Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in the Upper Peninsula

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today registration is open for this summer’s “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” (BOW) program, which is set for June 1-3 in Marquette County.

This will mark the 21st annual summer BOW gathering for women, 18 and older, who are seeking an opportunity to improve their outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere.

“Becoming an Outdoors Woman is a program where each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace,” said Michelle Zellar, BOW program coordinator in Newberry. “The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities and sharing in the success of one another.”

The summer BOW program is sponsored by the DNR and offers instruction in more than two dozen different types of activities, including kayaking, wilderness first aid and survival, lake and fly fishing, field birding, geocaching, shooting sports, boating and introduction to bird hunting with dogs.

“Volunteer BOW instructors provide basic and advanced teaching that is tailored to each participant’s individual ability, helping participants learn the basics in a short amount of time,” Zellar said.

BOW participants stay and take their classes at the Bay Cliff Health Camp, a universally accessible facility overlooking Lake Superior, which is situated about 30 miles north of Marquette near Big Bay.

Participants will be housed in a dorm-style facility with amenities including a sauna, pool, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, along with easy access to northern hardwood forests and Lake Superior.

“The summer program typically fills quickly, so early registration is encouraged,” Zellar said.

The $200 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well as most equipment and supplies. The deadline for registration is May 11. A limited number of BOW Scholarships are available to help low-income participants with the cost of registration. The scholarship application deadline is May 4.

Class information and registration materials are available online at Registrations must be mailed, with payment, to the DNR Newberry customer service center address stated on the form.

For more information on the summer BOW program, contact Michelle Zellar at the DNR Customer Service Center in Newberry at 906-293-5131 or by e-mail at