Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is BOW?
Becoming an Outdoors Woman is an international program usually licensed to US State and Canadian Province Fish & Game agencies such as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The BOW program has also expanded to Australia and the Bahamas. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend workshops offer hands-on classes to introduce outdoor skills to participants. All classes are at the beginner level, geared toward individuals who have little to no experience in the subject matter. The workshop classes focus on three areas: shooting and hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, many of which are useful in the pursuit of fishing and hunting adventures.
Who may attend a BOW weekend workshop?
BOW workshops are designed primarily for women, but anyone 18 years of age or older may participate. Men can and do attend BOW workshops.
What is Beyond BOW?
Beyond BOW events are targeted at providing the next step in practicing newfound skills outside of the initial BOW workshop experience. They may build upon basic skills learned in a particular subject matter at a BOW workshop or focus on teaching a skill that takes more time to teach than is available in weekend workshop classes. Beyond BOW workshops vary in subject matter, length, skill level, and participant age requirements. Some Beyond BOWs are conducted in an afternoon while others may last three days, or take place over several evenings. They may be tailored for family attendance, or strictly for adults. In the past we have offered Beyond BOW classes such as Back Country Skiing, Deer Hunting, Rod Building, Fly Fishing, and more.
Who may attend a Beyond BOW event?
It depends on the individual Beyond BOW workshop or class. Alaska Beyond BOW offerings have included workshops for families, anyone over the age of ten, and strictly for adults over the age of eighteen. Please check the requirements for individual Beyond BOW events that you’re interested in before you register and contact us if you have any questions.
Can my daughter attend the BOW workshop with me?
No one under the age of eighteen may attend a BOW weekend workshop. If your daughter is eighteen years of age or older you may attend a BOW weekend workshop together. Each Beyond BOW event has its own age requirements, which means children under eighteen may potentially be allowed to attend. Please be sure to carefully check these requirements before registering for any workshop.
We want participants to be able to fully focus on and engage in their own learning experiences while attending. The most important reason minors are not allowed to attend a BOW weekend workshop is that program research has found that when children are at workshops it changes the experience for all of the adult women present. Women behave differently than they would if a child were not present and tend to slip into the "Mom" role, even if the attending child is not their own.
Where do I stay while attending BOW?
Winter workshops are traditionally held at Victory Bible Camp in Chickaloon near Palmer. This facility is outdoorsy, yet comfortable. Most participants stay in cozy cabins, but indoor plumbing and showers are readily accessible.
Summer workshops are traditionally held at Lost Lake Scout Camp at mile 306 Richardson Highway between Fairbanks and Delta Junction. Participants may choose to stay in rustic cabins or they may bring their own tent. Indoor plumbing and showers are available, but most of the rest stations are still of the outhouse variety.
Are meals provided at BOW workshops?
At all workshops meals are provided and cooked by camp staff. Again, the focus for the weekend is learning in a comfortable atmosphere.
How can I get involved as a BOW volunteer?
Volunteers are essential for making any Alaska BOW event a success. The program has a loyal following of people who share their time and talents, but we do sometimes have volunteer turnover or openings as we introduce new workshop offerings. If you would like to contribute to the program, there are many ways to do so including, but not limited to, instructing classes. It takes a substantial number of people to make a BOW workshop go smoothly. We are in need of volunteers who can act as expeditors, provide camp and clerical support, provide or solicit donations and door prizes, along with a variety of other skills. Typically, the Interior hosts a summer workshop, Southcentral hosts a winter workshop, Southeast Alaska hosts a spring workshop, and Beyond BOWs occur throughout the year in all regions. Please contact the coordinator nearest you if you’d like to join our team!
Interior Alaska Coordinator: Nancy Sisinyak
Southcentral Alaska Coordinator: Tracy Smith
Southeast Alaska Coordinator: Nancy Long
How can I receive BOW updates?
How much does a BOW weekend workshop cost?
BOW workshops may vary slightly from year to year, but on average $250 covers room, board, instruction, and instructional materials for the weekend workshop. Some classes, such as Fur Sewing and Field Dressing Big Game, have additional fees because the supplies for them cost more.
If I want to cancel my registration, can I get a refund?
Each BOW workshop has a deadline for cancellation. If you cancel prior to that date, your registration fee will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee (no exceptions). Registrants who cannot attend but do not cancel before the deadline will not receive a refund. If you are unable to attend a workshop but have already paid the registration fee, you may transfer your registration to a friend or relative upon approval of the workshop coordinator.
Beyond BOW Cancellation Policy
If you cancel more than 30 days prior to a Beyond BOW workshop you will be refunded your registration fee minus a $15 processing fee. If you cancel 15-30 days prior to a workshop, you will be refunded 50% of your registration fee. If you cancel less than 14 days prior to a workshop, no refund will be issued.