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Becoming an outdoors-woman.

"These workshops have really changed my life. I participated in so many activities that I never would have tried otherwise.... and the education I got here gave me the start I needed to get going and continue enjoying these activities."

"I came here feeling a little out of place and intimidated and am leaving feeling very comfortable and excited about trying some of my new-found fishing and hiking skills."

"I wanted to learn skills that my husband, brother and father never had a chance to teach me. And to challenge myself without the guys around."

These are just a tiny sampling of the hundreds of testimonials from participants in New York's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program.

Sponsored by DEC and supported by dozens of partners, BOW workshops provide information, encouragement and hands-on instruction in activities such as fishing, shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, outdoor photography, map and compass, survival, camping, canoeing and outdoor cooking. A woman can even earn her NYS Hunter Education Certificate or Trapper Education Certificate by taking specific workshop classes and completing required home study.

Workshops are open to anyone age 18 and older; past participants have ranged from their late teens to their mid-eighties!

One Woman's Experience ... and Recommendation

Thanks to BOW classes, I learned--among other things--how to construct a shelter with materials found in the woods, the correct way to use a bow and arrow, and the types of tinder in the wild that can help make a fire. Confidence builder? You bet, but until I finally master using a map and compass (or even a GPS), I won't be hanging out my shingle as a wilderness guide anytime soon!

BOW offers a supportive environment for women who:

* Have always wanted to learn certain outdoor activities usually associated with men

* Are beginners who want to improve their outdoor skills

* Want to spend time with other like-minded women

* Would like to become more self-sufficient

Beyond BOW Workshops

In addition to traditional BOW workshops, there are Beyond BOW workshops, ranging from particular topics that last several hours to guided tours that last several days. Examples include turkey hunting (from choosing equipment to clothing to safety); kayaking (including refining strokes and maneuvers, and safety); and a day-long wilderness first aid certification program.

For further information on the BOW or Beyond BOW programs (including contact information), see below.

Bernadette LaManna is a writer and editor in DEC's Albany office.

How To Participate

If you'd like to attend a future BOW workshop, check out DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/education/68. html. To get an idea of the types of courses offered at a workshop, simply download a pdf of last year's workshop booklet.

This year's workshop will be held September 16-18, 2016 at Greek Peak Mountain Resort near Cortland, NY. If you have questions, please call (518) 402-8862, e-mail us at fw.information@dec.ny.gov (put "BOW Workshop" in the subject line), or write to: NYS Outdoors-Woman, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

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Title Annotation:New York's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program
Author:LaManna, Bernadette
Publication:New York State Conservationist
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jun 1, 2016
Words:497
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