If you're like many Americans, you may have grown up in a city or suburb where outdoors skills just weren't emphasized. Furthermore, many Americans live the type of lifestyle that often limits their chances to get outdoors. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program is designed to help people just like you experience the beauty of nature while discovering new outdoor skills (many of which might just come in handy, even in the 'burbs). This terrific program, which has been running since 1991, is offered at the lowest cost possible due to generous sponsorships and donations...but it still is not free. The Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF), which conducts BOW events in that state, wants to ensure that every woman who wishes to take the first step in a lifetime of outdoor adventures gets the chance to do so. So if financial constraints are keeping you from signing up for a BOW workshop, the AWF has found a way to help defray costs. They've established full and partial BOW scholarships for women 18 and older who are full-time Arizona residents and who have never attended a BOW event.
If you're interested, the deadline to complete and submit the two-page application for the April 15 through 17 event at Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, Arizona, is Feb. 26. The application period for the Sept. 9-11 event, also at Friendly Pines Camp, is May 11-25. Visit www.azwildlife.org to download an application. For more information, contact Kimberlee Kreuzer at (480) 644-0077. A recipient may receive only one scholarship (full or partial) in her lifetime.
These workshops are going to be incredibly informative and fun. You'll be introduced to outdoors skills in an enjoyable, no-pressure setting with expert instructors. You'll learn horsemanship, outdoor photography, archery, fly-fishing, Dutch-oven cooking, shooting and birding, but that won't be all. The evenings will be filled with fun and entertainment, like night hikes, fly-tying and guest speakers. Lodging will be provided in rustic cabins, with five to seven campers per room using bunk beds. Campers must provide their own bedding and towels. Sleeping bags are highly recommended. Full bathrooms with electricity are available in each cabin.
The full workshop fee is $250 ($300 with horsemanship), and includes all course materials, meals and lodging.