Classes filled fast for popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program; apply early next year
PRATT — Women wanting to learn more about the outdoors through the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Program will have to wait another year unless they have already enrolled. Although the application deadline is Sept. 4, KDWP has announced that the 2009 class has been full for about one month, and staff are maintaining a long waiting list in case anyone drops out this year.

BOW is designed to provide women a chance to learn about hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation in a friendly, supportive environment. During a three-day workshop at Rock Springs 4-H Center Sept. 25-27, volunteer instructors will teach participants a variety of skills, including fishing techniques, wingshooting, camping, orienteering, rifle marksmanship, botany, dog handling, archery, and more.

KDWP held its first BOW workshop in 1994, so this will mark the event's 16th anniversary.

"We have 125 women enrolled in the program this year," says Ross Robins, KDWP Education Section chief. "Women wishing to ensure themselves a spot in next year’s workshop should check the department's website early next spring. The 2010 workshop will be conducted Sept. 24-26.

"We have the best corps of volunteer outdoor skills educators in the state as partners in this program, many who have been with us since the beginning, so participants really learn a lot," Robins adds.

Studies have shown that many women do not participate in outdoor recreation because they have not had an opportunity to learn the outdoor skills that make these activities enjoyable. The BOW program has shown that when that opportunity is offered, women take advantage of it with enthusiasm and self-confidence.

More information on BOW is available at the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us, under "Other Services/Education/Becoming an Outdoors Woman" or by phoning 620-672-5911.