At dawn, the cluck and purr of wild turkeys rouses you from the deepest, most restful sleep you’ve ever had. You step outside into the chill, pine-scented dawn to watch the sunrise paint the Sangre de Cristo Mountains golden pink as the steam from your coffee warms your face. It’s a beautiful start to a day that will help you discover just how strong and capable you and your fellow women really are. This is the Women’s Wilderness Escape, and it’s just beginning.
“The NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape,” explains their official Facebook page, “provides women with a getaway opportunity to experience the softer side of firearm education.” Boiled down, it’s essentially a way to learn about guns and the outdoors in the company of other women (18 and up) in a judgment-free environment.
There are three different places where the Escapes are held: the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M., the Seven Springs Resort in Champion, Pa., and the Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, N.H. Each Escape offers a different experience. For example, at the Whittington Center, you’ll enjoy the natural, mountainous beauty of the Raton Pass area while you try your hand at shotgun, rifle, pistol and archery under the expert eye of NRA’s instructors. At Seven Springs Resort, you’ll relax in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands while learning the fun of shotgun sports like sporting clays, followed up with instruction from NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim program. Afterward, you can treat yourself to a spa treatment or just explore the area on foot or bicycle. At the Sig Sauer Academy, you’ll get to shoot both indoors and outdoors as you are instructed in pistol and rifle…and then you’ll put those new skills to the test in a self-defense course.
Although they may offer different activities and environments, the Escapes all have several things in common. Each Escape is all-inclusive; your fee covers lodging, meals, instruction, shooting facilities, firearms and ammunition. You are encouraged to bring friends and family members, and are welcome to room with them if you like. After the day’s instruction, you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy the unique individual amenities available at the resorts…or just relax and make new friends with your fellow Explorers.
Whichever Escape you choose, you’re in for a wonderful experience you’ll never forget. Says recent attendee Janet Stevens, “From the East Coast, West Coast, North and South, you will meet fantastic women. The staff is awesome! They are all well qualified, kind, patient and full of humor.” Pat Billups concurs: “Best money I have spent. The experience was worth every penny!”
This year’s Women’s Wilderness Escape at Seven Springs is being held from June 3rd to the 6th, with an all-inclusive fee of $995. The event at Sig Sauer Academy will be July 15th to the 18th, for $1,250. The gathering at the Whittington Center is offered from September 24th to October 1st, with an all-inclusive fee of $1,500. Space for each Escape is limited, so if you’d like to be a part of any of these adventures, please visit https://wwe.nra.org/, call (800) 672-7435 option 5 or e-mail [email protected] to register. You can also follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NRAWWE.
If you'd like to see a slideshow of the Whittington Center, click here. To learn more about Whittington U, which offers courses for men, women and families, click here.