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  • 01 Feb 2013 3:06 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Please send us your articles, stories, poems and artwork. Interview another woman and write up her story, and include photographs. Be creative or newsy. What cool outdoor trip did you take last weekend? What adventure are you planning? Where do you walk your dog? Is there a tree you love? Stroll through any hollows, perch on any rocks, trudge through any bogs lately? Submissions are needed.

    Send these three or four things to editor@womenoutdoors.org:

    -Writing (best as a Word file)
    -Photo or artwork (jpg files attached to email)
    -a short biography about you
    -your address so we can send you extra copies of the magazine.

    Deadline: Sunday, February 17
  • 17 Oct 2012 5:30 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    The editor is back from a quiet time! How about a deadline two weeks from now for your submissions: November 1. You send stuff at a record speed and we'll turn out the magazine with similar alacrity.

    Women Outdoors Magazine is nothing without your stories, photos, how-to articles, poems, muses, memories, sketches, opinions. Please send contributions along. If you don't have time to write something long, just send along a short email about a hike you took or a raft trip you are dreaming of. I bet you had some adventures over the past few months. What are you up to the next couple of weekends? I know Western Mass. is planning a retreat. Did you take a kayak trip, or a wildflower walk, or a cave exploration, this summer?

    Please accompany all writing and artwork with a biography. Send photographs (with captions and photographer’s name) and artwork as jpg files attached to email. Writing is best attached as Word files.  Address contributions to: Editor@womenoutdoors.org.

    Thank you.

    Franny, Editor
    (and thanks as always to the rest of the magazine staff, Jan and our designer, Stein)
  • 17 Oct 2012 5:00 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Take a hike with Women Outdoors Mid-Atlantic this autumn.  We have four hikes lined up between now and the end of the year with lots of opportunities to enjoy the fall colors and natural beauty of our area.

    We start our fall hiking season on Saturday, October 27, at Harpers Ferry, WV, where we’ll hike Loudoun Heights, a moderately strenuous 5-mile hike with an elevation gain of 1200 feet and views of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Registration closes on Thursday, October 25.

    Our other hikes this fall include:
    • Hawksbill Mountain Hike in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday, November 10, where we’ll bag the highest peak in SNP and be treated to a 360-degree view of the Shenandoah Valley.
    • Sugarloaf Mountain Hike in Frederick County, MD, on Saturday, November 24.  Leave the malls and madness behind and enjoy a 5-mile hike on Thanksgiving weekend.
    • Billy Goat Trail Section B Hike in Potomac, MD, on Saturday, December 8.  Not as famous (or nearly as strenuous) as Section A, this segment of the Billy Goat Trail offers some nice rock outcroppings and a variety of scenery along the Potomac River.

  • 02 Apr 2012 5:21 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    On Saturday, April 14, Women Outdoors Mid-Atlantic will participate in the 24th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation.  Hundreds of volunteers throughout the Washington metro region and beyond will pick up trash from the many streams and creeks that feed into the Potomac.  Join other members of Women Outdoors Mid-Atlantic as we help clean up the Fenwick Tributary to Rock Creek in upper northwest D.C. 

    No need to register for this activity.  Just show up at 9:00 a.m. with your gloves and boots.  Click this link for details and directions or go to http://womenoutdoors.org/mid-atlantic and click on Online Calendar, scroll to April 14 and click on Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.
  • 22 Mar 2012 12:15 PM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    Come help us clean up the Charles River, enjoy a picnic with your Women Outdoors friends, and/or practice for the Run of the Charles!

    Saturday, April 21, 2012.
    Newton/Dedham plus Run of the Charles practice
    Meet at 10 am (People can rent boats prior at Charles river canoe and kayak if they want to do on-the-water cleanup).
    Jackie Slivko says she can bring 1 extra boat. Otherwise, you can do cleanup from on-shore.

    Bring bug stuff, rain gear, water, lunch/snacks, work gloves.

    Clean-up is till the afternoon, followed by the picnic (details to follow when Jackie gets them); participants can stay as long as they want.

    Jackie will have t-shirts and supplies. 
    For more info, please RSVP to Jackie at jsslivko@yahoo.com or 617-407-8796 by April 7.

  • 16 Mar 2012 5:32 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Join us for the 33rd Annual Women Outdoors Gathering on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28, 2012.    Enjoy kayaking, hiking, swimming, birding, meeting lots of outdoor women, biking, walking, meditating, eating and so much more....

    Once again this year you have the option to stay Monday night, May 28. Turn your long weekend into a 4-day vacation!!

    Sign up by Monday, April 30 to receive the $20 early bird discount.  Sign up in advance to lead a workshop and get another $20 discount.  Financial assistance is also available. 

    Go to The Gathering page for more detailed information.

    When: May 25-28, 2012
    Where: Sargent Center, Hancock, New Hampshire
    Who: Women Outdoors members (Not a member? Join when you register.)  Children welcome, boys only to age 8.
    How: Go to The Gathering page to learn more and to register today.  Register by April 30 to get a $20 discount.
    Cost: Varies from $110 to $285 depending on your length of stay and accommodation.  

    If you have any questions or comments, please email Gathering@womenoutdoors.org.

  • 02 Feb 2012 11:41 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)

    Last year's ROTC was a big success, with Women Outdoors boats claiming both 1st and 2nd place in the Women's division! Can we do it again??? OH YES!!!

    If you're not familiar with the race, here's some factoids: The Run of the Charles is the largest canoe and kayak race in New England and attracts over 1,000 paddlers each year. Put on by the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) to showcase the recreational potential of the Charles River and raise funds for the protection of the watershed in eastern Massachusetts, this event includes six races for professional and recreational boaters, of 6, 9, 19, and 24 miles in length.

    This year, Women Outdoors is proud to announce that we’ll once again be backing trip leaders Deb Weisenstein and Jackie Slivko along with their team participants, whom they're now recruiting. We’re joining Deb and Jackie in urging Women Outdoors paddlers to step up to the plate, step into the boat, and get ready for fun and teamwork. The entry fee is $30 for each of 10 team members, but Women Outdoors will be subsidizing part of that fee.

    Guaranteed Winners!

    The 24-mile relay race has a category for women's teams, which require 10 women. This category had only one entry, a team called the Mad Hatters, for the last several years. In 2011, we're sad to say, the Mad Hatters didn't compete, so Women Outdoors claimed both trophies. As Deb points out, Women Outdoors has many active and skillful outdoor women who paddle. Simply put, we're pretty darn confident about winning. How many races can guarantee you such an outcome? More to the point, just by showing up, we're inspiring women to get out there and paddle and perhaps even put together an all-women team to compete with us. Bring it on!!!

    A Good Cause, Multiple Benefits

    The CRWA was a recipient of the 2011 International Riverprize, the world’s most prestigious environmental award. Here are some of the good works done by the CRWA that Women Outdoors participation and funding will support:

    • CRWA holds an annual river cleanup on Earth Day, April 21 this year.

    • The Association participated in negotiations that reduced by 95% the heat discharge and water withdrawal from the river by a plant in Cambridge, so that waste heat from the plant is now used as cogeneration heat for nearby buildings. 

    • CRWA is involved in developing a "smart sewering" plan for wastewater in the town of Littleton, combining climate change mitigation and adaptation with smart economic growth.

    A more pristine watershed environment and recreational opportunities for New England residents will be among the benefits. The Run of the Charles is also a fun event and a challenging competition, but an event where anyone and everyone can enjoy the river at their own speed. It’s your chance to get to know Women Outdoors members across chapters while applying yourselves to a common goal, an opportunity to have the Women Outdoors name noticed, and a potential chance to recruit new members on the riverbank. The paddlers are sure to have a good time, applying themselves in friendly competition and cheering on their teammates.

    Meet Your Trip Leaders

    Deb has been paddling canoes and kayaks for over 30 years and formerly held an AMC class 4 whitewater rating. She served as a leader of AMC whitewater trips for several years. Her former company participated in the Run of the Charles corporate division race for about 15 years, and she’s paddled the race 12 times, often helping to organize the company team. Deb served as team captain and co-organizer for WO's canoe team last year. She knows the particulars of each of the 5 race legs and can match paddler's skills with appropriate race legs. Last year she very much enjoyed getting to know the 20 Women Outdoors team members, and looks forward to working with them, and some new paddlers, this year.

    Jackie is a paddler extraordinaire including sea and recreational kayaking, solo and tandem canoeing, and white water rafting. She is a Level 3 sea kayaker, with a passion for the New England coastline from Rhode Island to Maine. Jackie began her paddling days on the Delaware in NY, Pine Barrens of NJ, and Allegheny in PA. She then went on to “conquer” the Colorado River down the Grand Canyon, enjoy the solitude and Northern lights in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota, as well as Quetico and Voyageur’s parks on the Canadian border. Locally she has “tripped” on the Allagash river in Maine, “raced” pumpkins on the Connecticut River in Vermont, and more recently “blazed’ passages (after this year’s early snow storm) on the Ware river in central MA. She looks forward to another year with a great group of women on the quiet Charles.

    Race Particulars

    Come race day, you'll find canoes, kayaks, outrigger canoes, and paddleboards on the river. The 24-mile relay race consists of 5 legs, each about 5 miles long, taking about an hour each. Relay teams use one canoe and swap paddlers for each leg. The race starts in Needham where the Charles River is a small, winding stream, proceeds through Dedham, Newton, Wellesley, Waltham, and Boston, and ends at Herter Park in Brighton. More information can be found at the CRWA site. For those who paddle kayaks, there are 6 and 9 mile races for individuals. You should register on your own for a kayak race, but join the team for practices and the post-race celebration.

    The race begins at 10 am. Check-in time starts at 8:30. The start is staggered with waves of 10 boats sent off every couple minutes. There are 6 portages on the race, three of them between legs and three within legs. For the portages between legs, both the paddlers finishing the previous leg and those starting on the next leg are allowed to carry, which provides four people to portage the boat. For the portages within legs, only the two paddlers on that leg are allowed to carry the boat. One leg has no portages and one leg only a short 4-person portage.

    Register Now Before the Price Goes Up

    The entry fee for the race is $300 if the team enters by February 24. After that, the fee goes up to $350. The team has until March 30 to complete a roster, but substitutions are allowed later, even on race day.

    Here’s what Deb and Jackie need to pull together another winning team or teams:

    1. 20 paddlers to fill two team rosters, plus 4-6 backups

    2. the loan of one or two lightweight tandem canoes for the race

    3. team photographers to follow the team down the river and document their efforts

    4. others to cheer the team on and help celebrate at the finish line.

    Team practices will start in late March and will be held each weekend until the race, with some practices on the Charles and some at other locations where team members live, such as western Mass., Rhode Island, and Connecticut. We expect each team member to participate in at least one practice session before the race, where we’ll work on efficient paddling form and develop endurance. We’re planning a team potluck for Saturday March 10 in the Boston area to meet each other, plan practices, and acquaint paddlers with the race logistics.


    Date: Sunday April 29, 2012

    Time: Race starts at 10 am, ends around 3–4 pm

    Individual commitment: 3 hours

    Cost: $30 maximum (to be offset by an as-yet-undetermined Women Outdoors subsidy)

    Level of Effort: 1 hour of paddling, portages for some team members

    Location: Charles River between Needham and Boston, MA

    RSVP to: Deb Weisenstein (508-277-4826) dkweis@alum.mit.edu

    Reply by: February 20

  • 21 Sep 2011 12:07 PM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    I finally got my lazy ass out to clean up Assabet River last Saturday, HUGE thanks to Greater Boston Regional Contact and MY HERO Robin Schulman, who's been organizing Women Outdoors members to come clean up this gorgeous swath of H20 for a few years now.

    You have to love river cleanups. It gives us a whole new level of appreciation for the items that people choose to donate to the river's mermaids and mermen. Volunteers this year found a practically new kid's bike, a scooter, a sewer grate (too heavy to move!), some plastic palettes that the river's vegetation has already integrated too much to move [vines and roots are a strong embrace), and my favorite, a CAR!!! (I wanted to photograph it, but they found it in a location far from where we were cleaning [which was in Maynard, Ma.]).Assabet River cleanup: The bike's finder hauls it out.

    Past years, the organizers told me, turned up a gun and a safe (empty).

    Can you imagine the stories behind all this stuff? Did some bullies pick on a kid and toss his bike into the river? Was there a heist, or did somebody just get really tired of material possessions and decide to donate it all to charity, then throw their safe in the river?

    In other words, anybody who's ever entertained the thought of becoming a mystery writer should do a river cleanup.

    I wasn't kidding when I referred to a lazy part of my anatomy. I'd never get motivated to get out and do this good environmental stewardship work without the encouragement of Women Outdoors members like Robin, and I sure as heck wouldn't have as much fun doing it without bumping into other WO members hard at work.

    Not only do you get motivated and have fun when you do this kind of work, not only do you give back to the outdoors that we all love so much, you also get inspired.

    For example: Robin, a professional bike mechanic, took one look at the bike, covered with streaming river weed, and said "Hey, this hasn't been in here for long. I could fix it up." Robin mulls restoring and auctioning the Bike of Slime.

    It would take at least 5 hours to restore the bike, Robin estimated, and that's precious time that's hard to find in a working woman's life. She had a brilliant idea, though: Restore it and auction it off, to call attention to the work of OARS, the organization that holds the cleanup.

    Will it happen? Who knows? But it's great to be out on a fall day, restoring a riverbank, and watching the creative juices flow. I hope you're all enjoying the fall, and I hope you find time to do some cleanup work.

    And to all of you who regularly get outside and get yourself dirty as you do this type of environmental stewardship work, Women Outdoors sends out a hearty, sincere Thank You.
  • 15 Jul 2011 11:13 PM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    If anyone in the Boston area knows anything about this, the Coast Guard is urging you to call at (617)223-5757.   Please spread the word!

    First District Public Affairs
    U.S. Coast Guard
    News Release
    Date: July 13, 2011
    (617) 406-9011 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (617) 406-9011      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
    Coast Guard seeks public’s assistance locating kayak owner
    BOSTON undefined The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking information Wednesday regarding a sea kayak found in the water in the vicinity Plymouth Harbor, Mass.
    A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod conducted a search of the area, but did not locate any mariners in distress after an unmanned and adrift sea kayak was recovered Tuesday around sunset in Plymouth Harbor on the western side of Plymouth Beach.
    “We are asking for the public’s assistance to help us locate the owner – if they know who may own the kayak, if it belongs to them or if they know a kayaker who went out and hasn’t returned when expected to – just give us a call,” said Chief Petty Officer Lisa Machon, the watch supervisor at the Coast Guard Sector Boston Command Center.
    The Plymouth harbormaster has taken possession of the sea kayak, which was in good condition and had a life jacket and oar on board when it was located.
    The kayak is 15-foot, khaki/tan colored and has black seating. It does not have any other information that Coast Guard personnel can use to locate the owner.
    “This case demonstrates the importance of mariners labeling their recreational boats with current contact information,” said Machon. “Even something as simple as using a marker to write a name and phone number would have helped us tremendously.”
    Unlike larger recreational or commercial vessels which have hull registration numbers and a vessel name that allow for the owner to be identified, kayaks and other forms of paddle craft, characteristically do not have identifying features that allow for the owner to be contacted. As a result the Coast Guard spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year engaged in search and rescue operations for cases where there was nobody in danger to begin with.
    The Coast Guard is requesting anyone with information about the owner or the possible origin of the kayak to contact the Coast Guard at (617)223-5757 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (617)223-5757      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
  • 17 Jun 2011 9:15 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    Looking to jump out of your usual haunts and meet some Women Outdoors members from across our regions this summer? We’ve got two exciting Unleashed! events at which we’d love to see members from ALL our chapters convene for fun in the sun and under the stars! Read on for details on these biking and/or camping and/or kayaking and/definitely/yesyesyes!! FUN-packed outings.

    1. June 18: 27th Annual OutRiders Boston to Provincetown Bike

    Can you bike 126 Miles in One Day?

    Can you hang out with, cheer on and throw adulation at those who can?!

    If you answered Yes to either question, We Want YOU!!!!!

    We’re looking for:

    A. Bike riders who want to enjoy this fun ride,


    B. Women Outdoors members who’d like to help us staff a table to offer refreshments to riders, as well as to pass out brochures and talk up what a great organization we have.

    Rider Check In: In front of the Cyclorama on Tremont St (next to Berkeley);  (riders can start after check in)

    Rider Finish: Provincetown, at Bas Relief Park on Bradford St.

    Women Outdoors Checkpoint: Wellfleet, MA, at the end of the (scenic) Cape Cod Rail Trail (102 mile point). 

    Duties: 1. Hand out snacks, water and Gatorade to hungry and thirsty riders!  Also, check riders off on main sheet. 

    2. Provide encouragement and praise to riders.

    3. Receive many thanks from riders who have just passed the century mark, and have less than 25 miles to go! 

    We’re planning an overnight stay in Provincetown, so bring your tent and we'll share a campsite at Coastal Acres campground. We’ll attend the Sunday Brunch, 11am, at the Provincetown Inn.  Just follow the people with the blue t-shirts and funky suntan lines to the banquet room.  More adulation will be given and received by/from the 130 refreshed (and bathed) riders.  In addition, you'll receive a way cool commemorative t-shirt, just like the riders get! 

    Register: Call Sondra Spencer at 401-439-3654 or e-mail her at sondraspencer@verizon.net.

    2. July 7–12: Burlingame, R.I., interchapter kayaking,East Beach, Charlestown, RI
    birding, camping, biking, swimming trip

    Come for a day or two just to join us in a multi-region potluck and fun at the beach/marsh/freshwater pond, or join us for the whole 5 nights!

    This is the 2nd year for this fun trip. Last year, 34 Women Outdoors members attended!

    This area boasts great kayaking, birding, beaches and biking. The campground holds a freshwater lake, and right across the street is the 868-acre Ninigret National Marsh. Over the sand dunes lies the ocean and Charlestown’s beautiful East Beach.

    There will be an EMS kayaking workshop in the area during this time (we’re still nailing down the specifics of when/where).

    Kayaking at Burlingame, 2010Here’s what you can expect: Tons of bird life. We’ll be kayaking along the shore, in and out of the marsh. We’ll see beautiful houses from a perspective you can’t get in any other way. When the tide goes out, expect the 3’ water to ebb, stranding you in 6” while fellow boaters pull up and unload their kids, dogs, and lawn chairs or just sit in their kayaks, laughing and chatting.

    The sites we reserve are in The Fish Camp, an area near the boat ramp and an unguarded beach on the pond. In other words, nice and quiet, with fewer kids and crowds!

    Make your own reservation at www.reserveamerica.com. There were still sites close by available in early June. We have #108, so if you can get any of these, you’d be close by: # 102 / #106 / #110 /  #119 / #122Lake at Burlingame campground

    We will plan a potluck dinner  probably Saturday night, and maybe one community breakfast.  Other than that, you’re on your own for food.

    To register:

    1. Reserve your site at www.reserveamerica.com. Each site holds up to 2 tents and up to 6 people.

    2. Contact: Kim Otis / kimotis117@yahoo.com /  413-427-6024 to tell her your site # and how many tents and people will be on your site.  

    3. Bring your own kayak, or rent one in the area. Remember, PFDs (personal flotation devices) are required on all outings.

    4. Bring bikes (and your helmets!): It’s the best way to get to the beach.

    Lisa Vaas kayaking on Halfmoon Pond at the Gathering, Sargent Center, N.H.

    See you in the outdoors!

    Lisa Vaas

    Unleashed! Coordinator

    Board of Directors

    Co-Regional Contact, Greater Boston

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