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Blackwater Falls State Park hosting ‘Becoming an Outdoors-Woman’ workshop

Workshop set for April 7-9; Registration closes April 3

DAVIS, W.Va. – Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) invites women to give hunting, fishing and other outdoor interests a try with a little help from knowledgeable instructors and mentors. Registration is underway for the 2017 April 7-9 event at Blackwater Falls State Park, with a deadline of April 3.

The WV Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program encourages women to participate in outdoor activities at two weekend workshops a year designed for hands-on training in an atmosphere where women can have fun learning new skills. The BOW program is looking for women (and men) who are at least 18 years old and are interested in improving on an existing skill, learning a new skill, and/or are looking for the camaraderie of like-minded individuals. Each person is able to participate in four half-day courses along with special activities each night. Classes include: hiking, biking, camping, shooting, fishing, and outdoor cooking.

BOW is an outdoor initiative organized by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

“BOW activities encourage women to become more comfortable with outdoor interests,” said Sissie Summers, spring BOW event coordinator. “The weekend introduces women to outdoor activities that a person can do just about any time of year.”

All classes are in-depth, three-to-four hour units that cover a specific outdoor oriented activity. The class sizes have a low instructor-to-student ratio and include fishing, outdoor survival, map and compass, canoeing, birding, Dutch oven cooking, motorboat operation and safety, hiking, beginning fly fishing, nature photography and fish canning. BOW weekend includes three classes, optional beginning fishing class, activities, survival skills, special guests and other outdoor-oriented interests. Other offerings are char cloth and scats, skins and skulls, and a program on the presence of feral pigs in the United States and West Virginia.

“It is an opportunity to try new things such as canoeing or learning to build a campfire with limited materials. The bigger focus is learning to be comfortable trying the skill again after BOW,” said Pam Smarr, volunteer coordinator and an instructor since the early 1990s. “It’s also important to have fun and some conversational time over meals or sitting around a campfire telling stories and roasting marshmallows.”

The registration fee includes two nights lodging at Blackwater Falls State Park, five full-meals, refreshments, all equipment, BOW swag, taxes and gratuity, special programs and class instruction. To attend, women must be 18 or older and make reservations with Blackwater Falls Lodge by April 3, 2017. The cost for two people sharing a room is $250 per person; cabin accommodations are also available. Call 304-259-5216 to make reservations. BOW information is available at

About BOW
The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program began in 1991, when it was first offered through the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  The program was created as the result of a study conducted by Professor Christine Thomas, which determined that women preferred to learn hunting, fishing and outdoor skills in a noncompetitive atmosphere along with other like-minded women.

Weekend-long workshops are held across North America annually. The traditional workshops introduce women to a variety of activities balanced between hunting and shooting, fishing and non-harvest sports like canoeing and camping. Participants choose from a list of outdoor related activities to participate. BOW welcomes women ages 18 and older from all backgrounds to enjoy camaraderie. No experience is necessary.

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