2017 Fall Doe Camp Course Descriptions

Sept. 15 - 17, 2017. Save your spot early.
VOW, P.O. Box 10, N. Ferrisburg, VT. 05473-0010

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Note: Most classes will be held rain, hail or shine!  Make sure you have warm layers and rain clothes.  You’ll receive more class specific information with your confirmation. 

* = Confirmed

Physical Levels:

E= Easy         M= Moderate       D= Difficult



* Archery All Levels: (E/M) (All equipment supplied but you can bring Your Own)
The archery class teaches positioning of a person's body, proper alignment of their arms with the bow, and address the focusing of their eyes in conjunction with proper targeting position. It also teaches proper draw alignment and the length of the bow. (Experienced archers will also benefit.) It involves listening and following instructions at the beginning; but once a person gets comfortable she is able to practice on our targets. The instructions usually take approx. 30 minutes and the rest is practice shooting. Max: 12, Instructors:
Linwood Smith, Archery & Pro Shop from St Johnsbury, VT


**If you are participating in any of the fishing classes, be SURE to purchase a fishing license PRIOR to arrival at Doe

* Boat Fishing for Trout and Bass: (E)
Become familiar with the art of fishing with artificial lures aboard the boat: "WildFisherWoman", a 16 foot Sylvan, equipped with downriggers. This hands on experience will cover downrigger/trolling techniques for trout and other cold water fish species. Max. 3, Instructor: Cheryl Frank Sullivan, AKA "Wild Fisher Woman"

* Fly Fishing: (E)
Beginners will learn to fly fish with our unique training techniques and this is also a great refresher course for individuals who have some experience. This program will teach you some basic elements of fly fishing which includes three different casting strokes, knot tying, fly selection and identification. Max. 12,  Instructor: Karen Guile


* Becoming a Deer Hunter: What the total beginner needs to know. (E)
(E) Do you dream of hunting your own wild meat but don't know where to start? Hunting Guide Mary Murphy has taught many women the essential skills of deer hunting and guided them to their first successful kill. In this workshop she will help you understand the steps to success: what you need to know about hunting laws, finding land to hunt on, finding deer in the woods, guns and bows, other essential hunting gear, and what to do after you've shot your buck. We'll also make room for a discussion of how ethics and spirituality impact our hunt. What you should bring: Enthusiasm & Questions. Max 10, Instructor:
Murphy Robinson, Mountainsong Expeditions, 


* Functional Fitness for Outdoor Activity (M)
(Bring fast-wicking attire and footwear for outdoor physical exercise)
Learn and explore the fundamentals of all-around functional fitness for outdoor activities, and recommended principles of a simple but effective fitness program. Emphasis is on bodyweight exercises you can perform anywhere. Addresses power, strength, endurance, flexibility/range of motion, and breathing techniques. Includes basic exercises and movements individually and in pairs. 1.5 hours presentation and discussion with practice. Max: 12. Instructor: Bill Atkinson, Elemental Edge Training

* Basic Land Mobility Skills (M)
(Bring fast-wicking attire and footwear for trail running)
Learn the fundamentals of posture, breathing and use of the senses while moving in open and closed areas, individually, in pairs, and as a group. Covers stride rate and pace, and good walking and jogging form and technique. Includes practical to learn your own pace count over a given distance in varied terrain. 1.5 hours presentation and discussion with practice. Max: 12. Instructor: Bill Atkinson, Elemental Edge Training,

* Basic Water Mobility Skills (M).
(Bring swim gear, consisting of suit (Speedos or similar recommended), swim cap, goggles, and swimmer wetsuit if needed))
Learn the fundamentals of body position, breathing, swim stroke, and swimming on course in open water, individually, in pairs, and as a group. Covers basic swim stroke, and efficient form and technique. Includes practical to learn how to gain and maintain calmness, and get ashore when you fall in fully clothed. 1.5 hours presentation and discussion with practice. Max: 12. Instructor: Bill Atkinson, Elemental Edge Training,

* Cold Exposure: How to Adapt and Overcome. (M)
(Bring fast-wicking, breathable layer clothing and footwear you use for outdoor activities)
Learn about body heat loss through exposure to cold on land and in the water, its impact on physical and mental function, what to do before it’s problematic, and how to resolve cold exposure, with or without assistance. Includes practical performed individually and in pairs. 1.5 hours presentation and discussion with practice. Max: 12. Instructor: Bill Atkinson, Elemental Edge Training.


* Basket Weaving (Introduction to Basket Weaving: (E)
Learn to weave a simple basket. Basket weaving is fun, practical and a great way to exercise your creative side. Caution: basket weaving is addicting and you may never clean your house or cook another meal again! Max: 10 Instructor: Johanna Laggis

* Birding Brousseau Mountain (E-M)
Description: Join Bird Diva, Bridget Butler, for a morning of fall birding as we look for migrating song birds and soaring raptors. We'll head to Brousseau Mountain for a short, but incredibly scenic trail hike to the summit where spectacular views can be had from the top of mountains' extensive southern tip climax. This spot is known for its nesting Peregrine Falcons and is closed most of the summer to allow for successful nesting. Sturdy hiking shoes recommended. Please bring water and an extra layer in case it's windy up top. Limit to 10.
Bridget Butler, AKA “Bird Diva”

* Birding the Averill Ponds (E-M)
Description: We'll head off-site to cruise the wetlands and creeks surrounding Great Averill Pond, Little Averill Pond, and Forest Lake. Any combination of shorebirds to waterfowl to warblers could be expected to pop up on this afternoon birding adventure. Limit to 10.
Bridget Butler, AKA “Bird Diva”

* Building a Harmonious Labyrinth, (M)
We will talk about why Labyrinths are one of the earth's greatest mysteries. The class will build a labyrinth. We'll use the theorem of Pythagoras to mark a perfect rectangle on the grass with nails in each corner. The accurate placement of these axis nails is crucial for constructing this perfect harmonious 48 foot Labyrinth. Enjoy walking the finished labyrinth during Doe Camp weekend. Max: 15, Instructor: John Wayne Blassingame, 

* Know Your North Woods: (E/M)
Take a walk in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom and learn to identify trees, shrubs and other plants. We'll teach you how to confidently identify Vermont's common north woods species and how they fit into the forest ecosystem. As we walk along we'll discover wild edibles, beautiful ferns and trees about to change into their autumn splendor. Instructors Barbara and Johanna have many years of outdoor experience between them and are eager to share their knowledge about everything that pops up on our walk. Max: 12 Instructors: Johanna Laggis & Barbara Schultz

* Nature Photography: (E/M)
Indoor presentation covers the basics, including understanding camera settings, artistic impact of photographs, and seeing and creating photographic opportunities around you to capture the nature and wildlife images you envision. Time in the field to follow to practice these techniques. Please bring a camera. Max: 12 Instructor: Heather Forcier


*Equipment will be provided. However, if you choose to bring your own firearm, be sure it is properly transported and stored with security lock and/or a lockable storage case. Bring a cleaning kit, two boxes of new factory loaded ammo, shooting glasses and hearing protection rated at 21 decibels or above. 

Advanced Level shooters will be given longer range targets.

* Advanced Clay Target Shotgun Class, Intermediate/Advanced
The primary focus will be shooting a variety of clay targets. You should have previous firearm safety and shotgun shooting experience prior to this class. We will start with basic fundamentals for success in hitting clay targets. Technical skills such as: leading the target line, determining lead in the front, break point, hold point & look point will be covered. Varying speeds & target presentations will keep the challenge exciting. This 3 hour class will "fly" by.
Max 10 Instructor: Brent Allaire 

* Clay Target Shooting (Beginner) (E) Intro:
Beginning with basic firearm safety, become familiar with shotguns, loading, unloading and safe handling in a real setting. Learn about the different shot-gunning clay fields of trap, skeet, and sporting clays. We will learn shooting techniques, have the opportunity to develop or improve marksmanship, and discuss how to find a range or club in your area and what events are available on both a local and state level for women interested in additional instruction or competition. You will have a "blast" shooting fast moving clay targets. Warning --- Clay Target shooting can be very addictive. Max 10 Instructor:
Brent Allaire 

* Handgun Skills & Marksmanship: Intro: (E)
Beginning with basic firearm safety, become familiar with pistols, loading, unloading and safe handling in a real setting. We will learn shooting techniques, have the opportunity to develop or improve marksmanship, and discuss how to find a range or club in your area and what events are available on both a local and state level for women interested in additional instruction or competition. Max: 10 -  Instructors:
Mariah Mitchell, Larry Hamel & Aaron Cochran

* Muzzleloader Skills & Marksmanship, All Levels: (E)
Take a step back in time to learn about the pioneers' most important tool - the muzzleloading rifle. Gain experience; learn safety and proficiency with the modern caplock, traditional flintlock and matchlock muskets. Max: 10 -  Instructors: Larry Hamel

*Rifle Skills & Marksmanship Intro: (E)
Beginning with basic firearm safety, become familiar with rifles, loading, unloading, and safe handling in a real setting.  We will learn shooting techniques and positions, will have the opportunity to develop or improve marksmanship, discuss how to find a range or club in your area and what events are available on both a local and state level for women interested in additional instruction or competition. Max: 10 - Instructors:
Mariah Mitchell, Larry Hamel & Aaron Cochran



* Basic Dowsing Workshop, (E)
We will be using the "4321 method" of teaching Basic Dowsing. This is an introduction to dowsing and you'll learn 4 basic dowsing tools: The Y Rod, the L Rod, the Pendulum and the Bobber. Three basic methods of dowsing include Field, Information and Map Dowsing. Finding water well sites and other targets including Health Dowsing. Hand crafted Dowsing tools will be available for use during the class and available for sale after class. Max: 15, John Wayne Blassingame 


* Camp Fire Cooking for All Occasions, (E)
Whether fueling yourself on a solo wilderness excursion, including children in creating a campsite feast, or catering a meal for a large group, a camp fire is all you need! We'll cover food and fire safety considerations, menu planning, tools of the trade, and how to maintain and control your fire for the best results. Please come prepared to cook (and eat!), in long non-synthetic pants if possible. Max: 12, 
Zev Alexander


* Compact Car, Canoe & Kayak Camping, (E)
Why limit yourself to developed roadside campsites? Picking the right gear and planning properly can open new worlds of camping opportunities for you and your friends and family. Max 10, Tim Jones and David Shedd


* Coping With Critters While Camping:  (bears, coons, mice, blackflies, ticks, etc) (E)
Learn the AAA (Avoidance, Armor,​ and Alchemy) strategy for minimizing unpleasant encounters with everything from bears, raccoons and mice to blackflies, mosquitoes and ticks. Max 10, Tim Jones and David Shedd

* Game of Logging & Chainsaw Safety: (M)
Start with the basics of chainsaw handling, safety, and maintenance. Each participant will run the saw, making several cuts. Bring suitable boots, eye protection, work gloves, long pants, and chaps if you have them. Some safety equipment will be provided. Northeast Woodland Training works with anyone who uses forestry equipment. The three objectives of our training: Safety - don't get hurt or hurt a co-worker, Efficiency - Get the job done in a timely manner, Quality - When working in the forest, keep any negative impact to a minimum. Max: 10, Instructor: John Adler,
Northeast Woodland Training, Inc.,


* Log Rolling (M/D)
The sport of log rolling grew from the logging industry from the early 1800’s. Moving 100,000’s of logs down river, loggers sometimes had to run out over floating logs to release log jams – a dangerous job that required bravery, strength, and agility. Log rollers today don’t need to be brave - this unique sport is not only safe but also a ton of fun! Log rolling promotes balance, agility and coordination, leg and core strength, and cardiovascular endurance. Participants will learn the basic steps of rolling on traditional milled red cedar logs and on the new synthetic Key Log. Max: 12, Instructor: Danielle Rougeau

* Panning For Gold Introduction (M)
Gold panning introduction class will include instruction on use of a gold pan with hands-on practice, a demonstration of sluicing and other techniques of gold recovery. Total participant involvement is encouraged. Advanced class will include a trip to a proven gold-bearing stream with actual digging for gold. Max 15,
Instructor: Vernon Crawford


* Peaceful Paddling:  (Bring swimwear, a wetsuit, or fast-wicking layer clothing).  Basic paddling on SUPs or kayaks will be demonstrated and taught.   Participants will learn how to prepare for a paddling adventure (sizing of paddles, gear, safety) and the basic techniques of paddling (mounting, standing, paddling, turning, stopping, how to fall and remount).  Then participants will get to experience a fun paddling adventure out on Lake Wallace.  Max:  8 SUP, 8 kayaks.  Instructor:  Sheli Aldridge,


* Primitive Fire With Bowdrill (E/M)
Friction firemaking was the way of our ancestors, and we can reclaim an incredibly sacred connection to the element of fire by relearning this ancient skill.  In this class we'll discuss which local tree species are best for bowdrill sets, introduce you to the parts of a set and how to make them, learn about harvesting and preparing the tinder nest, practice proper technique for easier firemaking, and learn how to turn your friction ember into a flame!  The class is taught by Mary Murphy, who has spent many winter months cooking all her food over bow drill fires.  She knows the tricks that can allow anyone to have success with this ancient skill. Maximum: 8  Instructor:
Murphy Robinson, Mountainsong Expeditions,

* Solo Camping, (E)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a night in the woods completely alone? No one to worry about but yourself! We'll show you some equipment that will make you more comfortable, talk about how to plan a solo adventure, and help you prepare for "the sunset syndrome." Max 10 - Tim Jones and David Shedd

* Traditional Ax Skills Every Woodswoman Should Know (E)
(E) In these days of power tools ax skills are dying out, but there is no more versatile tool for working with wood in the backcountry. Your ax can help you harvest wood for winter camping, cut poles to erect a wall tent or tipi, create stakes for camp shelters, and keep trails clear of blow-down trees in any season. In this class we will learn about selection, care, and sharpening of your ax, and then practice the traditional skills of felling, limbing, and bucking up a small tree, plus advice on splitting wood. You will learn proper body mechanics that allow you to use your ax more effectively, using the weight of the ax head and gravity instead of straining your muscles. If there is time we may also demonstrate re-handling an ax. What you should bring: Dress for the outdoors but prepared to strip down your layers as you get warm swinging an ax. You are welcome to bring work gloves, safety glasses, and a hard hat (but we will provide these as well). You are welcome to bring your own ax, or you can use one of ours. You are also welcome to bring and old ax-head (there's usually one kicking around in every old barn) and a new ax handle (available at many hardware stores) and Mary will help you re-handle your ax after the class. Maximum: 8  Instructor: Murphy Robinson, Mountainsong Expeditions,