What: 9th Annual Women in the Outdoors Day
When: June 14, 2014, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Registration by May 31 includes a free T-shirt.
Where: Izaak Walton League, 17100 Griffin Road, Huntertown, IN 46748
Cost: $55 / person or 2 for $100. Registration includes a light breakfast, lunch, four classes of your choice and materials needed for classes, a one-year Women in the Outdoors membership, magazine subscription and a T-shirt. Event held rain or shine; bring poncho, insect repellant & sun block.
Information: Charita Niedermeyer, (260) 484-6041, firstname.lastname@example.org, for a brochure, an application form and more information.
Hey, ladies! Does the first thrill of spring come when your line makes a perfect arc over sparkling lake waters that are home to piscatorial dinners? Or when the satisfying “Thunk!” of your arrow hits the bull's eye of your target, or when your canoe paddles silently down the river under a canopy of summer-green trees?
If you're an outdoors woman, ages 12-adult, you'll be blissfully in your element on June 14 when the ninth annual Three Rivers Chapter of Women in the Outdoors Day swings into the Izaak Walton League in Huntertown.
Charita Niedermeyer, founder of the popular area event, has upped her game this year with more classes designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of interests, including stained glass making, beekeeping, advanced handguns, sand candles, aromatherapy, bow fishing, organic gardening, outdoor cooking and many more.
“I like giving ladies the opportunity to try new things – outdoor things – so that ol' stereotype of 'women don't belong in the outdoors' can vanish,” said Niedermeyer, a longtime member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization that sponsors WITO.
“Whether it's shooting, hunting, fishing, camping or just being a conservationist in general, there is something that can be learned at one of many WITO events around the country. Also, we want to be accessible to everyone. Ladies with mobility concerns are asked to call for more information.”
According to Niedermeyer, who day-jobs as a Pampered Chef consultant, participants who refer brand-new WITO attendees, will be entered in a $100 drawing for themselves and the attendee they are referring.
One of WITO's committee members, Jennifer Krause, has attended the workshops since 2007 and has also been a workshop leader instructing duck tape tote bag classes, woodpecker bird feeders and has helped with basic fishing.
“I have also taken classes in tai chi, RAD self-defense, tomahawk-throwing, wine-making, bat houses, and concrete bird feeders / stepping stones. Those are just a few of the many classes that I've learned new skills from,” said Krause, a personal banker with STAR Financial Bank.
“The chance for women to have an event geared towards them for an entire day is what I really like about WITO. It's an opportunity for them to network and find other women mutually interested in the same activities and to try new classes they might otherwise not have had the occasion to try.”
In the basic fishing classes, for example, said Krause, women learn how to get their fishing equipment ready, to put a worm or bee moth on a hook for the first time and catch a bluegill from the pond they fish in.
“We now have women who are able to defend themselves after the self-defense classes and others who are now able to back up their boats and put them in the water, instead of just holding the rope and waiting for their husbands,” said Krause.
It should be noted that firearms safety class is a must for gun classes. Registrants should note if they have completed a hunter education class or have taken the firearms safety class previously.
Another long-time participant is stay-at-home mom Kristi Perl, who also is a server at Eddie Merlot's.
“I've been with WITO for 4 years now and enjoy the diversity of all the classes from which to choose. There's always something new and exciting to learn,” said Perl, a mom of two with a third due in August.
“We're an active outdoor family camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, fishing, baseball, football and definitely fishing, in case you didn't get that! I've always loved fishing but more so than ever now that we have kids. Fishing as a family is so much fun.”
George Iszo, the consummate sportsman whose significant other Kathy Palyo, accompanies him fishing, hunting and in many other outdoor solitary sports globally is teaching gourmet cooking at WITO for the second year.
“I learned from last year's class that I have to get their earlier so that the food gets done during the class,” said Iszo, who was contacted in San Maarten where he was treasure hunting.
“My philosophy is any day spent walking on soil instead of concrete adds one day to your life!”
Course instructors are both men and women and often conservation officers, said Niedermeyer, and more female instructors are always needed, so if any women are interested in applying for next year's teaching slots, they would be welcomed.
“The biggest thing taken away from a WITO event is the empowerment to go out and do the things that you never imagined you could do before trying them here,” concluded Krause.