The Women in the Outdoors Committee gave the program a test drive in Mound City Thursday at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Storming the range for target practice, the ladies took aim and fired their rifles. Learning to shoot is just one of the many items on the agenda for the weekend.
"We do love the outdoors and that's what this is about for us," Ruth Fields, coordinator, said.
The planning committee put Squaw Creek to the test, trying out various activities around the refuge before the guests arrive.
"We just see the refuge as nobody else sees it, so we are very lucky for that," Lori Stickler, coordinator, said.
They've invited women to take a vacation from the ordinary and tune in to nature. Among other things, they'll learn survival tricks, but the retreat is really about camaraderie.
"They meet new people and new friends and learn new experiences that's only a once in a lifetime thing," Stickler said.
"I want to learn some things but I also want to be able to get along with people and have them enjoy what I'm enjoying too," Fields said.
Nothing will keep them from taking on the outdoors. Stickler says it was pouring rain two years ago but the women still went on a hayride.
A hayride, and other transportation, in the form of canoes, will be provided.
As for sleeping accommodations, the ladies will camp in the picnic area in tipi's.
The target audience isn't necessarily ladies who already appreciate the Wildlife Refuge. They're recruiting those who don't.
"They don't realize we have this nice wetlands at our beck and call" Stickler said.
The team says they are shooting for a successful weekend, full of fun.
"We laugh and do a lot of joking and playing games and just having fun and that's what it's all about," FIelds said.
More than 55 women are signed up for the weekend. It kicks off on Friday at 5 p.m. with a hog roast and a hayride.