Washington Outdoor Women
    Teaching Women Outdoor Skills Since 1998
Past Events
News & Events

Past Events:

Wkend 2011
Wkend 2010

Waterfowl 2010
Wkend 2009
Shotgun 2009
Waterfowl 2009
Wkend 2008
Shotgun 2008
Wkend 2007
Shotgun 2007
Wkend 2006
Shotgun 2006
Wkend 2005
Shotgun 2005
Shotgun 2002
Wkend 2002
Sept 2000
Sept 1999
Shellfish 1999 

Past Events
(Use links below, left to jump to location)


6th Annual WOW Waterfowling March 19th, 2016.


Look at this stunning sunrise? Doesn’t that give you a hint of the beautiful day about to unfold at French Creek for WOW’s Annual Waterfowling Workshop? And a special day it was!

The 30 enthused WOWomen were ready to learn about shooting patterns and moving targets; about setting decoy patterns and wind effects;  about protocol in duck blinds; about successfully working with retrievers, and about safety and awareness in the blind and in the field.

And so they embarked on a day of new experiences and “aha” moments.  Laughter erupted as the women tried their first duck calls! There were unexpected moments (but with smiles) while cleaning ducks, when participants learned how and why you do that a certain way. And after that Field-to-Table session, tasting duck kabobs fresh off the grill brought the big picture of  hunting full circle. WDFW Biologist  Matt Wilson  showed the women the strong connection between conservation and duck hunting. He educated them on species identification, reasons for regulations and ongoing research and education statewide. The WOW, French Creek and WDFW instructors knew exactly what to teach and the results were insight, greater understanding, motivation and fun!

Thank you to French Creek for use of their amazing site, and to those who helped instruct, facilitate and welcome WOW’s future Waterfowlers!  Thanks to Conway Kennels for their dogs and training tips!


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WOW’s 2015 Adult Weekend Workshop

Matching Potential with Opportunity
September 18-20, 2015


Ronni McGlenn, Director

WOW’s signature weekend workshop was held at Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, WA. with 140+ on site. This workshop, 80% of the women participating were new to the WOW program. Sincere in their goal of functioning confidently in the outdoors, a ‘can do’ attitude best describes this year’s women! Their enthusiasm ignited anticipation and excitement and warm camaraderie grew from the first bonfire on Friday night! Eager to learn and willing to ply WOW’s traditional skill building, the participants delighted the WOW instructors with their positive attitudes and determination to learn. Included in the sixteen classes offered at this workshop, were three new additions: Bee Keeping, Duck Hunting 101, and Fire Building. This year, the participants’ curiosity about a skill transferred to spontaneous practice which instilled confidence and led to empowerment. We really did observe potential matching opportunity!

A Breakout Session led by Western Wildlife Outreach and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Enforcement Division highlighted interaction tips for living with bear and cougar.  A popular visitor was  Karelian Bear dog, Savute, with his handler WDFW Officer Chris Moszeter.

An added theme at this year’s workshop was the highlighting of Conservation groups, their important work, and the available opportunities for involvement. Featured deliveries were Audubon of Washington, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, our Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Parks, Washington Wildlife Federation, Washington Trails Association, and the Washington Waterfowl Association.

A sincere thank you to our amazing 2015 Pinnacle Sponsors, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and REI, Inc., and  to the many generous donors of the WOW program.  An RMEF Scholarship grant  allowed 21 women to attend WOW who might otherwise have been unable to do so. REI  provided  headlamps, stuff bags and water bottles for attendees to incorporate into their weekend experience and adventures beyond....


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Big Game Hunting 


WOW’s 17th Annual Weekend Workshop

Mentoring the Next Generation
September 12-14, 2014


Ronni McGlenn, Director

In WOW's 17th year, the '2014 Partnering Workshop' was an inaugural event: a first in which mothers, grandmothers, female relatives and family friends could pair with 8-13 year old girls to promote and further outdoor family traditions. WOW’s vision was to mentor our younger generation and ignite an excitement for the outdoors by helping them gain confidence through hands-on experiences in informative, relevant and reassuring class settings. The goal to this end was to invite mothers and daughters to enjoy connecting with the outdoors and each other by attending this weekend outdoor skills workshop. Casting a fly on the river, cooking in Dutch Ovens, orienteering together through a course after map and compass instruction; discovering and understanding the wildlife signs on a spiked trail, making healing salves from our local plants, making survival shelters in the woods, shooting targets in archery, and learning about the why's and how's of hunting....are just some of the experiences WOW offered as we motivated participants to include wilderness and wildlife in their lives.

WOW's hands-on experiential education meant survival shelters needed to be constructed, tents erected, make-believe wounds cleaned and bandaged, and knots tied - by hand !  These girls learned by doing and that sense of empowerment is priceless. We'd hear our motto throughout the weekend: "I did it. We did it!”  To get young people to root a real love of the outdoors into their lives, to offset the distractions of the digital world...can yield valuable dividends:  for their personal recreational opportunities and for support of conservation and wildlife issues in the future.

These workshop participants were a delight to teach! They were enthusiastically energetic in their approach to new skills; had very good with hand-eye coordination, and were great fun to watch as they experienced new accomplishments with new friends!

Special thanks to The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and to REI, Inc. for their incredible support of the 2014 WOW program: RMEF, for their generous scholarship funding and  REI  for their donation of backpacks and headlamps to make the girls’ workshop experience even more memorable!

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WOW’s 5th Annual Waterfowling Workshop

April 12, 2014


Ronni McGlenn, Director

Once again the day dawned bright and clear at French Creek and WOW launched cheerful participants into the field for a day of shooting, placing decoys, and handling retrievers.  But beginning their day, Biologist Don Kraege of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, presented a power point discussion of local duck species and their unique behavior and habitats; correct hunting etiquette and requirements; and Washington’s Waterfowling regulations.

The day’s group of future Waterfowlers ranged from complete novices to accomplished shooters. After a safety discussion and an example of shot patterning, women enthusiastically broke clays and amazed themselves with their capabilities. Moving targets are a challenge and most made contact and learned why their stance, awareness and timing made a difference. Patient instructors and many opportunities to shoot produced some special memories? Next, visiting a working blind used on the property, talking about protocol inside the blind and setting decoys yielded further understanding of the hunter-waterfowl connection. Moving on to Retrievers, women had the chance to see working dogs in action and then try their hand at over water guidance in the field. A  Labrador, a  Golden Retriever and an Irish Waterdog were the working dogs of the day and participants saw the value of partnership in the skill of waterfowling.  The final station was After the Catch which invited participants to clean a duck and discuss several ways hunters prepare waterfowl for the table.

The day concluded with three presentations: The first by Veterinarian Dr. Casey Kime  included tips for a First Aid bucket in your car; emergency moves for treating dogs in the field or after accidents, and many sensible tips for  safety and nutrition. Secondly, Don Kraege went over a ‘friendly’ test of information gleaned from the day and some surprise items from Cabelas went to happy participants! And finally, everyone gathered to taste the joys of the hunt - roast duck, duck kabobs, and summer sausage! 

It was a fitting end to a wonderful and successful day at French Creek, whose generous hospitality made it all possible. Many thanks to the instructors and team who helped create the success!

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WOW’s 16th Annual Weekend Workshop – Camp Waskowitz 2013

Ronni McGlenn, Director

On September 13-15, 2013 over150 outdoor enthusiasts gathered at the Carl Jensen Environmental Education Center at Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, WA to learn or renew their choice of outdoor skills  and to share and celebrate their enjoyment of the outdoors.

WOW drew 122 participants from 75 different cities and towns in Washington and Oregon. 25 WOW volunteer instructors and a WOW Logistics Team of 13 coordinated the experiential education and the development of the event. In its 16th year, WOW is still providing this learning for women via hands-on application and practice in 18 different class offerings.  WOW continues to stay mission focused: traditional skill building that instills self-reliance, confidence and responsibility in the outdoors. At WOW weekend events,  fishing, hunting, shooting and archery techniques are always class offerings. These traditions are an integral part of our heritage and ones WOW will continue to pass on. Other outdoor skills - map and compass instruction,  backpacking fundamentals, survival education, herbal and wilderness first aid, cooking and preparing foraged food, wild meat and fish, medicinal plants for trailside emergencies - all of these relate to coping in the outdoors and fortifying a woman's sense of being prepared to survive challenging situations.  Because of a 2013 grant from The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for this weekend workshop, WOW was able to award scholarships to interested women who otherwise would have been unable to experience the WOW program.

Especially motivating was a special presentation by Helen Thayer, a National Geographic explorer and bestselling New Zealand author who became the first woman to travel solo to the magnetic North Pole. Her example and her motto: A Goal without a Plan is just a Dream  served as valuable inspiration and a reminder of the ability and initiative within all of us…

Three new additions to the 2013 workshop line-up were a Challenge Course,  Soap Making 101, and a special break-out session by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Bruce Richards and his Karilian dog who assists in the capture of bear and cougar. Once again participant evaluations rated our line-up of instructors as outstanding. One women stated it’s “ the combination of skill-building and community !”  Another said ”Getting out of my comfort zone was empowering”; and another, “it was the experience of spending  all class sessions fully engaged.”

The workshop was a success on several levels but none more important than the women of WOW leaving with a renewed sense of confidence, motivation and investment in their potential…

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Big Game Hunting
Survival 101

WOW’s 4th Annual Waterfowling Workshop – March 23, 2013

Ronni McGlenn, Director

Once again WOW’s Waterfowling workshop defied the wet Spring weather and March 23rd dawned clear, sunny and with only a slight breeze. By the afternoon waders and coats were shed and the blue skies facilitated excellent waterfowl identification! On site, participants from 13 different Washington cities joined six WOW instructors and five Ducks Unlimited (DU) instructors along with WOW’s Logistics Team to round out a perfect day of hands-on education!

First on the agenda was a power point presentation by Graham Peters, a Biologist with DU, on the history of duck hunting, its legalities, the conservation ethic and the beautiful variety of waterfowl we see here in the Northwest. He was assisted by Sara Peters, a Pacific Coast JV Biologist.  The shotgun station allowed a warm-up phase whereby women could get the feel of live firing a shotgun before stepping up to shoot moving clay targets. Decoys and Blinds dealt with proper protocol in a blind and for setting overwater decoys. At station #3 Labrador retrievers charmed everyone with their eagerness, ‘birdiness’ and stamina. Everyone visited actual duck blinds on the way to an adjacent lake to scare way several species of duck with novice calling!


The day ended with a ‘Hunt-to-Table’ session and a chance to pluck a cleaned Mallard and then, coming full circle,  to taste delicious Duck Kabobs a la Rory. WOW’s future duck hunters left with a bigger picture of Waterfowling, its ethics, its traditions and its techniques. With enthusiasm and  determination the WOWomen vowed to put their education into practice come Fall…



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Celebrating 15 years of Washington Outdoor Women !
WOW's September 2012 Weekend Workshop


In addition to celebrating 15 years of the WOW mission in action, this workshop was highlighted by 85% of this workshop’s participants being new to the WOW experience ! The intent of these women to make the experience personal created classes filled with enthusiasm, accomplishment and motivation.  Wet exits in kayaking, bandaging ears or paws on Emma or Bart, creating fire without matches, sore shoulders from  canoeing maneuvers, plaster casts of those cougar prints in Tracking, setting a fly on the Tolt River, building a shelter on their own, trying different tackle in Basic Fishing, making Bruise b Gone Salve, steadying that arrow to a bull’s eye in Archery, investigating gear ‘hands on’  in Big Game, tying a first ever Wooley Bugger, finally “getting it” in Map & Compass, learning those parts in Field-to-Freezer, finding out how delicious a meal in a cast iron pot can be, applying those digital tips in Outdoor Photography, mixing Calendula, Comfrey and Plantain in bees wax and olive oil to make their own Healing Salve, seeing how doing brings confidence in Backpacking, and being amazed by all of Washington’s wonderful wildlife – all of these added up to personal firsts that were enhanced by sunny warm weather.

Thanks to WOW”s outstanding instructors who facilitated all those personal firsts and to the 2012 WOW Team whose efforts made the workshop experience possible. ‘Matching Potential with Opportunity’ – 15 years and going strong….WOW !

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The Wildlife of Wildlife - Living with Cougars & Bears

WOW’s 17th Shotgun Workshop  ~  June 23, 2012

On June 23rd, 27 outdoor enthusiasts gathered at the Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club in Puyallup, WA to spend the day learning handling shotguns!.An enthusiastic class of 16 WOWomen, eight WOW instructors and four WOW team members made for an upbeat and eager group despite the unfavorable weather! Going through a morning of instruction on shotgun safety, gun parts and their function, ammunition, firing mishaps and their reasons, eye dominance, dry firing for awareness and process, the  correct stance for live firing, rules for safe shooting and range protocol – the 16 would be shooters were ready to apply their learning on the Trap line. They began with a balloon shoot to boost their confidence and call into play the combination of aspects for  shooting a shotgun correctly and successfully.  Through rain and wind, persistence won out and women hit clay targets. And with WOW instructors at their shoulders, each shooter assessed her body position, trigger-to-eye coordination, timing and follow-through after each shot. The afternoon was spent on the line, reinforcing what had been shared in the classroom. At day’s end, everyone cleaned shotguns as women recapped their experiences on the line.

Our thanks to the Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club for the donated use of their fine facility. Congratulations to WOW’s 17th  Shotgun class for a job well done… in Northwest weather!

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WOW’s 3rd Annual Waterfowling Workshop -- March 2012

On Saturday, March 24th, the morning dawned sunny and mild – with Mount Pilchuck as a beautiful backdrop over the ponds at French Creek. 35 duck hunting enthusiasts gathered for a day of insight, practice, and motivation.  French Creek, WOW and Ducks Unlimited instructors were joined by Trainer Pat Murphy of Northwest Performance Dogs to round out a stellar group of knowledgeable, in-the-field mentors. These instructors do what they teach and their enthusiasm is inviting and infectious. WOW participants completed five stations of learning:  1) Shotgun – which included a patterning board to display a shotgun’s target coverage and women shooting clay pigeons, 2) Decoys and Blinds which  had participants setting and retrieving  decoys over water and practicing proper blind protocol with open -action shotguns, 3) Working with Retrievers – a real treat to watch a trained, reliable Labrador happily find  and retrieve planted birds  as well as listening to training tips from an expert, 4) Trying one’s  skill with  a DU duck call while identifying sounds and species on Cripple Creek, and 5) cleaning a Mallard and learning tips for do’s and don’ts.  The day ended with a wonderful tasting session of smoked duck and barbecued duck fresh off the grill! The students packed up their waders and headed home, determined to put into practice what they had learned. The day was enhanced by the generosity of French Creek’s hospitality, DU and ORVIS raffle items and the organization of the WOW Team. Perfect weather, a prime location, enthusiastic students and outstanding instructors – it doesn’t get any better than that!

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WOW's 14th Annual Fall Weekend Workshop -- Sept. 2011


 “Thinking Like an Outdoor Woman” best describes WOW’s 2011 participants at the annual weekend workshop September 16-18. These women – sincere in their goal  of functioning confidently in the outdoors – impressed WOW instructors with their hands-on determination to learn. With enthusiasm they practiced wet exits in Kayaking, no-match fire starting in Survival, paddled smartly on Lake Langlois, and were self starters with Dutch Ovens. They tied their own knots, got the 10 and 2 rhythm in fly fishing, made natural lip gloss, cooked wild foods, successfully maneuvered  a Map & Compass course and filleted a salmon. Archers hit the bull’s eye, would-be hunters talked preparation and strategy, and first time trackers found evidence of cougar.

The Saturday evening presentation by Survival instructor and clam enthusiast, Jill Eelkema, got everyone interested in visiting Washington's clam beaches at low tide!  The Lost Art of Clam Digging showed the WOWomen how to identify, find, dig, clean and finally enjoy our wonderful Razor clams. Jill's digital photography made all the difference in seeing the process and verifying how happy diggers use several ways of catching this elusive delicacy!

WOW offered 20 skills courses during the weekend but Sunday afternoon afforded time for two Breakout sessions. Back by popular request was Dr. Casey Kime and his very patient Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bart. Together they conducted another First Aid for Dogs on the Trail session. The American Red Cross generously shared instructor Bev Conrad who led a motivational session on Emergency Preparedness - a timely and important topic. Women recognized that many of the skills taught at WOW have a ‘carry-over application’ in emergency or disaster situations.

One surprise of the weekend was a presentation of the Governor’s Recognition Award to Director Ronni McGlenn. The framed certificate from Governor Chris Gregoire acknowledges WOW’s success in ‘equipping Washington’s women with outdoor skills and inspiring a renewed wonder in our state’s natural resources.’ The program, begun in 1998, continues to grow and reach women statewide.

Genuine interest marked women glad to be at WOW where curiosity about a skill invited actually attempting it.  This encouraged confidence and led to empowerment!  Tawanda!! Opportunity was matched with potential and hands-on practice was guided by WOW’s outstanding instructors!

We appreciate WOW’s 2011 Sponsors and the many workshop Donors and In-Kind givers who helped make this 14th year of the WOW program the best one yet!. Thank you to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) for its grant of 18 scholarships and to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for its grant of two more. The WOWomen of this workshop will be in the outdoors using and sharing their new skills with family and friends.  We are sure of it!

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Governor's Recognition Award
Big Game Hunting Class

WOW's 13th Annual Fall Weekend Workshop -- Sept. 2010


150 outdoor enthusiasts connected, learned, shared and laughed in spite of soggy weather in the shadow of the Cascades. Rainbow trout were caught in Lake Langlois; the Fly fishers completed a ‘long line release’  on the Tolt River; wet exits were executed in kayaking and canoeing; a ‘creative’ traction splint was included in Wilderness First Aid;  Survivalists started fires without matches; the Big Game hunting class talked about 270’s and compound recurves; points were racked up in Archery, elk sausage was made in Wild Game Cooking, Map and Compass students found their way back; Outdoor Photographers rediscovered the capabilities of their digital cameras; amazing dishes came out of Dutch Ovens; Backpackers simulated a backcountry camp; a complete backyard wildlife friendly garden was created from a weed bed; signs of wildlife were identified on the trail; healing salves were made; edible plants were gathered and eaten, and mothers and grandmothers learned valuable tips for taking wee ones into the wilderness. 

WOW’s incredible instructors encouraged hands-on learning with just the right amount of support. It was an outstanding outdoor skills Weekend at WOW!

This year WOW had the pleasure of hosting two women, recently published, who shared their books with those attending the workshop. Jennifer Aist, from Anchorage Alaska, authored Babes in the Woods  which offers sage advice on taking your wee ones hiking, camping and boating. She offers valuable tips and practical solutions to help keep even your youngest  safer, more comfortable and more engaged on family adventures.

Amy Gulick, a WOW instructor for over ten years, authored Salmon in the Trees, Life in Alaska’s Tongess Rain Forest.  Amy’s stunning photography, combined with guest essayists, introduces you to a precious resource where everything is interconnected. She spent over two years in the Tongess documenting this amazing ecosystem. Amy shared her journey with WOW in a presentation at the workshop. Both books are in local bookstores and available through Mountaineers Books, Inc.

In addition to the 20 courses offered during the weekend, Sunday afternoon afforded time for three breakout sessions: Co-existing with Bear and Cougar with Brian Kertson, Wee Ones in the Woods with Jennifer Aist, and First Aid for Dogs on the Trail with Dr. Casey Kime and his very patient Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bart.

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Fly Fishing Preparations
Dutch Oven Cooking

WOW's 2nd Annual Waterfowling Workshop -- March 2010


WOW women pulled on their boots or waders and headed out into the field with us for a hands-on introduction to Waterfowling!  WOW once again partnered with Ducks Unlimited (DU) to offer this popular one-day workshop.  By the end of the day participants were familiar with the history of waterfowling,  its techniques and the theories behind them, its ethics and conservation efforts. WOW and French Creek  instructors and Ducks Unlimited staff helped would be waterfowlers with shotgun patterning and shooting moving clays, setting duck decoys on ponds, the feel of action in a blind,  and understanding (by seeing) why a retriever is such an important partner in this hunting experience.  On a short excursion to  nearby Cripple Creek participants had the opportunity to identify some local waterfowl and try their hand at calling.

This was truly a hands-on, active day, conducted on real duck hunting terrain. It required  taking in a lot of information in  practice situations. But all who attended had the sincere desire to put their newly acquired knowledge to a personal field test next year!

A duck cleaning session and a  recap test at the end of the day brought eight hours of  teaching and camaraderie to a close. Gifts from DU, Filson and French Creek rounded out a day of perfect weather and focused energy!

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Waterfowl identification
 2010 Students & Instructors

   Field dressing and plucking  ducks

2009 September Workshop

     On the weekend of September 18-20, WOW continued its teaching of traditional skill-building to 116 women who wanted to become more self sufficient, confident and knowledgeable in the outdoors. WOW’s Annual Weekend workshop was held at beautiful Camp River Ranch again. The recollection that immediately comes to mind is the resiliency and determination of women eager to learn and having fun while sharing their enthusiasm with others who love the outdoors! The rains of Friday night and Saturday were not a deterrent to the spirit of the 150 on site. Northwesterners did themselves proud. Those from other states now know why we enjoy such a green canopy in the Cascade foothills!

     Kayakers covered Lake Langlois and did their wet exits in the rain. The Survival classes built their earthen shelters under dripping trees. Map & Compass students learned to make that discipline work for them, not confuse them, regardless of the weather! Basic Fishing  students donned their vests and raingear and cast their lines with smiles. The fly fishers did the same on the Tolt River. The Dutch Oven cookers produced  incredible scrambles, breads -  and even cookies. Big Game Hunting students tried appropriate gear and techniques. Wilderness First Aid had women saving each other from physical (hypothetical) calamities! Those in Wild Game Cooking made elk sausage, start-to-finish and the Wildlife Awareness class learned to ID cougar tracks along the river. These upbeat and engaged participants continually impressed the WOW instructors with their positive attitude, focused effort and good natured resolve. In turn, WOW’s instructors earned high marks for their flexibility and ingenuity in using the weather as a learning opportunity.

     26 volunteer WOW Instructors taught women from five states and 76 towns, all facilitated by a volunteer WOW Coordinating Team of nine. Well done everyone!

Click here to see a list of the towns represented by WOW workshop attendees.

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 Building a survival shelter

   Making fire with flint and steel

WOW’s 2009 Shotgun Workshop Right on Target

Ronni McGlenn, WOW Director

     On June 20th WOW’s Shotgun workshop was welcomed to the Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club (TSC). This was our first event at TSC and the invitation proved their positive support and enthusiasm for the WOW program.  It was an enjoyably successful day! A comfortable meeting area for our classroom teaching and two trap lines were made available for our exclusive use. All of this was a donation on the Club’s part and comes with a standing invitation to return in the future!

     After morning instruction that included safe gun handling, learning the parts of a shotgun along with the how’s and why’s of operation, women picked up pumps, over and unders, side by sides and semi-automatic shotguns to get the feel of the different types of actions. (Later they had the option of trying any of these shotguns on the line.) They practiced loading dummy ammo and understanding the safety mechanisms on different shotguns. The next drill, dry-firing while using the correct stance, reinforced the fundamentals of shotgun shooting: seeing the target, swinging to it, finding the timing and reflex to pull the trigger and following through. These were introduced by having the women follow a laser pointer image on the wall that mimicked a moving clay target.

     The weather cooperated for our shooters and after lunch they began their trap line time with a balloon shoot. The women shot clay targets for almost three hours and wrapped up the day with a gun cleaning exercise.

     The June 20th class was a fun, enthusiastic, teachable group with great attitudes! They were good natured,  patient and conscientious about their experience. Congratulations to Renee, Virginia, Suzanne, Joyce, Sue, Bethany, Sara, Janet, Celeste, Emily, Terri, Rebecca and Leigh on their Basic Shotgun Handling certificate. Thank you to WOW instructors Kathleen, John S., Sharon, Cathy, Ronni, Bruce and John M. and to WOW Team members Cindy and Kristie.

     WWF and WOW would like to thank FILSON for their donation of Filson t-shirts and shooting pads….and a resounding THANK YOU to the Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club. We appreciate the upbeat welcome to the clubhouse and trap lines.   Back to Top

2009 Introduction To Waterfowling  

WOW’s newest Workshop

     On April 4th, near Monroe, the day dawned foggy and cold. But as the morning stretched, sunshine cleared a beautiful mountain view over duck ponds at the French Creek Hunt Club.  Thanks to the combined support and effort of the French Creek Hunt Club and Ducks Unlimited (DU), WOW’s first Waterfowling Workshop had begun!  The WOW women donned their waders and headed out  to set decoys and investigate aqua-pod maneuvering, to see how Labradors make all the difference in finding downed ducks and to experience (between bursts of laughter) a try at duck calling. The day also included patterning shotguns, shooting clay pigeons and practicing a hands-on approach to breasting out mallards! It was a full day of firsts for most workshop participants under the excellent guidance of French Creek, DU and WWF/WOW instructors.

      Our thanks to the French Creek Hunt Club for sharing its beautiful habitat and clubhouse and to its members who shared their expertise; to Ducks Unlimited’s Northwest Regional Director, Tom Dwyer, who helped the women learn about the bigger picture of duck hunting by combining the important message of waterfowl habitat and conservation, and to all the instructors who came together to share their knowledge with WOWwomen eager to learn.   

     It was a wonderful day of education, camaraderie, and ‘ah ha’ moments! Great weather helped but the 27 people who came together that day were the makings of a special experience for all !   Back to Top


2008 Weekend Workshop

The 2008 Fall Weekend workshop at Camp River Ranch was an energized event with 90% of the women attending WOW for the first time. 30 instructors, a 13-member WOW Team and beautiful weather helped WOW’s 10th weekend event exceed expectations!  This year WOW celebrated the continuous volunteer contribution of seven of its instructors who have taught at each of the weekend workshops the last ten years! Shelly Ament, Cheryl Drevecky, Carolyn Elder, Amy Gulick, Lori Patnode, Faith Roland and Karen Sherwood were acknowledged during the weekend. And once again, WOW instructors, the solid base of the program and the biggest part of its success, were rated “exceptional” by the 2008 workshop attendees.

Two new classes were added. In Backpacking 102, participants hiked out to setup camp, cook and sleep under the stars, and Level II Situational Survival concentrated on specific life- threatening back country situations. The Dutch Oven cooking classes added campfire and plank cooking to its agenda. The Basic Fishing class donned new fishing vests and caught trout in Lake Langlois. First Aid for Dogs students bandaged a willing canine. Future hunters talked awareness, equipment and ethics while sampling elk stroganoff. Future anglers cast their lines on the Tolt River. Fly tiers showed their patterns with pride and kayakers found the peace of paddling the lake after wet exit exercises! It was a weekend of motivation, discovery and empowerment for many!   Back to Top

2008 Shotgun Workshop

On June 8th, 20 of us gathered at the Renton Fish and Game Range for a day of dealing with shotguns. The WOW participants were eager and interested students. Learning the parts of a shotgun only brought more questions from this group of thinkers – good questions like…Why is a shotgun shell identified by gauge? What prompted the use of that word? Why would I want to use a choke? What type action is the easiest for a beginner?

From safety and gun handling; from understanding improved cylinder to practicing dry firing; from shattering balloons to shattering clays, these women were in it to learn. Their enthusiasm and attitude made the day a real pleasure for the WOW instructors. They now know why safety is paramount, why stance and follow through are so important, how a shotgun works, why they should keep the comb of the stock against the cheek of their face, and how to clean their shotgun. Each of the women earned a Basic First Step NRA certificate and practical rocker.

Outstanding effort Sheryl, Carole, Lori, Maureen, Rebecca, Jeanne, Renata, Lisa, Amber, Linda and Amy! WOW presented the opportunity, you proved your potential!   Back to Top

2007 Weekend Workshop

Since 1998 WOW volunteer Coordinators and Instructors—most of them women—have joined together with a common purpose: to extend themselves in the hope of making a difference, namely, to motivate the women of Washington state to confidently enter the outdoors. In this tenth year of the Washington Outdoor Women (WOW) program, the ripple effect has become apparent and it is a big part of WOW’s success. Young women find a place to begin their outdoor skills training with other likeminded women. Mothers come with their daughters. Single moms come with the dedicated purpose of getting their children into the outdoors – even if they have to do it alone. Middle-aged women value WOW’s use of female instructors. Grandmothers, who now have the time and freedom to renew their bonds with nature, bridge the age gap. WOW alums return with stories of personal adventures…and bring new attendees with them. All of these factors are powerful in themselves, and this combination continues to bolster WOW’s staying power. In 2007, WOW opened the year with a shotgun workshop on March 24th. Participants, guided by WOW’s NRA-certified instructors, proceeded through shotgun safety and operation, and then spent three hours on the trap line with instructors at their shoulders. Although rain fell through the entire day, the enthusiasm and attitude of the shooters overlooked that detail and each one connected with clay targets.

·      “Great fun and right on the mark for skills.”

·      “Catching my first fish on a fly.”

·      “Building a small fire without matches and seeing it catch!”

·      “The skins, mounts, skulls and footprints in Wildlife ID fascinated this city girl.”

These empowering statement from some of the 121 participants who attended theSeptember weekend workshop capture the excitement and enlightenment the women experienced. The beautiful natural layout of Camp River Ranch in Carnation, Washington, set the tone for hands-on learning for women from Washington, as well as several from Oregon and Arizona. Would-be anglers cast their lines on the Tolt River and tied their own flies. Eager backpackers pitched tents and fired up the latest lightweight stoves while Survival Skills students used their new knots to hand-build shelters. Wilderness First Aid students rescued each other! Women talked about stewardship, finding new confidence, cooking in cast iron, and the thrill of visiting with live raptors face-to-face.   Back to Top

March 2007 Shotgun Workshop

WWF’s WOW program began its 2007 year with another successful one-day shotgun workshop, March 24, at the Renton Fish and Game Club. Students follow the NRA First Steps program which emphasizes safety, knowing your shotgun, and learning the fundamentals of shotgun shooting. The course is thorough. It covers the parts of a shotgun, including ammunition and shot sizes, choke functions, action types and rules for safe shooting. These are followed by the Fundamentals of Shotgun Shooting: stance, gun-ready position, swing to target, trigger pull and follow through.

Participants also practice dominant eye exercises and dry firing. After this morning of classroom instruction, the women headed to the trap line to experience shooting moving targets. And even though it rained all day, that factor didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of these participants. Dressed for the weather, these outdoor women were outstanding examples of positive attitudes leading to success! Women tried several models of 12 and 20 gauge shotguns, with differing actions, to shoot clays. Everyone connected! The class concluded with gun cleaning, a discussion on safe storage and transportation, and a certificate and rocker to each participant completing the all-day course.

Well done Stephanie, Debbie, Tiffanny, Susan, Kathy, Donna, Maureen, Caroline, Cathy, Sharon and Cindy and Jon!

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September 2006 Weekend Workshop, Camp Waskowitz

The Right Skills at the Right Pace
WOW’s 2006 Fall Weekend Workshop

Where’s the anchor point? Why is it called open-face spinning? How do I measure steepness, or grade, on a topo? If you attended WOW’s annual weekend workshop September 15-17 at Camp Waskowitz, you’d know the answer to these questions!

Women from all over Washington, as well as from Oregon and Arizona, raised their confidence levels as they re-connected with the outdoors over the course of 2½ days to learn 18 different skills. WOW’s 32 volunteer instructors included Map and Compass, Survival Skills, Fly Fishing, Basic Freshwater Fishing, Archery, Cooking with Wild Foods, Big Game Hunting Basics, After the Catch (preparing seafood), Canoeing, Backpacking, Wildlife Identification, First Aid for Dogs on the Trail, Herbal First Aid, Dutch Oven Cooking, and Birding Basics.

WOW places a premium on teaching women the right skills at the right pace. Our hands-on learning style develops confidence and competence. With 145 people on site, and all the women interested in connecting with the outdoors, the energy at Camp Waskowitz was enlivening and the enthusiasm was contagious. This was a group ready and eager to learn!

In addition to outdoor skills courses, special Break-out sessions were offered. They were Nature Journaling, Creating Your Own Backyard Wildlife Habitat, an open Fly Tying salon, and Amy Gulick’s  beautiful and engaging slide show presentation, Wild Lives.

Another anticipated event during the weekend was WOW’s very special ‘Pass It On’ Kids Basket’ which was chucked full of outdoor activities, camping and fishing equipment, how-to and story books (including an autographed edition) and special event passes. This raffle bonanza was won by a mother of two Wee WOW’s – future Washington Outdoor Women!  Northwest Trek, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Orvis, Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mountaineers Books, Washington Trails Association, American Birding Association, Cindy Brown, Scholastic Press, Seattle Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Washington Wildlife Federation and Washington Outdoor Women  all contributed.

The level of support and commitment from the Washington Wildlife Federation and our other sponsors was again testament to the quality of WOW’s mission. As it has every year since 1998, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided partial scholarships for single mothers, full-time students, and those living lightly. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife again supplied several instructors and equipment. The Seattle Chapter of the Izaak Walton League provided financial support, several instructors and on-site digital photography. The National Wildlife Federation also supported WOW with financial as well as product donation, and on-site help. Our farthest a-field donor this year was Marge Levenson of The Doan Manufacturing Company of Ohio, who provided each Survival Skills student with a Doan Magnesium Fire Starter.

Thank you to all who supported WOW 2006 and to those who helped create and live the memory of another special outdoor experience.

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March 2006 Shotgun/Clay Targets Workshop, Renton Fish and Game Club

Congratulations to 14 women who received their certificates and rockers for completing the NRA First Step (Shotgun) program at WOW’s March 11th workshop…

 The Washington Outdoor Women program began 2006 with a one-day Shotgun/Clay Target Workshop at the Renton Fish and Game Club. 14 participants received one-on-one instruction from ten WOW instructors who are certified to teach the NRA First Step program. With emphasis on safety, education and application, the shooters received three hours of classroom instruction that included safe gun handling, learning how a shotgun and its ammunition work, the fundamentals of correct shooting technique, the reasons for applying these fundamentals, and rules (safety and protocol) of the range. After lunch the women were able to practice target shooting for three hours, with a break to learn how to clean their firearm. The day ended with enthusiastic response from new shooters who could now begin their journey of acquiring confidence with firearms….through continued application of the fundamentals.

Well done Becca, Carolyn, Janet, Jessica, Judy, Kayla, Kena, Kim, Laura, Leigh, Lori, Lyn, Rebecca, and Yolanda!   

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September 2005 Weekend Workshop, Camp Waskowitz

September 16-18 saw 115 women and 31 volunteer instructors participating in  the WWF/WOW 2005 Fall Workshop. The versatile site on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River provided miles of trails in old growth forest, shelters and classrooms for instruction, warm lodging, and rustic places for group gatherings: everything necessary for a wonderful weekend of outdoor skills instruction. Fly Fishing had an open field to practice dry land casting before setting a fly in the river. FFF provided 8 stations for fly tying novices to try their hand with a hackle. Survival, Wildlife Identification, Big Game Hunting/Wildlife Conservation, Map & Compass, Outdoor Photography, and Cooking with Wild Foods all used the outdoors for their classroom. Women paddled canoes on Rattlesnake Lake, cooked Dutch Oven meals, identified animal tracks, tasted wild game, and fired arrows. Field-to-Freezer students learned how to properly cut and wrap meat; Wilderness First Aid participants bandaged each other, and Birders constructed their own bird houses. The Growing Wild class put its new Backyard Wildlife Habitat concepts into place by re-planting the camp entrance with native vegetation to attract wildlife. The Basic Fishing class caught trout on Rattlesnake Lake after learning proper casting technique and bait tips. And After-the-Catch participants filleted salmon, cleaned crab, shucked oysters, and steamed clams. A new class in 2005, Cordage-making, wove lanyards from native vegetation and handmade a cedar pouch for needles or fishing flies. The entire workshop learned about first aid for dogs on the trail and personal self defense in the outdoors or when encountering bear or cougar. The camaraderie around the campfire created many new friendships. Resources provided by more than 50 clubs, agencies, and organizations showed beginners how to pursue any skill of their choice. WOW’s instructors, chosen for their knowledge, experience, and teaching style, do what they teach and they are the best! Many hold state rankings and certifications. All are passionate about the outdoor skill they teach, and willingly volunteer their time and experience to give women the opportunity to gain the confidence they need to approach and enjoy the outdoors.

A total of 18 skills were offered at WOW’s Fall workshop (Click on Course Descriptions to check out the variety).  

Plans are developing for other one day workshops throughout the year. Check this website for future selection and dates.

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July 2005 Shotgun/Clay Targets Workshop, Renton Fish and Game Club

Wow hosted another of its one-day Shotgun workshops on July 23rd.  13 eager and enthusiastic shooters learned important gun handling safety and basic shotgun shills; practiced shooting clay targets, and learned how to clean their shotguns. 

Eight WOW instructors - all NRA certified - and three support team members facilitated this outstanding day at the range.  

Click here to view photos of the workshop.

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September 2002 Weekend Workshop, Camp Waskowitz

Nearly 120 women attended this years weekend workshop at Camp Waskowitz along the beautiful banks of the Snoqualmie River. The 22 courses offered this year - the highest number yet - included After the Catch (preparing and cooking fish and shellfish), Archery (beginning and intermediate), Backpacking Basics, Big Game Hunting Basics, Birding, Cooking with Wild Foods, Dutch

Oven Cooking, Field to Freezer (cutting and wrapping game), Fishing (basic), Fly Fishing (beginning and intermediate), Fly Tying, Kayaking, Map & Compass (beginning and intermediate), Outdoor Photography (beginning and intermediate), Shotgun/Clay Targets, Survival Skills, Wild Edibles and Herbal Medicine, and Wildlife Identification.

WOW's instructors are all experts in their fields and some hold state and national titles.

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June 2002 Shotgun/Clay Targets Workshop, Renton Fish and Game Club

This one-day session focused on the basics of shotgun safety, handling and technique with several hours dedicated to shooting clay targets.

There is no other program in Western Washington dedicated to teaching outdoor skills to women that includes the three disciplines of hunting, fishing and shooting sports. WOW 2001 began its year with a one-day Shotgun/Clay target workshop at The Renton Gun Club in June.

Women were introduced to the basics of shotgun safety, handling, and technique. They had an opportunity for extensive target practice with over 3 hours dedicated to shooting Clays. WOW participants learned how to dismantle a shotgun and clean it properly. A short field exercise taught women to climb a log or fence; walk a trail with hikers in front and behind them and store and retrieve firearms from a vehicle- all while using safe handling procedures.

All equipment and ammunition were provided on site at the Gun Club. All instructors for WOW are WHEIA or NRA certified.

It was a fun and successful day for many who had little or no exposure to shotgun/clay targets. Participants from the workshop called it "excellent reinforcement of the classroom teaching". 

WOW plans to hold future shooting workshops. The dates will be posted on this web site as they become known. The one-day, in-depth workshops are limited to a maximum of 10 participants due to our policy of one-to-one certified instructor per participating student.

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September 2000 Summer Workshop, Camp Waskowitz near North Bend

The Summer Workshop included a full range of course offerings: a Challenge Course course, Map & Compass, Packing with Horses, Survival Skills, Archery, Shooting Sports, Big Game Hunting, Fly Fishing, Fly tying, Outdoor Photography, Backpacking, Birding, Personal Preparedness, Wildlife Identification, Wild Edibles/Wilderness Medicine, and Dutch Oven cooking.

Shooting sports were held offsite at Snoqualmie Valley Rifle Club in Fall City and Canoeing took place on Rattle Snake Lake. The outstanding setting, coupled with our usual fine weather in mid-September, provided the perfect context. 

In all, over 100 women participated, many of whom received special scholarships made available for the first time for qualifying participants.

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September 1999 Summer Workshop, Millersylvania State Park's Environmental Learning Center

On the weekend of September 17-19, 112 women and 37 volunteer instructors participated in WOW's summer workshop. The versatile site, located on Deep Lake, provided large open fields, 7 miles of trails in old growth forest, individual cabins and a main lodge: everything necessary for a wonderful weekend of outdoor experiences.

The weekend offered a well-rounded offering of courses: Big Game Hunting/Wildlife Conservation and Shooting Sports were held off site at the nearby Capitol City Bowmen's Club and Evergreen Gun Club. Fly-fishing had the open meadow to practice dry land casting before setting a fly in Deep Lake. The Federation of Fly Fishers provided 8 stations for fly-tying novices to try their hand with a hackle. Backpacking, Survival, Wild Edibles and Wilderness Medicine, Wildlife Identification, and Outdoor Photography all used the woods for their classroom. 

Women paddled canoes, shot clay pigeons, cooked Dutch oven meals, identified animal tracks, tasted wild game, pitched tents, maneuvered a trailering course, fired arrows, and learned about personal protection when encountering cougar or bear. 

The camaraderie around the campfire created new friendships. Resources provided by more than 50 clubs, agencies, and organizations showed beginners how to pursue any skill of their choice. WOW's instructors, chosen for their knowledge, experience, and teaching style, shined the whole weekend.

Seventeen skills were offered in WOW's 1999 program.

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April 1999 Shellfish Workshop, Toandos Peninsula - Hood Canal

In 1999, WOW held a Spring Shellfish workshop on Hood Canal. With shellfish licenses and hopeful anticipation, women traveled to the tip of Toandos Peninsula to harvest oysters and dig clams. A long sunny day on the beach provided them the opportunity to shuck their oysters and learn some cooking tips.

At the end of the day, a seafood feast offered up fried oysters and a special WOW recipe for steamed clams. Participants took their limits home to delight their families with stories and seafood skills. Instructors Lisa Wood and Anita Cook, biologists with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, took everyone on an educational low tide beach walk to round off the day.

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