Women In The Outdoors: Female-Focused Programs For a Fuller Life

 

It’s 2018. The world has changed from the closed-minded appeal of businessmen and housewives to an open, joyful, and exhilarating world where everyone has the chance to get active and be rewarded with the fulfilling opportunities nature provides us. As part of the movement to empower and encourage women to get active and start participating in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, multiple state programs have been founded to educate women on water fowling, fly fishing, big game hunting, and a variety of other activities.

These programs range from one-day outdoor classes to multi-day camping trips. Through these programs, women are becoming engaged in the outdoors and are learning key tactics like wilderness survival. It’s through these programs that many women are beginning to see how fulfilling an outdoor lifestyle can be. Since many women lack good role models to teach them about the outdoors, these programs are excellent for all ages. Younger girls can even find similar experiences through youth hunting courses and other outreach programs.

Local & National Programs

Almost every state now offers a program aimed at women to teach them how to survive in the wilderness, hunt, or fish. The programs include a variety of skills and the are quickly gaining in popularity. One of the fastest growing programs in the country is the Women In The Outdoors Program offered by the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Before implementing the program, NWTF also supported many smaller programs offered through various foundations. With the national program, they are able to reach that many more women.

The issues that used to plague smaller programs—like lack of media attention—are no more. Since popularity of this kind of program began growing a few years back, multiple programs have taken off at the local, state, and national level. For instance, one newly founded organization, Women Outdoors, works across the nation to promote friendship, adventure, and leadership through programs that organize hiking, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing events.

 

The purpose of these programs is to engage, inspire, and empower women to get active in the outdoors. Many towns and counties themselves have been inspired by the success of national organizations to create their own activities for women. In fact, there’s a good chance you can find a Women In The Outdoors program in your area to teach all sorts of outdoor skills.

What’s Covered?

Every program varies by interest, region, and the organization running it. Some wildlife refuges have sponsored water fowling and hunting clinics for women, while Fish & Game boards across the country have founded multiple fishing and hunting clinics that range from fowling to big game tracking. But, not all programs are devoted to fishing and hunting activities. Many, such as those provided by the Women Outdoors organization, are focused on athletic outings like biking and kayaking. Other programs are not so much focused on teaching the skill itself, but on teaching other skills—such as communication and leadership—through activities such as skiing and hiking. The latter type of program are taken at the community-level and give women an outlet to find friends and network with other women in their area.

How Can I Join One?

If you’re interested in joining a Women In The Outdoors program, there are many ways to see what’s available to you. Depending on the type of program you’re seeking, you can call up your local Fish & Game office directly to see what they have or check online to see if one of the many national organizations has a program in your region.

If there aren’t any programs being offered yet, don’t be discouraged. In fact, you could be the one to start. Even if you don’t have the know-how to lead the class, you can bring a chapter to your region by getting in touch with an organization who offers programs you’re interested in. Just reach out to them and let them know there are interested people in your area who want a program in your town. They can help you assemble a program and find the people you need to lead it.

You can also contact your Fish & Game office and see about having an Officer or Forest Ranger come speak with you and the other people who are interested in your area. If you can get even a short list of interested women who would like to see a local program, they might even be able to set one up for you.

Before You Go

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