In Part One of From Grassroots to Grand Scale, we looked at the humble beginnings of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program. In this installment we take a closer look at BOW’s successful record and who is really reaps the benefits. BOW workshops and camps are perfect for the beginner or novice, especially since the guesswork and fear of not knowing what to do or how to do a particular skill is gone. At a typical BOW workshop, there are several hands-on learning opportunities for attendees, who are allowed to choose two or three classes in which to participate. During a workshop, which often includes overnight camping, ladies learn from local pros how to do such things as fly fish, quail hunt, canoe and cook over a campfire.
In most situations, all the necessary equipment is supplied by generous donors. Not having to buy equipment or supplies before attending helps make the workshops affordable.
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 in the past 23 years. Today, veteran BOW participants continue learning new skills and experiencing exciting adventures abroad, thanks to the sister program Beyond BOW.
Despite BOW events often being crammed full of classes and learning opportunities, attendees still experience a wonderful and relaxing time. Additionally, many who attend vow they will return because of the friends they have made, and the relaxing atmosphere surrounding the event. BOW events are often so successful that they fill up quickly, and some have a waiting list, proving that women do have a desire to experience the great outdoors.
Filling a Void
Ask officials at any successful organization about the one thing that set it apart or made it successful, and you often hear “timing.” Was it the right time to launch an organization or product? Or did it hit the marketplace too soon or too late? For BOW, timing could not have been better. Somewhere between Annie Oakley and Annie Hall, many women either lost interest in traditional outdoor activities or were discouraged—or, perhaps, even told it was not “ladylike” to participate.
Who really knows how many women missed out on the opportunity to enjoy nature and some of the most enjoyable activities on our planet. The brains behind the BOW organization saw the need to get more women outdoors, and the timing was perfect.
Today, we see lots of women and girls getting out to the woods to hunt or going fishing. It is now commonplace for women to wear camo in public or participate in shooting.
The once male-dominated shooting and hunting industry now embraces and welcomes ladies with open arms. But that was not always the case because, just a few short decades ago, outdoor-minded women were few and far between. You could count on one hand the number of women who carried firearms or hunted.
Decades later, we can clearly see how BOW has made an impact on women’s lives.
In the third and final installment of From Grassroots to Grand Scale, we will examine how BOW impacts other unsuspecting areas with its ripple effect.
What do you think are the most valuable aspects of the BOW programs, events and activities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.