What do archery, zumba, bats and potpourri have in common? They are all programs offered for women at the annual Experience the Outdoors event at Hervida 4-H camp.
The event, now in its 12th year, is an educational program designed to teach outdoor skills to women age 14 and up, according to coordinator Suzi White. This year's event will be held Saturday, May 19 at the camp in Waterford.
"It's a very relaxed day to come and get away from jobs, family - and for women to enjoy things they don't always have access to," she said.
Photo submitted by Suzi White
Angela Wilson learns to tie a knot at last year’s Experience the Outdoors event at Hervida 4-H Camp.
For $30, women can register for four sessions, including archery, rifle shooting, outdoor survival techniques, cooking with flowers from the woods, zumba and more. The cost includes materials needed for the day, lunch and a t-shirt.
"Each session is 1 1/2 hours. We try to vary the themes every year, though we do try to have some kind of shooting, nature-oriented craft, cooking and healthy exercise," White said. "Our shooting instructors are women and all are certified through the (Ohio State University) Extension office."
Other instructors are found through word-of-mouth, trying to find people in the field of expertise who are located fairly close and even through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
If you go
- What: Experience the Outdoors, an educational event in which to learn various outdoor skills.
- When: Saturday, May 19, rain or shine.
- Who: Women, ages 14 and up.
- Where: Hervida 4-H Camp, 1260 Camp Hervida Rd., Waterford.
- Cost: $30 for session materials, t-shirt, refreshments and lunch.
- Registration and more information: http://washington.osu.edu/events/experience-the-outdoors or Suzi White at 585-2639.
"The trick is finding a good instructor, someone who can talk to people, who is knowledgeable and makes the women feel comfortable," White said.
Around 40 to 50 women typically sign up for the event, including many repeat visitors.
Diane Erb, 51, of Whipple is one of those repeat participants.
"I've gone for 10 years and the very first year was my first time to shoot a rifle, a handgun and a shotgun," she said. "I wasn't very good at first but now I own my own shotgun and I enjoy hunting."
Erb said that shooting is an activity she can enjoy with her husband and she appreciates the different things she has learned over the years. She has even brought along two sisters in years past.
"There are a lot of women who will bring daughters or granddaughters," said White. "We have all ages from the teens to older women."
To sign up for this year's Experience the Outdoors event, women are urged to contact White at 585-2639 or visit the website of the Ohio State University Extension Office for Washington County - a partner in the event - at washington.osu.edu/events/experience-the-outdoors.
"It really is a great time and I hope that more women will come out," said Erb.