Not every girl was lucky enough to grow up in the woods trailing behind her father picking up outdoor skills along the way. And many were not fortunate enough to be exposed to shooting, fishing or hunting as a kid.
For the lucky ones, like me, stuff like this was common and helped me develop my wild side.
For ladies who are ready to awaken their wild woman within and would like to experience some out-of-the-ordinary activities, there are programs whose sole purpose is to teach women skills such as how to fish, shoot a gun, kayak or cook outdoors, to name a few. One such organization is Becoming an Outdoor Woman or BOW as it is known.
BOW is in every state, several Canadian providences and even in New Zealand and Bermuda and BOW camps are perfect for the beginner or novice. Women from all walks of life, professional backgrounds and cultures have experienced traditional outdoor activities thanks to a BOW workshop.
How it Started
BOW was developed in 1991 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Points campus. The program helps women develop valuable outdoor skills and become more competent and confident. BOW provides a non-threatening environment for women to learn and participate in outdoor activities. This successful outdoor skills program has experienced tremendous success and now annually hosts over 80 events around the United States and abroad each year.
BOW is a great place to start for women who want to try traditional outdoor activities. Individual state natural resources divisions run most of the workshops,which keeps many of the activities regionally focused with local experts.
Because of this focus, participants are often able to go out after a BOW workshop and actually experience an activity in their neck of the woods.
For example, in the state of California more than 6,000 women have participated in a BOW workshop over the last two decades. Today, West Coast women can participate in duck or archery hunts or cross-country skiing in their region. While on the other side of the country, in New York, ladies are learning how to cook wild edibles, snorkel and mountain bike among other things.
Although BOW workshops are regionally focused, they strongly encourage women to visit other BOW workshops around the country and abroad to learn new skills.
Why go to a BOW Workshop?
What makes BOW workshops so successful is women get hands-on experience from local experts and learn the skills they need to safely enjoy a particular discipline. In addition, most BOW courses provide the necessary equipment and supplies so they can participate without buying the gear they need to try out the activity.
Even though BOW events are often crammed full of classes and experiences, the attendees experience a wonderful and relaxing time. Additionally, many of the women who attend a BOW event vow they will return because of the new friends they made and the relaxing atmosphere surrounding the event. Events are often so successful they fill up quickly, proving women across the country want to experience the great outdoors.
Proven Track Record
BOW started with the vision to provide an outlet for women to learn outdoor skills. Few could have predicted the success BOW would have or how many lives it would touch. Today veteran BOW participants continue learning new skills and even experiencing exciting adventures abroad thanks to BOW.
What prompts women from all walks of life to participate in BOW workshops?
- Perhaps it in the commitment and expertise level of the instructors who donate their valuable time and knowledge to teach outdoor skills.
- Maybe it is the wide selection of classes offered such as ATV safety, fly-fishing, archery, rifle, shotgun, handgun, trapping, boating, taxidermy, hunting and more.
- Or maybe it is the camaraderie the women enjoy during the weekend.
Whatever the reasons for attending, thousands of women enjoy attending a BOW event year after year.
Have you, or would you attend a BOW workshop? Tell us in the comment section.