Letters from Participants

Thank you Letter from Kristen Hand, 2017 Fall BOW program

Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend the 23rd annual NH Becoming An Outdoors Woman session this September. What an amazing program this is! Everyone and everything works so well together to make this happen. It was awesome to see so many women stretching their boundaries, trying out new experiences, gaining confidence, and smiling!

As a first-time participant, and a shy person in general, I was a little worried about finding my way around and making new friends. I needn’t have worried on either account. People were so open, helpful, and inclusive. Don’t see anyone you know to sit with at lunch? That’s OK, just join a table, and you’ll soon be chatting about something interesting! The class sessions are located in appropriate locations around the camp. Signage and other people always helped me find my way. And having your class schedule actually printed on your name badge – whose idea was that?? Brilliant!! It helped me find other people who would be in the same class with me, or just break the ice when talking with the other attendees.

The instructors are first rate: knowledgeable, supportive, and giving of their time. The volunteers help coordinate what needs to happen. The organizers have it planned “to a T”. Even the location was perfect. I was worried that the Rockywold-Deephaven Camp would be rustic cabins with no electricity or running water (=false!). Rustic to a degree, but perfectly comfortable, with electricity, bathrooms, and running hot & cold water. Most of the cabins are perched with a view of the water. Just beautiful and relaxing. Then there was the food – plenty of options, yummy food, and even (too many!) tempting sweets.

In my classes, I was able to see several women who had never camped before set up tents and tarps for the first time. In fact, I smiled when I heard several times over the weekend, “Take a picture for me, would you? My husband doesn’t believe I actually just did this”. We learned survival skills to help keep us safe, and got to practice fire starting and shelter building. I personally gained confidence in lighting a few different styles of camping stoves – one of my big fears up until now! We got to cook outdoors over a fire, and expand our camping meal choices way beyond the simple fare we have tried before. I can’t wait to try some of the new recipes. In my final class, we got to play several of the games for sharing nature with children. What fun we had exploring the forest in child-like wonder and glee!

I learned new skills, bolstered others, made some new friends, and just generally had a blast! I will be positively raving about this experience for a long time to come. I plan on using my new skills on some camping and hiking expeditions this fall. Thanks to all of you, I’ll be a better prepared, safer outdoors woman. Special thanks also to the supporters of the program: NH Fish & Game, the NH Wildlife Federation, and all the other sponsors!

With sincere gratitude,

Kristin Hand, Bridgewater, NH.



From the 2008 Fly Fishing Beyond BOW program
I enjoyed receiving your photos.  Thank you so much!  I could show them to my husband and sons to give them an idea of our weekend.  My stepson worked at some environmental camp in that area one year and stayed in the cabins across the road from where we stayed.
I have been very busy fishing, that is why I haven't had time to reply.  The weather has been so beautiful.  Last weekend we fished everyday.  On Saturday we fished the back bay area in Wolfeboro right off a dock and caught lots of small fish.  I caught a small, smallmouth bass.  It was the first fish I caught in a very long time.  I was determined after our great class!  On Sunday we put our kayaks in a small pond, Hatch Pond, which is up past Purity Springs.  Didn't even get a bite but the foliage and water were beautiful so I enjoyed that.  My stepson caught a very large pickerel.  It may have been as long as 24 inches.  It was big!
On Monday we checked out a pond not far from where our home in Brookfield is located.  It is called Mountain Pond and is flyfishing only/barbless.  I had never been there.  WELL....what a find!  It is beautiful there and I caught three brookies and loss count of how many I caught that got off right when they got to my feet. (Made it easier than having to take the hook out of their mouth to put them back, so I didn't mind.)
I can't wait to be able to go there next spring to fish again.
Today is the last day of fishing and I wish I had someone to go back to the Mountain Pond with.  It is beautiful up there (slight hike in.).  But I have been unable to find anyone.
So you see the BOW class got me fishing again.  I am hooked and love it!
I sure hope Leslie contacts you with her photos.  She too is probably busy fishing like all of us.
Do you know of any rivers, streams or ponds where you can fish after today?  I keep looking at the NH Fishing Guide.  It tells you where you can't but not where you can.  I will have to check out their web page and maybe I will be able to find something there.  Just in case we have a few more warm days and I could try my luck.
Thanks again.