Michigan DNR Program Focused on Improving Outdoor Skills

DNR announces "Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" events, one-day workshops that help women experience outdoor recreation and education in a non-competitive atmosphere.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, MI — June 22, 2021

Outdoor skills are not inherent in our DNA, regardless of one’s gender. Anyone who knows how to tie off a fishing line, read a map, or stalk game was taught how to accomplish those tasks. The perception that boys learn man things, while girls concentrate on domestic skills is not only incorrect but could be considered misogynistic.

Still, because of age-old stereotypes, women might find it uncomfortable to participate in such learning activities with a male-dominated class. The Michigan DNR is working hard to combat these gender misconceptions. Here are some opportunities to learn outdoor basics in a non-judgemental atmosphere.

Photo Courtesy of facebook.com/BecomingAnOutdoorsWomanMichigan/

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program will offer a half-dozen Beyond BOW events this summer at various locations across Michigan.

The BOW program gives women, 18 and older, an opportunity to improve their outdoor skills in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. In addition to being fun to participate in, many of the BOW and Beyond BOW classes offer important outdoor skills, including knot-tying and finding your way with a compass and map.

Photo Courtesy of facebook.com/BecomingAnOutdoorsWomanMichigan/

Please take the BOW Participation Survey to provide important information that will help shape future BOW gatherings.

Here is a list of the upcoming Beyond BOW events:

  • July 24, 8 a.m. EDT. Women’s Hunter/Firearm Safety Workshop, Washtenaw Sportsman’s Club, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 This hunter education field-day course is an alternative to the traditional course. The hunter education information presented is the same as in the traditional course. However, the classroom portion is instead completed online. Students must present a copy of their certificate of completion (voucher) of the online course at the start of the field day. The online course is fee-based and can be taken at hunter-ed.com/michigan/.
  • July 24, Beginner Knot Tying and Map and Compass Workshops, Presque Isle Senior Pavilion, Presque Isle Park, Marquette, MI 49855 (Two separate courses) Participants will meet at the pavilion 15 minutes before class starts. PARTICIPANTS MAY ATTEND ONE OR BOTH CLASSES.
    • Beginner Knot Tying: 10 a.m. to noon EDT. In beginner knot tying, the instructor will demonstrate and teach how to tie various knots that are useful in the outdoors. This is a hands-on class, and you will be provided with rope for practice. Some of the knots demonstrated may include the overhand, square, half-hitch, trailer-hitch, bowline, and figure eight. The focus of the workshop will be on foundational knots and knots with frequent usage in the outdoors, as well as others requested by participants.
    • Beginner Map and Compass: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. There will be three components to the Map and Compass Class. First, we will learn the basics on how to successfully read a map, as well as learn the differences in types of maps and their appropriate usage. Second, we will learn the basics of compass usage and terminology. Lastly, we will put our new skills to practice in a hands-on compass course.
  • July 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Belle Isle State Park pop-up event, Detroit. BOW Committee Members and Volunteer Instructors will have various demo classes available throughout the State Park for visitors on-site. There will be a welcome booth with program information, staff available for questions, and a program suggestion boxThis event is free and does not require registration.
  • August 27-29, 2 p.m. EDT (registration). Independent Rustic Camping Workshop, Rivermouth Campground, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise. Participants will set up camp at the Group Camping Area at the Rivermouth Campground, located off M-123 in Chippewa County. All participants will camp and cook independently in our happy tent neighborhood. This is an opportunity to learn how to set up your own tent, start a fire, cook your food on a camp stove and filter your water in a supportive learning environment. Time to take the lead and become comfortable with all the various tasks required for a backcountry camping trip. Mentors will be available for assistance and will run mini-clinics throughout the weekend to teach a specific skill or share an experience. This is a very hands-on trip. 

Registration materials for the Beyond BOW workshops are available at Michigan.gov/BOW.

The traditional June summer BOW workshop has been moved for this year to Sept. 10-12 at the Upper Peninsula Bible Camp on Farmer Lake in Little Lake, near Gwinn, rather than at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay.

Registration materials for the fall event are expected to be available in early July. Those signed up for BOW email notifications will receive an email when event details and registration materials are available on the DNR website.

To keep up with the latest on BOW, sign-up for email notifications at Michigan.gov/BOW. You can also follow BOW on Facebook or Instagram.

For questions, contact BOW coordinator Michelle Zellar at dnrbow@michigan.gov or 906-293-5131 ext. 4004.