Lake Lemon

Becoming and Outdoor Woman

Oh, what a difference a year makes! In October of 2020, I posted a question on Facebook asking if any of my nonprofit friends had heard or worked with a program called “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” or Texas Parks and Wildlife in general? I was interested in learning more about their outreach activities here in Dallas or their affiliate group, I got a tag and some interest but no real information from anyone.

I was born and raised in Texas, and I had never heard of this program until I stumbled upon it on Facebook. It seemed odd to me that this existed and even with my deep ties to DFW nonprofits, no one could share any real insight. The process for signing up for BOW is almost a lottery system. An email goes out to the people on the email list and then it’s posted on social media. I’ve read in several places that the 130 spaces fill up within a matter of hours, so when I happen to see the email come through, I did what I do best, and signed up blindly to head out to Lakeview Methodist Conference Center near Palestine for the first week of October 2021.


"What can I expect from a "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" workshop?"

“Workshops span a weekend, usually beginning on Friday around noon and lasting through Sunday noon. The weekend is divided into four sessions and you pick the classes in which you’d like to participate. Typically, 6-8 classes per session are offered. Class topics are diverse but can be divided into three areas: shooting sports, fishing, and non-harvest activities (like camping, kayaking, and plant identification).”
Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas Becoming an Outdoor Woman Logo
Bunk Beds at Lakeview

I made it through the first gate and was prepared for the next one, rank choice class selections. I got the email and it was spelled out in red, “The faster you fill out all of your documents and SCAN/EMAIL them back to me – the better chance you have to get into your top class choices!” Good for me that I stay up on the computer late, so when the email came in at 11 pm, I had the scheduled downloaded and back uploaded within the hour. I was set on doing recreational water activities because I’m not quite ready for shooting sports or field dressing. (If you don’t know what it is, I’ll let you google it.) Needless to say, I got my first class choices, Kayaking Basics, Boater Education, and Woodworking for Wildlife. For once, it pays to be a night owl.

Mission complete, I have registered, and I got my top classes. But now I must figure out what to pack. The registration documents reminded you to bring your pillows, bed linens, and towels. This was no stay at the Hilton! Although I found out on day 2 some people chose to stay at a hotel “in town” and just drive in for the classes. As soon as my ears heard that, my back was already started shouting out credit card numbers. But I was already in waist-deep, so I just filed that information away for another day.

The conference center is about what you expect from a small-town college campus. The dorms were your standard-issue twin bunk beds. The good news is that we got the whole bunk to ourselves, so no one had to suffer the indignity of climbing into the top bunk. One night in a twin bed and my creaky, dancer body and cranky back were none too pleased. But I made the best of it, I found a set of twin Kate Spade sheets exactly like the ones I already had at Homegoods and my dormmates were all normal and most importantly friendly. (You never know in these situations.)

What I was not prepared for was the food! I knew we would have cafeteria food, but I came of age when high school and college cafeterias had multiple choices and I could cobble together a gourmet meal out of most fixings. So I only traveled with my trust shaker of Lawry’s and a few outdoor snacks. It was more like an elementary school cafeteria. There was one main entrée, a cold item, and drinks. Not soda, not any particular brand of drinks but general “from concentrate.”

I have a confession to make, I stopped drinking juices “from concentrate” almost a decade ago. These are my confessions, but I won’t apologize for it, we all have our issues…I’m Orange Juice bougie.

It was only then I started to wonder if I had signed up for prison.

Then I finally went to a class!


More to come in, Lady Take a Bow: Part Two!





  1. Lady Take a BOW: Part Two | Lady Banks Living - […] Continued From Pt. One […]

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