Gone are the days when being a hunter or angler is “a time for the boys”. Luckily, more and more women are getting involved with the many outdoor sports our state has to offer.
During the good run of salmon last year, there were just as many women casting pink Buzz Bombs are guys, and more women are heading off to deer camp with their significant others in the fall.
For those who have not yet ventured out or don’t know where to get started, there is a workshop coming up that can answer many of your questions and get you started on the path to becoming a proficient outdoorswoman.
Located at the Environmental Learning Center in Snoqualmie, the Washington Outdoor Women will be holding their annual workshop at Camp Waskowitz near North Bend. There are expected to be over 125 participants in the many classes available. When you register, you sign up for three 4-hour classes.
All that is needed is the desire to learn and an attitude to succeed. Expert instructors will teach each class and everything is provided, including lodging, meals and a WOW T-shirt.
One thing many women have said is that they would like to accompany their husband or boyfriend outdoors, but have been intimidated getting started. Let’s face it guys are not always the best teachers when it comes to teaching their wives or girlfriends anything. You can take a co-worker out and teach him to cast a fly, but get frustrated when teaching a female companions how to sight in a rifle.
For years we have limited deer camp or a fishing trip to the guys and missed out on a great opportunity to find another activity we can share with our loved ones. Too often when we do invite our female friends, we outfit them with ill-fitting cast off clothing of ours, second- hand equipment, and a fishing pole or gun that fits us just fine, but is cumbersome to the frame of our mate.
The WOW workshops take all of that out of our hands. Everything here is geared specifically for women. You need not have any outdoor experience to enjoy the weekend. For the beginner many of the workshops will be a great confidence builder so the next time you go on that fishing trip of a lifetime, or head out to elk camp, you will be prepared to succeed.
The list of classes covers just about every aspect of the outdoors, so there is plenty to choose from based on what you would like to do. Some of the many classes being offered are as follows:
“After the Catch” will give you the skills on how to prepare the monster you hauled in or show you how to turn the shellfish gathered into a mouth-watering treat.
There will be two levels of Archery (Beginning & Intermediate), that will teach you all the basics and get you practice so that one day you may arrow a trophy anybody would be proud to display. Backpacking basics will allow you learn about all the varied equipment and how to enjoy everything from a day hike in the hills to a camping excursion where what you carry is what you have.
There will be classes on the basics of big game hunting to birding allowing you to identify the many birds that call our state home. Plenty of cooking classes that will teach you how to prepare everything from fish to stinging nettles, plus how to become the talk of the camp with Dutch Oven cooking. You can learn to fish if you never have, or maybe you want to try your hand at fly-fishing. After mastering the perfect cast, take the class and learn to tie your own flies.
Kayaking, Outdoor Photography, Survival Skills, Map & Compass Reading, Shotgun/Clay Shooting, plus many others are the other classes that are offered. As you can see there is there are plenty of options no matter what you like to do or what you may be interested in. Plus you will get to meet and network with over 100 other women who are interested in some of the same things.
This year’s workshop will be held Sept. 20-22 and registration is starting now. Cost is $175 and includes instruction, lodging, food and a T-shirt. Scholarships are available with a deadline of July 23. If you are interested or would like more information, you can contact them at (425) 455-1968 or their web site at www. Washingtonoutdoorwomen.org.
If the future of our sports is to survive, we need to recruit new members wherever we can. If we can increase our ranks with more people who enjoy the outdoors as we do, then the activities we cherish will be around for future generations. The upcoming workshop is a great way for us to get our loved ones interested into the great outdoors.