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Becoming an Outdoors Woman

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​​Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is a program designed to give women introductory experiences and instruction in various outdoor activities. Three-day weekend workshops include classes ranging from outdoor recreational activities to shooting sports to outdoor crafts and hobbies. Program instructors emphasize the basics in instruction while providing information on equipment, associated clubs and/or organizations, and additional training opportunities. Workshops are open to women 18 years and older. Meals, lodging, transportation during workshops, giveaways, and use of class equipment & supplies are all included in the workshop registration fees. Workshops fill up very quickly so keep an eye on this website for updates and workshop registration materials.

September 8, 2020

No more registrations can be accpeted for the September 25-27 workshop at Touch of Nature / Giant City State Park.

JULY 27, 2020
We are proceeding with setting up a BOW workshop at Touch of Nature / Giant City State Park scheduled for September 25-27, 2020. Here are the initital details associated with the workshop.
1. The workshop will have a maximum of 50 participants.
2. If there are more than 50 registrations submitted, we will have a lottery and pick the 50 participants invited to attend.
3. Participants will follow all established workshop guidelines and procedures upon arriving at the workshop. These guidelines 
    and procedures will be provided in the workshop registration materials so everyone will be informed before they register. 
4. Registration will begin as soon as registration materials are available on this website. 
5. Because of the special circumstances and tight timelines we are working with for this workshop, there will be NO REFUNDS 
    once you have registered for the workshop and been confirmed as a participant after the lottery. IF the workshop is cancelled
    by IDNR, full refunds will be given to all workshop participants. If you are chosen in the lottery but decide not to attend, your 
    check will be shredded. All people registering for the workshop but not picked in the lottery, your checks will be shredded. 
7. Because of unknown circumstances with Covid-19, this workshop may be cancelled at anytime. We are doing our best to 
    offer another safe and enjoyable BOW workshop but will also follow all guidelines and directives given to us by Governor
September 25-27, 2020 Becoming An Outdoors Woman Workshop Registration Materials
After reviewing the Workshop Class Descriptions form, please fill out both pages of the Workshop Registration Form and mail it, along with your check for $245, to Attn: Mitch Ingold / BOW Coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks & Recreation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL  62702. The workshop registration lottery will take place on August 17, 2020. All people registering for the workshop will be notified by August 18, 2020 whether they were selected for not.  
Mitch Ingold
BOW Program Coordinator
217-782-7026 (O)
217-529-7528 (C)   


September 2019 BOW Workshop at Touch of Nature Environmental Center

BOW Sept 2019.JPG
We had the largest group at this workshop since moving the southern location to Touch of Nature ... 93 participants signed up for the workshop. There are so many events and fun things to do in southern Illinois in the fall that we are really happy with the rising numbers at this workshop. Not to mention, we had more first timers at this workshop than we've had for several years. Good job getting the word out ladies! We had several new instructors join in who maintained our reputation of having top notch instructors at our workshops. THANK YOU to all of our instructors and Touch of Nature staff for assisting with another quality workshop. It's really satisfying to see all of the smiling faces on Sunday when everyone is wrapping up and heading home. Have a great fall season and I hope to see you all at a BOW workshop in 2020! 


June 2019 BOW Workshop at Lorado Taft Field Campus

As you can see from the above pic, there were a lot of participants at the June 7-9 workshop......95 to be exact! We received a window of good weather which was out of the ordinary for what northern Illinois had been receiving for the last three months. We certainly had a fun and enthusiast bunch again, not only in the classes but everyone stepping up in the raffle as well. The workshop raffle brought in close to $2,800 for the program. Great job ladies! Registration for the Sept. 27-29 workshop at Touch of Nature in Carbondale, IL will begin sometime in early July. Please pass the word on that and look for the registration materials on this website. I hope all of you participants enjoyed the June workshop as much as I did. THANK YOU to all of our workshop instructors, raffle donors, Lorado Taft staff, and Joel & Taylor for their contribution to this workshop. Hope to see you all at a future Illinois BOW workshop! 


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