Reaching out to new audiences with a conservation message is just one duty of a Texas Game Warden. Game Warden Rachel Kellner took that to a whole new level in late March with a huge outreach event she helped organize. “Women Who Wander” attracted more than 600 women to the banks of the Frio River for a weekend of fun, learning, and adventure.
Designed to bring women from diverse backgrounds, ages and locations together in the outdoors to unwind, take a break, and connect with nature, “Women Who Wander” offered more than 30 different activities over the course of three days appealing to women ranging in age from 21 to 77 years old.
From motivational speakers, self-care seminars and spa treatments to plein air painting, shopping, wine tastings, and cooking to traditional outdoor experiences like hiking, archery, and fly-fishing there was something for everyone no matter skill level.
According to Kellner, one woman, 72 years old, had never picked up a bow, and within five minutes she hit a bullseye and became hooked on archery. Others had never shot a firearm, practiced meditation, grilled a steak on a charcoal grill, or kayaked down a river. But because of the quality instructors Women Who Wander secured for this event, women were encouraged and supported to try something new, trained on proper techniques, and equipped with the knowledge and power to do these activities on their own.
We Will Not Be Tamed Ambassador Debbie Richardson served as an instructor leading many first-time kayakers down the Frio for some fun on the water. Debbie believes women “want to learn new things, they want to have new adventures. Sometimes they just need a little help getting started in the right direction. And this is the catalyst for that.”
While this weekend served as a source of adventure for some, for others it served as a source of healing and opportunity to step away from their daily lives. From hikes to the top of Mount Baldy at Garner State Park to just sitting on the banks of the river listening to the birds chirp and the river flow, women were able to relax, rejuvenate and find peace in nature.
Concerts and plenty of quality food and drink rounded out the weekend of fun and festivities.
Kellner and her fellow Women Who Wander founders hope that by providing this opportunity, women were able to create their own ultimate outdoor experience, empowering them to take what they’ve learned and incorporate a little more nature into their daily routines. Kellner says, “It doesn’t matter if you live in an urban environment, you can find a lake, a creek, a tank, a pasture or field, a walking trail and it doesn’t have to be about electronics technology and it’s free.”
Proceeds from the weekend benefit Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s Gear Up for Game Wardens program.