The final day at Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) in Arizona September Camp was a full half day of events. There was no slowing down with sessions that included an early morning bird walk and a ropes challenge course.
With binoculars in hand, I met the birding group near the totem pole at 6:30am. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman instructor had extra binoculars for those campers who did not bring theirs. I learned to listen for bird calls/songs to help identify the species of bird. Our group would walk a bit in the woods and then stop to view through our binoculars to located birds in the trees. Once someone found bird we would all look at it and the instructor would share with us the bird name and information about the bird. Such as its hunting patterns, territory area, food, etc. Since this was my first bird walk, I did not remember the names of the birds, however, we were emailed the list and here are the 10 species of birds that we saw.
- 4 Acorn Woodpecker
- 1 Northern Flicker
- 6 White-breasted Nuthatch
- 1 Plumbeous Vireo
- 4 Red Crossbill
- 1 Common Raven
- 6 Pygmy Nuthatch
- 4 Western Bluebird
- 5 Lesser Goldfinch
- 1 Western Tanager
After the bird walk, I had a delicious healthy breakfast and then headed for a short 5 min walk down the hill to the meadow where the ropes challenge course would take place. The rope challenge course was not a rope tying class, as some of the campers were expecting. Instead, it was a series of group and individual confidence building challenges that encourage cooperative problem solving and individual risk-taking. We, the campers, were completely safe at all times with harness, helmets, and safety lines controlled by the instructors. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman instructors went over safety equipment and techniques at the beginning of the class.
Then we paired up to start the first challenge. The campers are harnessed in with a belayer (an instructor) and each camper climbs up a tree that has little side steps. Then the campers exchange trees by walking on a plank or jumping to the opposite tree. My awesome partner Janet and I chose to jump from tree to tree and it was exhilarating.
The 2nd challenge was to individually climb a tree and then zip line over the meadow. This was fun to cheer for joy (or scream really loud) as you are flying through the air.
The 3rd challenge had 3 elements. The first element was to walk on a thick wire and grab thick plastic pipes (that were as tall as you and the pipes are hooked at the top and bottom to the thick wire) and to then walk to the next one and so on. The second element was to walk on the thick wire and use up to 5 ropes that were hanging only from the top wire to walk across. The third element was to use a rope that was very long that was tied from one side of the element to the other and to use that rope to walk on the thick wire. We had enough time for me to complete 2 of the 3 elements and they were fun because I like being high in the trees to look around.
After the ropes challenge class, I headed up the hill to our final meal of the weekend – lunch. At the lunch, the Becoming an Outdoors Woman instructors thanked everyone for attending. They shared a few stories of fun scenarios that took place over the weekend. Then they bid us a farewell. I headed back to my cabin and packed up my belongings and headed to our carpool vehicle. The ride home was a fun time because all four of us took different classes and we each shared what we learned. I felt like I was in those classes too because of the wealth of knowledge shared.
The weekend was a success. Personally, I grew as a person with my new knowledge. I am excited to practice my skills in the real world.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) in Arizona September Camp Day 3
Are you comfortable with highs? Would you climb a tree with a harness and an instructor controlling the safety line?