by Wendy LaFever - Monday, April 18, 2016
At dawn, the cluck and purr of wild turkeys rouses you from the deepest, most restful sleep you’ve ever had. You step outside into the chill, pine-scented dawn to watch the sunrise paint the Sangre de Cristo Mountains golden pink as the steam from your coffee warms your face. It’s a beautiful start to a day that will help you discover just how strong and capable you and your fellow women really are. This is the Women’s Wilderness Escape, and it’s just beginning.
“The NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape,” explains its official Facebook page, “provides women with a getaway opportunity to experience the softer side of firearm education.” Boiled down, it’s essentially a way to learn about guns and the outdoors in the company of other women (18 and up) in a judgment-free environment.
There are three different places where the Escapes are held: the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M., the Seven Springs Resort in Champion, Pa., and the SIG Sauer Academy in Epping, N.H. Each Escape offers a different experience. For example, at the Whittington Center, you’ll enjoy the natural, mountainous beauty of the Raton Pass area while you try your hand at shotgun, rifle, pistol and archery under the expert eye of NRA’s instructors at one of the largest shooting facilities in the world. At Seven Springs Resort, you’ll relax in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands while learning the fun of shotgun sports like sporting clays followed up with instruction from NRA’s popular Refuse To Be A Victim program. Afterward, you can treat yourself to a spa treatment or just explore the area on foot or bicycle.
At the SIG Sauer Academy, you’ll get to shoot both indoors and outdoors as you are instructed in pistol and rifle … and then you’ll put those new skills to the test in a self-defense course.
Although they may offer different activities and environments, the Escapes all have several things in common. Each Escape is all-inclusive: Your fee covers lodging, meals, instruction, shooting facilities, firearms and ammunition. You are encouraged to bring friends and family members, and are welcome to room with them if you like. After the day’s instruction, you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy the unique individual amenities available at the resorts … or just relax and make new friends with your fellow explorers.
Whichever Escape you choose, you’re in for a wonderful experience you’ll never forget. Says recent attendee Janet Stevens, “From the East Coast, West Coast, North and South, you will meet fantastic women. The staff is awesome! They are all well qualified, kind, patient and full of humor.” Pat Billups concurs: “Best money I have spent. The experience was worth every penny!”
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