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June 12 - 14, 2009
Lorado Taft Field Campus
Oregon, IL

Cost: $185
Cost includes 6 meals, lodging, snacks, use of equipment/supplies, giveaways, transportation during event.

Registration for new participants is now open for the June 12 - 14 workshop at Lorado Taft.
Returning participants should wait until March 23 to submit their registration form.

Registration Form | Course Description | Itinerary | What to Bring

All classes are first come, first serve until the class quota is met. Please return the registration form (both pages) along with your payment.

Sept. 25 - 27, 2009
Pere Marquette State Park
Grafton, IL
Registration will begin in June
Cost: $135 (additional fees may apply with certain classes)
Cost includes 6 meals, lodging, snacks, use of equipment/supplies, giveaways, transportation during event.

Please continue to monitor this website for further updates. If you have questions concerning the BOW program, please contact the program coordinator at

Itinerary | Course Description

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources invites you to join women from all over for a weekend full of adventurous outdoor activities. Try your hand at charting a course, calling a bird, shooting a bow, firing a shot, tying a fly, catching a fish, paddling a canoe, building a campfire or going on a photo safari. Program instructors provide a supportive, safe, non-threatening and non-competitive learning environment. As you "become an outdoors-woman" you will learn new skills that you can share with family and friends.

Becoming An Outdoors Woman (BOW) is a program designed to give women introductory experiences and instruction in various outdoor activities. Activities range from the shooting sports to outdoor recreation to nature crafts and skills. Program instructors emphasize the basics in instruction while providing information on equipment, associated clubs and/or organizations, and additional training opportunities.

Certain activities offer beginning and advanced levels such as shotgunning I & II or Archery I & II. Activities such as these have prerequisites where you must take the beginning class to be able to participate in the advanced class. The shotgun, handgun, rifle, and muzzleloading classes require participants to have a hunter safety card or take the firearms safety class offered at each BOW event.

Examples of classes offered at BOW events:

Shotgunning I & II Rifle Marksmanship
Archery I & II Basic Camping
Canoeing I & II (river trip) Outdoor Cooking
Basic Fishing Nature Crafts
Fly Fishing Horseback Riding
Orienteering I & II Birding
Handguns Firearms Safety
Muzzleloading Wild Edibles
Outdoor Survival Scuba
Nature Photography Medicinal Plants
Native American Pottery Water Skiing
Biking Turkey or Deer Hunting

“My husband found out about this opportunity on the DNR web site. I attended and found it to be a fun, relaxing, learning experience away from my husband and kids. A chance to do activities I love, learn new things and meet other women (build friendships). It was absolutely wonderful. So much more than I ever expected. The Instructors were good teachers and informed.”

"The program is tremendous! Everybody is super friendly, and the instructors were all very passionate and helpful. I will definitely be back, and I am telling all my female friends about it.”

“My daughter wants me to take her camping. As a single mother, I don’t have time or money to learn these skills individually (camping skills), having so much in a single weekend is perfect. I was nervous about this weekend, but it was a great experience. I will definitely register for other BOW events. Best time I've had in years.”

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