sernin: (bleu_sit)
This weekend I participated (again) in the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation.

In June (while in Boston to be more specific) I printed out the online application, wrote out a check, and ReallyReallyReally hoped that I would be accepted to the program.  I'm a repeat attender (no, not offender) and my acceptance is totally determined by the number of "newbies" who apply between June 15 and July 14.  While on another trip, my acceptance letter arrived, to much wriggling, dancing, and shrieking.

BOW is a special world for women that exists three days per year.  In those three days, everyone has a concerted enthusiastic supportive push for women participating in outdoor activities. Instructors are carefully chosen for their knowledge, enthusiasm, and inspirational interaction with the women. There are more than 20 courses to choose, and four time slots to fill in the three day schedule.  There's lots of shtuff - cups, magnets, lip balm, state nature guide books, water jugs, t-shirts, and then lots of class-related stuff.

(And now that I've lost the last half of this post twice, despite LJ promising me that it has autosaved, I'll just insert some pictures and try writing more later.)
pictures! )

sernin: (OpusLive)
My favorite fall activity will open registration on Monday, June 15.

I can not even come close to saying all the wonderful things that I get from participating in Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekends.  (This from a girl who really hates being outside.)

The BOW website has the weekend schedule up now

Registration download will be available on Monday.

If you're a first time participant, you are first in line when they process the applications.  You have a month to send in your registration form and $185 before they open the field to the groupies.

And for those who aren't in Arkansas, your state also has BOW weekends
sernin: (bleu_sit)

After my mom and I checked into the room and unpacked our stuff from the car, we headed to lunch. After lunch, we headed to our first session, Basic Firearm Safety. I've not been raised with guns. While my father owned a shotgun, and allegedly took me shooting out in the country once when I was small, I have no memory of guns. I have something between a healthy respect and unreasonable fear of guns. I was really hoping that in the right surroundings, I could learn more about firearms. BOW was perfect. Two guys, Chuck and Alex, taught our class. They are both firearms safety/shooting instructor/coordinators for Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.

When my mom and I walked into the cabin, we saw a table full of guns and tables laid out with Hunters' Ed books. We headed for the book-ed tables and settled into our seats. We started reading our books. Other women were coming into the room. They found seats and started reading their books. At some point I realized that I wanted to take some pictures.

 


After class, we had an hour or so to clean up before heading to supper. In the cafeteria, our fearless leader (Phyllis) started calling names for door prizes. I had checked out the door prize table earlier, and knew that I wanted to grab a pair of wool blend socks. When my name was called, I whooped and raced for the socks.

After supper, we had a gentleman talk to us about Arkansas Black Bears.  I think he works for the Game & Fish Commission, but he may work for US Fish & Wildlife Service.  That man is passionate about bears.  He talked for about two hours, showing (in a powerpoint presentation) pictures of bear dens and momma/cub sets.  He talked about the bear habitat, bear eating, bear lifestyle, and bear reproduction.  He made momma bear sounds.  He told stories of locating gps tagged bears across the state.  We were able to ask lots of questions, and he was excited to answer them all.  It was a good night of bear talk. 
sernin: (bleu_sit)
I've mentioned Becoming an Outdoors-Woman before, but I think it's an amazing program so I'm going to blabber about it for a while.  According to the BOW Arkansas webpage:
"Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" is an outdoors skills workshop for women. The objective is to provide a non-threatening atmosphere where women can have fun learning skills that will enhance their enjoyment of Arkansas outdoors.

The Arkansas BOW offers over 20 workshops (Basic Firearm Safety, Turkey Hunting 101, Outdoor Photography, Canoe & Kayak, Basic Boat Motor Skills, GPS 101, Basic Fishing, Intro to Scuba Diving, Stream Ecology, Map & Compass, Birdwatching Basics, Pioneer Woman Skills, Nature Crafts, Rifle Markswomanship, Beginning Flyfishing, Beginning Backpacking, ATV Ridercourse, Shotgunning Basics, Beginning Archery, Fly Tying Basics, Wildlife Adventure, Backyard Wildlife, Outdoor Survival, Field Orienteering, Duck Hunting Basics, Wild Plants & Their Uses, Outdoor Photography, High Ropes Course, Dutch Oven Cooking, Stream Ecology, Beginning Bowhunting, and Backpacking Basics).  The variety of classes allows women to experience nature from whichever angle they prefer (appreciating it or killing it dead).

Arkansas BOW is held at the 4H Center at Ferndale.  Once we checked in, we headed to the room. 
Between the building, we saw this view:


and this view:
sernin: (bleu_sit)
My three day tiptoe into outdoor adventure came to an end at lunch today.  As it was the two other years I've attended, it was amazing.
Hopefully, I'll have the follow-through to post the pictures I took and share the information I learned.

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