Easter Seals Camp Winfield to host all-inclusive weekend for aspiring outdoors women

Hunting camp for women

Aspiring Annie Oakleys will be getting a chance to hone their trap shooting skills in Lake Country next month.

The BC Wildlife Federation is offering a Becoming an Outdoors Woman (Bow) all-inclusive weekend getaway at Easter Seals Camp Winfield on May 13-15.

“Over the past two decades we have seen a massive demographic change, with a growing number of women taking up hunting and angling,” said BC Wildlife Federation executive director Jesse Zeman. “Wild, naturally organic game and fish are viewed as a huge upgrade on factory-farmed food and there is nothing healthier or more rewarding than family time spent safely in the outdoors.”

The weekend getaway costs $420 for BCWF members or $476 for non-members and includes lodging, meals, instruction in four sessions, as well as the use of the equipment and a Becoming an Outdoors Woman T-shirt.

The program has been around since the late 1990s and has become increasingly popular over the years.

Nearly 10,000 women have taken the province’s prerequisite course to become a hunter in the past five years. That includes about 2,000 who have taken and passed the CORE Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education program every year since 2017. Twenty years ago those numbers were under 1,000 per year.

The BOW weekend getaway allows participants to pick four out of a list of several activities from archery, to trap shooting, to axe and chainsaw use and safety and even instruction on how to back up your truck and trailer.

“We’ve had ladies, actually, that have attended that have never sat around a campfire,” explained Bosch. “But I guess a lot of city ladies don’t have that opportunity.”

It’s usually offered every two years at different locations around B.C.. The 2020 camp had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

The official cutoff for registration for this year was April 22, however, only about half the spaces have been filled.

“All our instructors are volunteers, so some of them are still a little bit leery. It’s been hard to find instructors and things like that,” said BOW committee chair Joanne Bosch.

She is willing to allow a few more participants. If there’s too much demand, she’ll have to look at putting on another clinic in the future.

The fee for the weekend covers the cost of lodging and food. Just about everything else is donated by BCWF and the volunteer instructors.

If you have any questions about registration for the BOW all-inclusive weekend getaway at Easter Seals Camp Winfield, contact the BCWF Programs Department at 1-888-881-2293 or [email protected]

Single parents, full-time students and low income earners can apply to have part of the entry fee covered by the Colleen Laviolette Scholarship Fund. Bosch said she has already selected two recipients for this year, but interested women can apply for future camps by sending a written request outlining the need along with a $225.00 registration fee to the BCWF office at 101-9706 188th St. Surrey, BC V4N 3M2.

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