Becoming an Outdoors Woman program teach women new skills
If you have been itching to get outside from all this snow snow and cold weather you’re not alone. But it can be bit challenging to learn new hobbies like rock climbing, snow shoeing or archery. Although the Minnesota DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, or BOW, offers the opportunity to learn more skills and knowledge out in nature.
Linda Bylander, the coordinator for the BOW program, said it’s been going on since 1995.
“It’s a very educational learning experience and it’s a very safe, supportive environment,” Bylander said. “There’s a variety of classes for the whole weekend and all beginner level.”
Many of the women who attend the BOW program make lasting friendships and continue the hobbies they tried during the weekend according to Bylander.
“We want to get women to go out and become an outdoors woman. You know, the best thing is that people don’t want to come by themselves. And yet we provide such a support network for the women,” Bylander said. “We encourage women. If you don’t have somebody to come with, come by yourself and meet new friends.”
Also many women choose to help with the program in the future, to encourage women learning outdoor skills.
“What’s unique about the BOW program with the DNR, it’s a volunteer led program. So I’m a working staff with the DNR. But everyone that you see today teaching are all volunteers,” Bylander said. “They’re passionate about helping women get outdoors skills, team building skills.”
Some of the fun activities offered during the bow program range anywhere from firearm safety, dark house fishing to building houses for wood ducks. Jordan Zabel, the reservation and event coordinator at the Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, said there’s plenty of outdoor learning opportunities happening in the future.
“Our site is very lucky to have the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. They have been coming here for numerous years,” Zabel said. “We bring in different speakers throughout the year. In April we’re bringing in a foraging expert. And then Maple Syruping day is at the end of March. We’re going to teach people how to identify Maples, how to tap the trees, the whole process of boiling it down, as well as having a pancake breakfast.”
The Minnesota DNR will also have a Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in April at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. Also in the fall up at Wolfe Ridge Environmental Learning Center on October 4th.