Women gather at Camp Winfield for a weekend of outdoors training and confidence-building

Women hone outdoors skills

Cindy White

From starting a campfire, to fly fishing techniques and even how to skin a beaver.

Dozens of women spent the weekend honing their outdoor skills at Easter Seals Camp Winfield.

It was the first BC Wildlife Federation Becoming an Outdoors Woman (Bow) all-inclusive weekend since the pandemic.

Andrea Parnell from Cranbrook is a first-timer and heard about it on the internet.

“When I saw some of the courses they offered, they all sounded so interesting. Things that I wouldn’t really have the opportunity to do on my own. So, I signed up right away,” she said.

Andrea wants to be more independent when she goes out camping or hiking, instead of always having to rely on others who are more experienced than her.

Despite the chill in the air, there was plenty of laughter and a lot of learning and confidence-building.

“A couple years ago, we were up camping in the middle of nowhere – my husband’s an outdoorsman. And I was just super uncomfortable,” explained Christy Arsenault.

“There were some pretty big bears around us and I realized I needed to educate myself.”

She grew up on the coast and knows a lot about boats and the ocean but very little about hunting and other skills necessary for survival in the wilderness.

The BCWF hosts the event every two years but had to postpone the 2020 camp because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past two decades we have seen a massive demographic change, with a growing number of women taking up hunting and angling,” said BCWF 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.”

To find out more about the next BOW weekend getaway go to the BCWF website or contact the programs department at 1-888-881-2293 or [email protected]

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