Women’s Outdoor Workshop set at Chapman State Park

A new, but familiar Warren County event has some people saying, “Wow!”

The inaugural Women’s Outdoor Workshops (WOW) is taking over for the summer Women In The Outdoors (WITO) events held in previous years.

The event features numerous interactive, hands-on classes Saturday, June 1, at Chapman State Park. “Our event is always on the weekend after Memorial Day,” chairperson Jessica Arnold said.

It is open to women. “It’s just to get women active in the outdoors,” Arnold said, “and for women to have a day to themselves to get and learn something new and enjoy.”

Young women ages 14 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Each participant may select four courses of the 27 offered throughout the day. Each has expert instruction and equipment – kayaks, mountain bikes, and GPS units, for example – and materials are provided. The classes last about an hour and 15 minutes.

“There’s something for everyone – from shooting sports to crafts,” Arnold said. “We have archery, back-yard chicken (raising chickens), geocaching, growing vegetables with a purpose, mountain biking…”

There will also be raffles, programming and activities. Participants who bring a canned good to donate to a local organization will be entered in a raffle. Lunch is provided.

The event starts with check-in from 8 to 8:30 a.m. and will end about 5 p.m.

Classes will run rain or shine.

Deadline to register is Friday, May 24. Pre-registration is required.

Forms are available through the NAOWA Facebook page, the Warren County YMCA, or by contacting Arnold at 814-436-1048 or jesarnold1967@gmail.com.

Funding raised by WOW will be used by NAOWA to continue to host events and as determined by the committee for donations to local organizations and projects.

The organizers and teachers are not paid for their efforts.

“Everybody there is a volunteer. Nobody is getting paid,” Arnold said. “Our whole committee is all-volunteer. All our instructors are volunteers.”

“We formed a new group and offer workshops so we can keep the money local,” Arnold said.

WITO was run through the National Wild Turkey Federation. WOW will be run by Northern Allegheny Outdoor Women’s Association (NAOWA).

NAOWA did not form due to any problems or bad blood with the NWTF. “We formed a new group… so we can keep the money local,” Arnold said.

The mission statement for the group is: “Fostering a love and appreciation of the outdoors and our community through education, recreation, conservation and wellness.”

The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry is serving as NAOWA’s fiscal agent.