Winter Doe Camp at the Hulbert Outdoor Center

Course Descriptions for 2016

Winter Doe Camp will be held on March 11 - 13, 2016

Winter Doe Camp is a women's weekend retreat for outdoor skill development, adventure, health and just plain fun. Classes include winter survival skills, sports, nature and health programming.

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Physical Levels:

E= Easy         M= Moderate       D= Difficult

Note: Most courses will be held regardless of weather conditions! This schedule may change due to number of participants, instructor availability, and Vermont inclement weather changes. This is a general overall course list. Please refer to the registration page for letting us know what subject of courses you are interested in attending. You’ll receive more class specific information closer to the weekend.


* Archery For All Skill Levels:  Confirmed
(E) 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.  If you already shoot archery but want to hone their skills, try something different, or tune their equipment. This class is a favorite for many avid archers and is a great family activity.  Participants should bring their own equipment to get the most out of this course but we can supply some bows.  Instructor: Linwood Smith, Archery & Pro Shop from St Johnsbury, VT Limited to 10 per class.
Please Note: This class is held in an indoor heated facility, approximately a 40 minute drive from Hulbert Outdoor Center. If you sign up for this class on Friday, you can drive there before registering at Doe Camp. We encourage ride sharing to and from camp. Directions will be provided.

Sports and Recreation

* Advanced Snowshoe Techniques, Confirmed
(M - D)  Snowshoeing on gentle terrain is almost as easy as walking. But what happens when terrain and snow conditions are more challenging? We'll show you the latest in snowshoe designs and discuss which boots will keep your feet warm and still give you the ankle support and edge control you need. Then, we'll put on snowshoes, grab trekking poles and go looking for deep snow, breakable crust, steeps, sidehills, brooks and logs to cross and other fun challenges. We'll take along some heavy women's winter packs so you can practice with those, and even a pulk you can try pulling. If there's time and the snow conditions are right, we'll also have a chance to play with some sliding snowshoes. Come dressed for several hours outdoors in any conditions. Bring your own snowshoes if you have them (we'll have extras) and, if you have your own large backpack, load it and bring it along. Instructor: Tim Jones and David Shedd, Limited to 10 per class

* Becoming a Deer Hunter: What the total beginner needs to know. Confirmed
(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 Instructor: Max: 10 Mary Murphy, Mountainsong Expeditions, 

* Dog Sledding, Confirmed (Rides will be dependant on weather conditions and availability of snow.)
(M) Dog sledding is an ancient sport that is growing in popularity throughout the northern states. Join a seasoned musher for a session on topics such as choosing dogs, handling dogs, sled basics, types of sleds and how to manage a team. Participants will get hands on experience with these social and lovable northern breed working dogs. Come prepared to fall in love with the dogs. Instructor: Kathy Bennett 

* How to Pick, Pack & Carry A Winter Backpack,  Confirmed
Winter is a time of extremes; if you want to leave the road behind and travel safely and independently on skis, snowshoes or crampons, you need to carry extra food and water, appropriate clothing, and some basic survival gear. That means you need a backpack. And, since winter gear is always bulkier and heavier than the summer equivalents, it's probably going to need to be bigger and capable of comfortably carrying more weight than the daypack you use on summer day hikes. Winter backpacking is another world, too. The ultra-compact, ultra-light pack you can carry in the summer may work for the extremes of winter--or it may not.
These days, there are lots of backpacks made specifically for women. We'll show you what manufacturers mean when they market a pack as a "woman's backpack,” help you decide on the size and features you need. Then we'll show you how to load it efficiently and fit it to your body for comfort.
If you already own a backpack (or several!) bring them to class and we'll help you assess them for fit and winter suitability. While this is primarily an “indoor” class, we may have time to take a short hike with backpacks, so come prepared. Instructors: Tim Jones and David Shedd,  Limited to 10 per class

* Ice Fishing, Confirmed
Learn how to drill holes in the correct spots, set tackle, types of bait and general techniques for staying warm and enjoying our frozen lakes so that you can catch fish in the Winter! Instuctor: Bradley Carleton, Sacred Hunter -
with Cheryl Frank Sullivan. Limited to 10 per class

* Introduction to Lightweight Winter Camping, Confirmed
(E)  Have you ever dreamed of winter camping with your family or friends, exploring the beautiful winter wilds on skis or snowshoes, then watching the sunset from your tent...but thought it would be too cold, the gear too heavy? The staff of  will show you the lightweight gear, clothing, and accessories (even packable woodstoves that run on branches you break off trees!) for safe, easy, comfortable winter camping. Together, we'll set up two complete winter campsites, one with a heated tipi and one with a conventional tent. We'll show you how to safely and comfortably ease into winter camping as you grow your confidence and skills. We'll teach you step-by-step how to stay warm, dry, and comfortable, even in unexpected weather. Bring along any gear you own, and we'll help you assess whether it's appropriate for winter use. Come dressed for several hours outdoors! Participants will have the option of spending the night in one of the camps we set up; contact us in advance about space and what personal gear to bring. Instructor: Tim Jones and David Shedd,
Limited to 10 per class

* Introduction to Primitive Biathlon: Confirmed
(M) From Start to Finish, Strategies for Participating in a Primitive Biathlon Participants will learn basic firearm safety, marksmanship tips and strategies for enjoying a great winter event or becoming down right competitive – you choose! A blast from the past, using traditional flintlock rifle or percussion rifle and loading methods. Learn to throw a tomahawk for extra points. A timed biathlon, or off the clock woods walk option to simulate actual biathlon experience.
Instructor: Wendy Butler, Max 6 Participants

Introduction to Snowmobiling, Confirmed, Description to be Posted

* Nordic Skating, Confirmed
Experience the centuries old art of Scandinavian style cross country skating. Learn how to skate efficiently and safely across all types of ice surfaces. Be able to take your own “wild skating” tour. Depending on the ice conditions, Lake Morey will have a 4 mile loop for us to enjoy! Instructor: Jamie Hess, The Nordic Skater, 
Limit is 10 people

* Spring Turkey Hunting, Confirmed
Learn how to cluck, purr and gobble with the best of them. Turkeys are very communicative and their vocabulary is very specific – even to the tone of each individual bird. At certain times of day, hens will be singing sweet love songs, while jakes will be challenging each other with a fighting purr. When it comes time for the Ol’ Boss Tom to seek the dominant hen it’s a very heated dialogue, not unlike two star-crossed lovers meeting for the first time. Come join the fun and learn the language of Meleagris Gallopavo (Eastern Wild Turkey) while practicing the seductive language of love in the spring. Max students: 8, Instuctor: Bradley Carleton, Sacred Hunter -

* X-Country Skiing, Beginner and Intermediate Classes, Confirmed
(M) Propel yourself along snow covered terrain using skis and poles. Enjoy Lake Morey or other parts of our 1000 acre wilderness on skis! This course is for beginners to intermediate who are excited to learn technique. Max: 10,  Instructor: Bonna Wieler,

Firearms Classes

*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. 

* Handgun Skills & Marksmanship, All Levels, Confirmed
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. Instructors:
Larry Hamel, Dick Bayer,
Limit is 10 people

* Muzzleloader Skills & Marksmanship, All Levels:  Confirmed
(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.  Instructors: Larry Hamel,
Dick Bayer,
Limit is 10 people

* Rifle Skills & Marksmanship All Levels: Confirmed
(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.  Instructors: Larry Hamel, Dick Bayer,
Limit is 10 people

Winter Survival, Health and Nature

* Backcountry First-Aid & Emergency Preparedness  Confirmed
Before you embark on your next adventure, why not gain the skills and know-how to confidently deal with whatever surprises might arise? This workshop will give you an overview of how to recognize and address common medical issues that crop up in the backcountry – and, better yet, how to avoid them in the first place! We will discuss what you need to bring for a comprehensive (but light-weight) backcountry first-aid kit, as well as how to improvise with natural materials in emergency situations. While you won’t earn a formal certification, there will be plenty of time for your questions and practicing splints on your new friends! Bring your backpack with whatever you usually take on a day hike. Max. 10 (Open to all levels)  Instructor:  Fallon Abel 

* Cheesemaking at Home, Confirmed
Cheese, like bread and wine, is one of those marvelously complex and diverse foods rich in history, tradition and flavor. Everyone has developed some sort of relationship with cheese, for better or for worse. If homemade dairy products interest you as a hobby, as a form of self-sufficiency, as a way to impress dinner guests or as one of the few old world food traditions relatively untouched by time—or even if you just like to eat cheese and are curious about it—this is the workshop for you. We will sample several different kinds of cheese in our quest to understand how they are made, and by the end of our three hours together you will have tried your hand at queso blanco, mozzarella and camembert, and you'll be able to take home the fruits of your labor.
Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

* Bookbinding: Making a Nature Journal 
Enjoy a playful morning of texture, color, and creativity! We will explore several different strategies for making hand-made books. Using simple tools such as needles, thread, awls, and glue you will create and personalize single signature books for use as Nature Journals. Tour a small book gallery for additional ideas and then we will try other book arts techniques. Take home your books to fill with nature drawings and collages, to give as gifts, or to enjoy as is! Open to all levels of experience and inexperience! Class max: 8, Jennifer Manwell; educator (Open Fields School and Historical Forensics), creative arts junky.

* Fire By Friction; Bow Drill, Confirmed
The science and art of fire by friction has been an essential and fundamental aspect of living for the majority of human existence, and still so very applicable today. This workshop’s objective will to teach students the basic principles of fire by friction, focusing on the most widely used and reliable method, the bow drill. The class will begin with witnessing a bow drill demonstration, after which there will be kits to practice on. Everyone can learn this skill, but it is not the easiest skill to learn in just a couple hours. I am there to coach you along, but expect this to require some diligence, coordination, and a bit of tenacity. Max 10, Instructor: Sarah Corrigan, ROOTS School,   

* How to Build a Fire in All Conditions  Confirmed
This workshop is here to help you develop the skills, and therefore confidence, to build a fire in all conditions. The landscape of Vermont in mid march often provides the challenge of wet snow. We will work within this and learn to identify trees, procure quality tinder and firewood, build a structure in a proper location and is easy to ignite, all culminating to the time where we can enjoy the warmth and light of a well built fire. Max 15,
Instructor: Sarah Corrigan, ROOTS School,

* Gourmet Outdoor Cooking Confirmed
Campfires aren't just for s'mores—they'll bake your bread, roast your meat, simmer your stew, fry your eggs, puff your popovers... Anything you can make in your kitchen can, with the right enthusiasm and proper tools, come hot off a well-tended fire. Join me for a foray into the great culinary adventures of the outdoors. We'll prepare our fire for apple crepes, fresh French bread, a hearty stew and a recipe of your choice.
 Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

* Meditation and Writing from the Senses Confirmed
Do you often find your mind racing? Are your creative urges suffocated by your inner critic? Whether you’re new to meditation or writing – or an old-hand at both – come enjoy this chance to ground yourself and tap into your innate creativity. There will be a brief introduction to both sitting and walking meditation, followed by a 20-minute period of each. After centering ourselves through meditation, we will engage in a series of sensory-based writing exercises meant to inspire our creativity. We won’t be sharing writing in this workshop – this is an opportunity to connect with your creativity and celebrate the beauty of the landscape through the written word. Please bring a journal, your favorite writing implement, and a meditation cushion or pillow. We will be going outside at times, so don’t forget to bring warm layers. Max. 10 (Open to all levels)  Instructor:  Fallon Abel  

* Open Fire Baking Confirmed
Description to be Posted Soon Instructor: Lea Calderon Guthe

*Traditional Ax Skills Every Woodswoman Should Know  Confirmed
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 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.  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. Maximum: 8  Instructor: Leslie Ruster, Mountainsong Expeditions,

* What's That in the Woods? Winter Tree ID and More. Confirmed
Take a winter walk in the woods and learn to identify trees and shrubs by examining twigs, buds and bark. We'll teach you how to confidently identify Vermont's common trees when there are no leaves around for clues and talk about the importance of each species and how it fits into the forest ecosystem. 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

* Wildlife Photography: Calling and Tracking for the Camera  Confirmed
This unique class starts with a quick indoor presentation on the basic skills photographers need to create quality images and the tactics we use to obtain opportunities to use these skills on a variety of wildlife.   The group will then venture into the wilderness where we will put what we dicuss into action. Participants should come away with a basic knowledge of wildlife behavior, calling, tracking and possibly a few pics of some creatures. Feel free to bring your own camera!  Class size Max: 12, Instructors: Dawn & Dylan Ainsworth,

* Winter Birding Expedition  Confirmed
What? Birds in winter? YOU KNOW IT! Let's get outside and beyond our feeders to track down some of the unique birds who arrive here during the winter season. Finches, grosbeaks and crossbills are all possible. We'll carpool together to local hot spots to see what's happening with birds. You'll learn how to use eBird and a set of smart phone apps to plan your own winter expedition. Can you say Snow Buntings and Snow Owls? Well, now you'll be able to find and identify them too. Bundle up, bring your binoculars & BIRD ON! Limit to 10.
Instructor: Bridget Butler, AKA “Bird Diva”

* Woodlot and Wildlife Management Confirmed
This will be both indoors and outdoors, so dress for the weather. We will start with a slide show presentation on the history of Vermont forests showing how we got to today's condition, both the good and the bad. We will consider both wildlife habitat and timber stewardship, and especially how to increase the habitat diversity in your area. A walk in the woods will give real-life examples. Join with consulting forester Robbo Holleran for an engaging interactive presentation for Friday afternoon. Robbo is the co-author of the new "Silvicultural Guide for Northern Hardwoods" with noted forest scientist Bill Leak and wildlife biologist Mariko Yamasaki. Max: 12, Instructor, Robbo Holleran,


Vermont Outdoors Woman
P.O. Box 10
North Ferrisburg, VT. 05473
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