BOW Testimonials

September 2016 - letter from participant

I would like to take this chance to thank you for the excellent instruction we received at the Rappelling 101 and 102 classes.  I feel as if I learned the basics very well and at no time did I ever feel unsafe.  I have wanted to try rappelling for quite a while but never had the opportunity to do so.  Until BOW.  Thank you so much for the experience.  I can't believe how much fun I had.  I certainly made some lifetime memories that weekend and you and your team were a big part of that.

I have quite a few pictures from the rappelling classes. In all of them, the instructors are smiling.  I love the infectious happiness I see in those pictures.  You and your team evidently enjoy sharing the joy of rappelling.

Please convey my appreciation to Brian, Jim, Kent, Austin and Sue.  You have a great team.

Happy Tail Wags,

Debbie, Sundog, and Barney

April 2016

Not only was BOW what got me into flyfishing because I love being on the water itself, it's also the reason I bought my home in the White Mountains!!!  I'm from the Canadian Rockies and love mountains and water so much and not the heat and desert.  After my April 2015 BOW, I asked myself why I was denying myself what I love, started looking for homes and closed on my home only three months later on 7-30-15!  So, you could say that being in BOW cost me an additional $85,000; however, it was more than worth it!

September 2015 - A letter from a September 2015 participant

I just wanted to extend a huge thank you to the coordinators, sponsors and instructors at BOW.  I was born and raised in a family that camped, fished and hunted but I was never really able to do those things first-hand.  In BOW, I felt the courage and strength to try new challenges without being belittled or embarrassed for my lack of knowledge (or skill!).  I want to really really thank you for making all participants feel warm and welcomed which enabled us to push our comfort zone (including going Aussie style!).  I am now an official BOW groupie!

Thank you again! 
Wendy Steward

January 2014 - A letter from a April 2013 participant

Hello Linda,
I do not know if you remember me but I was in your Hunter Ed course at the April BOW seminar in 2013.  I was the one that had the cow elk tag for December in Unit 1. I wanted to let you know of my success and what a great difference your course and instructions made in my hunt.  I was able to get the best Christmas present this year in part to your great advice and my husband’s grand guiding skills.  This was only my second hunt my first was deer hunting in Nov. and I am the first person in my whole family of hunters to get an Elk.

Thank you so much
Amber Parker

Following our 2014 Deluxe BOW a participant writes:

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my weekend.  I have some experience in coordinating events and I realize how much effort actually goes into making them appear effortless as this one did.  You did a beautiful job IMHO.


I initially signed up for Optics as my first session because I wanted to learn what to look for when selecting a rifle scope.  Although the class focused (hah, I made a pun) mostly on binoculars, I learned a lot and when I left for work this morning I had to laugh as my husband was at his desk reading my handout and notes from the class and examining his binoculars.  I still plan to look for Linda at Cabela’s when I am ready to select my rifle scope.  The short hike to the petroglyphs to look for animals was a fun way to try out the different equipment but I must confess I only spotted the antelope and deer.  Never did see the turkeys.


Loved my Beginning Fishing class.  I learned a lot from Bill and Mark and hope to learn more at the April BOW.  This was my first time fishing and it was worth it just to spend time at that beautiful spot on the Salt River.  Watching the horses cross the river and seeing a bald eagle soaring overhead made for some nice memories.  Actually catching a fish was a nice bonus too.  The little guy wasn’t very big so releasing him was as much fun as reeling him in had been.  Because my camera fell out of my pocket and into the river I can exaggerate his size to my family and friends as all photographic evidence was accidentally destroyed.


The Dutch Oven class was awesome and Barb is amazing.  Although preparing the food was fun and educational, the best part of the class for me was watching how she managed the fire and coals.  I never realized cowboy boots were an essential cooking tool!  The second most useful part of this class for me was learning how to clean and care for the pans afterwards.  Unfortunately only a few of us hung around for the cleaning up part.  The class had been a lot larger when it was time to sample the cinnamon rolls.


Mark taught my last class which was Desert Survival.  He covered a lot in a short period of time but the slide show was particularly helpful as was the fire starting demonstration.   My favorite hint that I took away from his class was using cotton balls and Vaseline wrapped in a bit of aluminum foil as a fire starter.  Mark also brought out his hunting map briefly which made me realize I want to sign up for Basic Land Navigation at the April BOW too.


The evening sessions were a surprise to me.  I had no idea I was interested in javelina or stargazing but now I definitely am.  The sessions were inspiring because not only were the speakers knowledgeable and their slides fascinating but the enthusiasm of the instructors for their topics was contagious.  And yes, javelina are cute.  I regret missing the owl talk because I already knew I was interested in learning more about them but we weren’t quite finished cleaning up the pans from the Dutch Oven Class and didn’t get there in time.


Sorry this is so long.  I didn’t intend to write the great American novel when I started this.  Just wanted you to know how much fun the weekend was and what a fantastic group of instructors and speakers you collected.  The setting was lovely and we had a blast. Thank you very much.  And see you in April.  Sam

Following our 2013 September BOW workshop a participant writes:

The women I've met at BOW, as well as the hunting skills I've acquired, have made a difference-a vast difference. BOW women don't judge, and I will pay it forward with every camping and hunting trip I take. The weekends at BOW are educational, fun, and inspirational. I came home last September so ready to hunt! It was wonderful. I was lucky enough to be drawn for elk with my husband. While we came home empty-handed. I learned so much-to finally share hunting with him was really cool. We are planning to apply for Spring hunts - the more the better. I gained experience, and we have fun together. Its a big stress relief valve. BOW has enriched my life beyond my expectations. I am grateful and I thank you.

Alexandra Heath

Following our 2012 Spring BOW a scholarship recipient writes:


I am awe of the experience I had at our camp.


Through the courses I went through I gained so much more confidence and overcame my fear in my life.  I am more powerfully dealing with my challenges and being able to move forward in my life with less resistance even as obstacles happen.


Meeting amazing people added the value to my experience of this powerful camp.


Staff and teachers were very committed and dedicated to assist us with passion and caring.


I received a priceless value to my life and my carrier and I will carry out this value to my practice to help my people around me to empower their lives for sure.


Thank you so much again for all of your effort, passion and dedication in your service.



Yuko Halada

Following our 2011 Spring Friendly Pines BOW:

I wanted to sincerely thank you and the other members of the AZ BOW committee for choosing me as the April 2011 Scholarship recipient. I can't express to you enough how much I appreciated this opportunity to get out and do something fun just for ME.  I had such an amazing time and met so many beautiful, strong and courageous women! The weekend really went by fast!

I am so grateful for the amazing BOW staff, instructors and volunteers. It's obvious that everyone enjoys what they're doing a great deal. There were a number of times that I asked "stupid questions" only to be assured that there's no such thing as a "stupid question".  The instructors were patient, kind, encouraging and knowledgeable. Because of this, I left BOW feeling empowered and confident!  I'm simply feeling a little spring in my step that wasn't there before!

 I'd venture to say that my experience at BOW has been life changing.  Prior to attending the workshop, I had little to no experience with firearms but I have a desire to become a future game hunter and I hope to encourage my 3 sons to join me.  As a single mother I view this as a way to strengthen our relationship as they grow older.  It's also an opportunity to carry on a family tradition.  I realize that I have a great responsibility to raise independent, strong and confident young men.  But, where's an inexperienced outdoors woman to begin (when my experienced hunter father lives in another state)?  At BOW, that's where!  This past weekend at BOW I completed my AZ Hunter's Safety Certification and am excited to begin my journey.  If I hadn't had the opportunity to begin this adventure at BOW I'm not sure I would have done it at all.  I knew I was in a safe, "woman friendly" environment so I set my fears aside and just went for it!

 I truly believe that the BOW program is an amazing gift for women of all ages and backgrounds.  The variety of classes appeals to a wide range of interest and experience levels and offers classes most anyone would enjoy.  I look forward to returning again and again (like many of the women I met who'd been 5, 6 or even 8 times!) and bringing as many women along as I can including my best friend Joanne who's a vegetarian.  She'd love Rappelling, Dutch Oven Cooking, Geocaching, Outdoor Photography, Archery and more.  Actually, I'd love those classes too! 

I look forward to seeing everyone again at a future workshop and will keep you posted as to my progress as I continue my journey towards Becoming an Outdoors Woman who hunts!

Holly Hunter, Scholarship Recipient

Following our 2008 Spring Friendly Pines BOW:

Thank You so much for a wonderful weekend. I enjoyed every minute at the camp and all aspects of my time spent there.  I will definitely be doing more BOW's.  You people have it together and the camp, although primitive, was just beautiful and the weather was great.
Carol Mercer, attendee

Following our 2008 BOW Deluxe:

Many thanks to you and everyone for a terrific weekend at Saguaro Lake.  I enjoyed every aspect of your wonderful event.  I am definitely planning to attend again and will be maintaining a membership in your amazing organization.  My husband was really pleased I got a copy of Amanda’s (Moors) amazing owl video and it was great to be able to share it with him. 
Kathy Davis, attendee

All of us fly fishing instructors had a blast on the river Sunday.  I really didn’t want to come with all the rain, but once we were on the river, the class participants’ enthusiasm was infectious.  Some of them were ill prepared for the rain, others discovered their rain gear wasn’t really all that waterproof, but we had to tear them off the water at noon.  Very impressive bunch of women!  Thanks for inviting us to be a part of such a wonderful group! 
Donna Walkuski, instructor

Just a quick note to say thanks for all of your help and info for both the AZ Animals session and the Geocaching class.  The class was great fun.  I have logged on and gotten ourselves a log in.  Suzi and I have already been out to find our first three!  Yippe!!  Thanks again for everything and hope to see you in April!
Cherie Barker, attendee

Following our 2007 Summer BOW:

I attended last weekends BOW program.  You have to understand that, while I had seen an article about the program a few years ago, I had put it aside.  While I love the outdoors, I don't camp, pee in the woods, or get dirty, and roughing it is a hotel with maid service, AC, and showers more than 2 feet wide. I hike the mountains, canoe, fish, and I'm good with that...

So how'd I end up there?  My insulin runs out at 10 PM each night, and I do some crazy/stupid things.  For some odd reason, I pulled up the website, and before I knew it, I had not only signed up (and paid!), but had sent emails out to my girlfriends asking them to come, too. When 2 responded with a "YEAH! We're in!", I was stuck...

Off I went.  And am I ever glad I did!

I have never met so many inspiring women! To see women from 19 to 76 cruising around, doing their thing, sharing their stories is truly amazing. To then meet the instructors--all of whom volunteered--was even more inspiring.  They made the weekend, and went out of their way more than once. 

For example: Jeff, Michelle, and Elaine in Rappelling kept me laughing and got me hooked.  Linda Dightmon not only let me switch some classes around, she arranged to personally take a group of us out night fishing, though it wasn't a scheduled event (we later backed out, but she was willing to go!).  Amanda Byrnes led us on an awesome Night Hike after our tour guide failed to show, teaching us not only how to find animals in the dark (flashlight by the eyes, not on the ground), but taught us about bullfrogs, owls, and so many other things.  Holly made me about pee my pants, laughing so hard at her skit; and we can't forget Andree and Tice, who made birding fun and I'm so not a bird fan!  (Tyce, by the way, also made me extremely envious: I have NEVER been able to see out of binoculars, and we have nice pairs. One look into her Swarovski's, and it's all I can talk about!). I can't forget Walt, either: After spending 10 years unable to fish with closed reel button rods (I can only do the harder ones, and the kids don't have those kind!), I got it in 10 seconds flat (maybe next time he can help me hook a fish, too).

I want to truly thank you all for putting on such a fabulous program.  I look forward to coming back in April.  And if you can add a BOM or a Becoming an Outdoor Family Program, please do. I'd love for my family to get this experience, and am happy to help at any time.
Christa Lawcock, attendee