Get outdoors with MDC Discover Nature Women’s Spring Workshop

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. -- How about a warm thought as winter lingers, such as a fling outdoors in late April when turkeys gobble, woodland wildflowers bloom and fish are biting? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a chance for women to enjoy a spring weekend afield and learn year-round outdoor skills. A Discover Nature Women’s Spring Workshop will be offered Friday through Sunday, April 25 to 27, at the Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center at Excelsior Springs, Mo.

Women from the MDC staff and expert volunteers will teach outdoor skills such as archery, canoeing, outdoor cooking, using GPS gear, map and compass reading and other activities. MDC will provide gear and hands-on training for beginners, those who wish to sharpen existing skills or those who just want to enjoy an outdoor retreat. The workshop will offer a safe and friendly environment for women to learn and have fun with outdoor skills, Lisa LaCombe, workshop organizer and manager at MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs.

Participants can tailor activities to their interests and skills levels. For example, basic target archery shooting with bow and arrows will be taught. But also instructors will teach how to choose the proper gear that fits the archer, practice tips and how to get started in the sport of bow hunting.

In the canoeing segment, participants will be taught various paddle strokes, safety, water rescue and how to plan a canoe trip on a river.

“We’ll enable them to get down any river in Missouri,” LaCombe said.

Campfire cooking will be taught, such as fixing food in a Dutch oven or in aluminum foil placed on hot coals.

“But we’ll also teach them about wild edibles,” she said, “and we’ll have edible wild plants there for them to identify and sample.”

Basic fishing skills will be taught from catching fish to how to prepare them for the table. For those who are interested in backpacking, a session will include a short overnight hike and campout.

Workshop instruction is free. However, Lake Doniphan does charge for lodging arrangements and meals. Lodging fees will cover all meal costs during the workshop. Lake Doniphan offers campsites, cabins and motel-style rooms.

To register or for more information about the Women’s Spring Workshop activities or lodging, contact Lisa LaCombe at 816-228-3766, or send an e-mail to