Hervida outing designed for women

Activities include archery, branch weaving, handguns for personal protection, herbs, pallet painting

Southeastern Ohio, specifically the Mid-Ohio Valley, is known for its recreational opportunities. Nestled between rivers and forests, there is always a chance to get outside and shake off those cabin fever blues.

Experience the Outdoors, a program in partnership with The Ohio State University Washington County Extension Office, will be held on May 19 beginning at 8 a.m. at Hervida 4-H Camp in Waterford.

The event geared toward women 14 years and older offers the chance to participate in four sessions of activities, including archery, branch weaving, handguns for personal protection, herbs, wood pallet painting, rifle basics and more.

“We try to change the classes every year so that returning people have something new to do,” said Suzi White, a teacher’s aide at Salem-Liberty Elementary School and owner of Whites 4G Farm in Lower Salem. “We always try to offer a little bit of variety for the different interests of the women.”

White started this program 18 years ago and said she was inspired by similar events in other areas.

“We didn’t have anything like this in the county and I had attended elsewhere and thought we needed to have something here,” she said.

The cost of the event is $35 and includes session materials, a T-shirt, refreshments and lunch.

Diane Erb, of Whipple, has been attending the event for 15 years and has been an instructor for eight years. Over the years she has taught painting, helped with leather classes and taught a very popular barn quilting class. This year she is teaching pallet painting.

“We will provide the wood pallets and paint and they can paint a pumpkin or the Ohio State letter ‘O’. The women really enjoy the crafts,” she said.

Erb also takes part in the sessions and said she specifically enjoys the shooting classes.

Aaron Courtney, owner of Red Dragon Martial Arts and Fitness in Beverly, will be volunteering to teach a self-defense session at the event, which is sure to be popular.

“I’ve taught women’s classes, men, children…I teach six days a week so I’m pretty busy,” he said. “Unfortunately the world isn’t getting any friendlier, but the more training you do, the more prepared you’ll be.”

The women will be learning kajukenpo, a form of martial arts that uses the knees and elbows.

“These are techniques that are universal and suitable for everyone to learn,” Courtney said.

About 40 people are already signed up but White said she will accept applications through the week of the event. She can be contacted at 740-236-6000 or at whites4gfarm@yahoo.com.

If you go

¯ What: Experience the Outdoors.

¯ When: May 19; registration starts 8 a.m.

¯ Where: Hervida 4-H Camp, Waterford.

¯ Cost: $35 for session materials, T-shirt, refreshments, lunch.

¯ Details: Designed primarily for women, the event is an opportunity for anyone 14 years of age or older to learn various outdoor skills through hands-on sessions. Participants will choose to attend four sessions from those available. Pre-registration is preferred by Saturday.

¯ For more information or registration forms: Ohio State University Extension, 740-376-7431, http://washington.osu.edu/events/experience-the-outdoors or Suzi White, 740-236-6000.