Participants at the 2013 Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program will celebrate its 20th anniversary during a Sept. 26-28 workshop at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton.
For the past two decades, thousands of women have attended the events that offer more than 24 outdoor classes. Participation remains strong. The past six workshops (held over the past three years) have all reached their full registration of 85 participants.
The program provides introductory experiences and instruction for women in outdoor activities. Activities range from the shooting sports to outdoor recreation to nature crafts and skills. Program instructors emphasize the basics while providing equipment. Information also is provided about clubs and organizations that offer more opportunities and instruction. BOW is a national program developed at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“Becoming an Outdoors Woman is a transformative program that opens doors and changes lives,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “Those who have participated have learned new skills, become more confident in their outdoor abilities, and a few have even explored new career opportunities as a result of the experience.”
Participants can sign up for four classes during each three-day workshop. Classes cover such topics as archery, shotgun shooting, wildlife photography, fishing, paddling sports, campfire cooking and more. Program instructors provide a supportive, safe, non-threatening and non-competitive learning environment.
“The program’s success is due to its dedicated and enthusiastic instructors who give participants an enjoyable and lasting experience,” IDNR BOW Coordinator Mitch Ingold said. “We are proud of what the BOW program has done for women of all ages.”
BOW registration for this month’s workshop at Pere Marquette is closed. Those still interested in signing up for the workshop can contact the BOW Coordinator at (217) 782-7026 to see what individual classes are still available.
For more information, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Bow/index.htm.