda Dightmon, AZ BOW coordinator. “I love it when I walk through the dining hall on that last day and ladies are making plans to take their families on a camping trip.”
In 2010 the Arizona BOW program will celebrate its 15th year. The venue is Friendly Pines Camp near Prescott. Dates are August 13th-15th. The Arizona Wildlife Federation sponsors the Arizona BOW program with lots of help from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The Arizona Flycasters and Arizona Audubon are also major partners in the Arizona program. Our instructors are volunteers and all are experts or professionals in their field. Cost is $245 and includes lodging, meals and most classroom materials. The registration is available online at www.azwildlife.org or you can call 480-644-0077.
Thanks to Linda Dightmon, BOW coordinator for Arizona, who submitted this release to The WON. Keep up the good work!~BB