Nestled in beautiful fall colors and cool temperatures of the Nebraska National Forest, the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) workshop was held last weekend at the 4-H camp near Halsey.
The BOW workshop is a place where women of all backgrounds and ages gather to learn more about the outdoors in a non-intimidating, friendly environment. It is a weekend of hands-on experiences, learning new skills, making new friends, renewing old friendships and having a great time.
I write about this event every year after the workshop, not because writing is part of my job, but because I am passionate about every aspect of the weekend. The workshop empowers women to get outdoors and experience all the wonderful activities and beautiful elements in nature – all in hopes that they will continue in their own outdoor endeavors and pass their new knowledge on to others.
The workshop was a weekend home for over 100 women including mothers, daughters, wives, scout leaders, teachers, women with no outdoor experience and those who are active in the outdoors – all there to share and learn.
BOW is such an inspiring program for any woman, not only because of the information gained during the three-day workshop, but because of the confidence, self-esteem, knowledge and friendships gained. It is very fulfilling to see how much these women grow not only mentally but spiritually from this workshop.
Money cannot buy the look on a woman’s face the first time she breaks a blue rock with a shotgun, hits the target on a bull’s eye with a .22 rifle or bow and arrow, or paddles down the river in a kayak. It is that very look that makes me proud to be a part of this program – giving women the courage and knowledge to do outdoor activities on their own.
At BOW there are no foolish questions or intimidation – every woman can ask questions that she may otherwise not ask and work at her own pace under the guidance of skilled instructors. Some women are unsure about themselves while others are gung ho; either way BOW instructors are there every step of the way to answer questions, build self-esteem and share their knowledge.
BOW gives women the chance to network with other women they meet during the event. With social media and cell phones there are ample ways to keep in touch with new friends from the workshop.
Coming home and looking at all the Facebook posts about the weekend put a smile on my face. For me the workshop truly is about making a difference in someone’s life.
The BOW workshop has taken one more step in getting women involved with the Beyond BOW program. The Beyond program takes the skills women have learned at the workshop and puts them to use out of the classroom.
Beyond BOW takes women on deer and turkey hunting trips, fishing excursions, weekend kayaking and camping trips to name a few. You do not need to be a BOW participant to attend the Beyond BOW outings but there are some requirements that need to be met for some of the Beyond BOW trips as safety is a main concern.
The network of BOW instructors and participants alike have set a new trend by getting women involved in the outdoors. If you would like to learn more about the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program or if you are interested in attending some Beyond BOW adventures check us out for new offerings and information at Nebraskabow.com or on Facebook at Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Nebraska.