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Bridges to BOW and the Making of an Outdoors Woman

November 29, 2022 7:47 AM | Anonymous

Bridges to Bow has been such an amazing and inspirational force in my life! I am originally from Louisiana, and had never been camping before I moved to Arizona. In fact, camping and outdoor activities were seen as something out of reach for people like me. Attending Bridges to B.O.W was the jump start I needed to really have confidence and begin enjoying the outdoors. During my first B2B experience, I took classes on backpacking, gun safety, and wild skills. Watching the instructors and asking questions in a safe non-judgmental environment was exactly what I needed.  The added comfort of being with a group of young women with a similar background as me also helped. I was able to attend classes and then discuss what I learned with other women of color. Since attending my first B.O.W., I have taken several camping and off roading trips with my wife. We've grown comfortable with starting and putting out campfires, setting up a tent, and packing the right materials for a few days out in the wilderness. We have now visited Chiricahua National Monument, Petrified National Forest, Kartchner Caverns, Vermillion Cliffs, and many other beautiful Arizona landscapes and heritage sites! We've also continued to volunteer with Bridges to B.O.W. by recruiting and helping with Bridges to B.O.W. campouts. Recently, Bridges to B.O.W. went to Oakflat campground where we learned about conservation of water in the area and protecting Indignous land from mining and other corporate interests that will negatively impact ecosystems there. Long story short: I feel like an outdoors woman! And I can't wait to continue exploring and learning about Arizona landscapes and wildlife! Big thank you to B2B, B.O.W, and Arizona Wildlife Federation for making it possible. 

With lots of love! 

Candace Banks

Protecting wildlife and their habitats through education, inspiration, advocacy, and action since 1923


Arizona Wildlife Federation

PO Box 1182,  Mesa, AZ 85211
(480) 702-1365


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