I grew up with older brothers we all hunted and fished and enjoyed the outdoors together. Being the only girl, I felt I was missing was a BFF’s to share hunting stories and weekend adventures with. I found these women at the first WITO outreach event over 20 years ago. Little did I know then; these women would become “my pack” the best friends a lady could dream of. These volunteers, co-workers, confidants, hunting partners, and participants have become part of my core. I joined the organizing committee that first year, and I continue to serve today.
What does the WITO weekend consist of? Fun – Fun – Fun!!
Registration begins at 3pm on Friday afternoon. Participants then get settled in their cabins and then can get acquainted with the camp layout or try their hand at a craft or shop our famous raffles prior to dinner. At dinner you can network and meet other participants, and then hang around the campfire before retiring for the evening. Saturday consists of 2 – 3-hour classes that you register for, we offer a WIDE variety of offerings. Shooting, archery, fishing, and water sports, hunting, crafts and challenge classes. We encourage you to try new things! Our goal is to keep classes small – generally not more than 15 participants per class. There is a nice break in the afternoon before dinner to relax and socialize. Dinner is shared, raffles are drawn, and the rest of the evening consists of laser shooting or a campfire. Sunday you take another 3-hour class before saying our good-byes.
Don’t you deserve a break from everyday life? We think this is the best medicine money can buy. Leave your worries at home and spend the weekend with us. You will certainly go away with a feeling of accomplishment, comradery, personal growth and with a smile on your face! Take away a refreshed attitude! This is an affordable weekend with food and lodging included. (no dishes, cleaning, or stress)!! I hope you join us on Aug 14-16th, at Crescent Lake Camp up north in Rhinelander WI.
My favorite memories at WITO and important food for thought
- I spoke to a young woman as she participated in a shooting class. She had no previous experience with firearms, she was grateful to learn how to safely handle a gun and not fear it! Her excitement was evident as she successfully hit her target I saw her self-confidence increase shot after shot. Later in the evening we chatted by the campfire about how the event/classes helped her step out of her comfort zone.
- It wasn’t until the next year when the woman returned, she drew me aside and shared about how last year’s event gave her enough confidence to leave a very abusive relationship and start a fresh chapter of her life. Life changing moments can happen!
- Another woman was sponsored to attend the event, she suffered from depression and was contemplating suicide. During the event she found the friendships, support and love with our amazing group of women. She not only turned negative thoughts to positive, but now helps others who struggle with depression. In just a short time we can make positive impacts on others’ lives without even knowing. I believe we need more empathy, compassion and understanding in the world – it starts with each of us!
- Rekindling a mother/daughter/sister/friend relationship. Let’s face it we all struggle from time to time; this event is the perfect opportunity to make some new memories, re-engage, reflect, enjoy and support each other.
- Cabin life can make you feel like a kid again. Jodi got up to use the restroom in the middle of the night, when she returned to her room and quietly crawled up to her top bunk to lay back down found another woman in her bed who then screamed as she felt someone crawling into her bunk. Jodi quickly realized it was her mistake of going into the wrong room, scaring the poor sleeping woman half to death. We all laughed, you may not sleep great at WITO, but you’ve got the rest of your life to sleep! We make memories!
- Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to turkey hunt and LOVE to introduce turkey hunting new hunters! I am very proud to see the women that I’ve taken continue to hunt themselves, and then share the hunting tradition with family, friends and acquaintance. Gobble Gobble!!
Has the WITO program changed me?
Oh, my goodness, Yes! In so many ways. Years ago, I was introverted, I was a follower never a leader, would not consider talking in front of a crowd, I had little self-confidence and never considered instructing others, I rarely shared ideas openly for change. Becoming part of this group, I was encouraged to step into new roles, I accepted the personal challenges and we all grew as a team. Today, I’m happy to say I am not shy, I have become a fearless leader (at work and personally), have no problem addressing a crowd, I enjoy instructing, and I constantly share ideas for change. I’m a stronger woman thanks to the Women in the Outdoor program and the awesome committee.
I believe in the mission of the NWTF to share our hunting heritage, Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt!
Respectfully submitted by, Linda Hinz