As children growing up, we spent many a weekend on the river. Although I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have, I now look back, and going fishing with my dad in the canoe was the best. Even the trips where we pitched the tent in the snow bring a smile to my face; and remembering the cold, I may even shiver a bit. I still try to go out with my dad as much as I can. Since my husband likes to float and fish I figured we could start building fond memories of our fishing trips together. That didn’t quite work out as I planned. Any tension between partners in an outdoor setting just seems to magnify. I teach camping, archery, fishing and other outdoor skills to the public for the Department, but put my husband and me in a canoe and it is a frustrating day for both of us. Kayaks may have saved our marriage.
I find that many women would enjoy going out fishing, shooting, hunting or exploring the woods with their husbands but just lack the experience. Men or women are very willing to teach their partners for the most part, but the day may end up with both partners frustrated and wanting to give up and never, ever do this again.
This is where the Discover Nature programs come in. These programs are a great first step to exploring that new skill you have always wanted to try. The Department recognizes that not everyone had a dad, mom or grandparent who passed along their love of the outdoors. Fortunately, there are many Department employees who are willing and have the patience and the experience they are willing to share.
Think this might be for you? Twin Pines Conservation Education Center is hosting an outdoor-filled day for women on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will be doing a bit of archery, air rifles, Dutch-oven cooking, fishing, GPS navigation and wild edibles. For more information on this workshop or other opportunities available from the Missouri Department of Conservation, contact the staff at Twin Pines at 573-325-1381 or go to http://mdc.mo.gov.