When it comes to learning the traditional skills of hunting and fishing it can be an intimidating experience for some women. But thanks to a backcountry retreat called Doe Camp, adventurous women 18 years or older are introduced to a wide variety of outdoor activities by passionate and experienced instructors.
It wasn’t that long ago that seeing a woman hunting was a rare sight. However, today females are the fastest growing demographic in the sport, and are now commonly seen in the field and hunting camps across the state. Keeping this trend alive is important to Fish and Wildlife departments across the country. But it’s also important to the women who want to share the thrills and empowerment enjoyed by the sport with their female friends and daughters. We head out fall turkey hunting with long time huntress Wendy Butler.
Barbara Cochran is a member of the famous Skiing Cochrans family. Cochran's Ski Area was established in 1961 when Mickey and Ginny Cochran purchased an old hillside farm along the Winooski River in Richmond, Vermont. Transforming the land with the family's hard work and Mickey's gifts as a mechanical engineer, the ski area consisted of a couple of backyard trails and a short rope tow so their children and neighbors could enjoy skiing and race training.
In the next decade, the ski area helped put all four of the Skiing Cochrans on the road to Olympic and World Cup success as members of the United States Ski Team, which Mickey coached during the 1973/74 ski season. Barbara Ann captured the Olympic gold medal in slalom in 1972 and the facility grew to four lifts and eight slopes attracting a loyal contingent of children and families from around Vermont.
Cochran also has her own business, Golden Opportunities in Sports, Business, and Life, which teaches people how to handle the pressures of competition, work, academics, and any other obstacles that life throws at you.
A Vermont Technical College graduate in automotive technology, Pollitt, 34, dreamed of opening an all-girl garage offering full service car repairs. After working at well-established dealerships around the state but dissatisfied with working in traditional male-dominated garages, she took the leap and opened her own shop in South Burlington with the help of her business partner and mother, Donna. Girlington Garage offers free car care clinics to educate and empower car owners and prides itself on its transparency of service and sensitivity to the needs of female car owners who may feel intimidated by mainstream garages. Although her garage is not completely all-female due to a lack of skilled female technicians, Girlington Garage is going strong with plans to open a second shop.
See Photos from the Car Tuning Workshop
MacLean ran two successful elections for Governor Peter Shumlin as his deputy chief of staff and secretary of civil and military affairs. Thirty year-old Peacham, Vt native, MacLean was also aide to House Speaker Gaye Symington. She recently left the governor's office to supervise the $600 million Northeast Kingdom Economic Revitalization Initiative that hopes to draw foreign investors to develop a region spanning from Jay Peak to Burke Mountain.
Only 26% of the country's college presidents are women, a number many say is very low considering 57% of the student body in higher education is female. But Bennington College's ninth president, Coleman is among the longest-serving college presidents in the country. She has just announced her intention to retire on June 30, 2013, following her 25th year in office.
Coleman's tenure coincides with Bennington's most significant period of growth in the College's 80-year history. Since her inauguration in 1987, the College has raised more than $175 million; six new buildings have been constructed, all of them award-winning. Under the tenure of President Elizabeth Coleman, Bennington College actually reduced its tuition. And applications for admission have doubled, bringing enrollment to an all-time high.
Among the pioneering curricular programs launched are a top-ranked low-residency graduate program in writing and the ambitious Center for the Advancement of Public Action, which has garnered national attention. It invites students to put the world's most pressing problems at the center of their educations. Coleman's vision for the liberal arts and their role in reinvigorating society has been widely recognized. She speaks internationally on the topic, and concluded the 25th anniversary TED "Ideas worth Spreading" Conference in Los Angeles.
Learning traditional outdoor skills such as hunting and fishing can be an intimidating experience for some women. The National Wild Turkey Federation offers a program to help women gain confidence and experience in a number of outdoor activities including target shooting, fly fishing, kayaking and tracking. In this segment, we spend a day with the Vermont chapter of the Federation for their "Women in the Outdoors" program.
Trying any outdoor sport can be intimidating. But for women it can be even tougher because of a lack of instruction in traditional outdoor sports. But there are a growing number of resources available for women who want to learn how to tie a fly, shoot a bow or just survive in the wild. One of these resources is Doe Camp — an annual summer weekend of outdoor sports instruction put on by Vermont Outdoor Woman. Here women can learn about sports that are usually perceived to be male-oriented, such as hunting, fishing and shooting, in a relaxed, non-threatening environment. Host Marianne Eaton attends Doe Camp 2003 to learn a little about shooting, survival, fly-fishing and other outdoor sports.