Wow!

Last Columbus Day weekend, about 250 adventurous people converged on Roaring River State Park and set out to discover new worlds of their own. It was the second annual Wonders of the Outdoor World, a national conservation and outdoor recreation school that provides a four-day introduction to all the outdoor skills and sports that you would really like to know more about, but didn't know who to ask.

Last year, participants chose from 53 courses, ranging from Advanced archery to Dutch oven cooking. Animal tracking, turkey hunting, bird walks, backpacking, canoeing, a survey of shooting sports, outdoor photography, storytelling and wood carving were all popular. An introduction to caves and cave exploring, an owl prowl, basic field ecology, wild edibles, stargazing and a "spider sniff" all focused on nature and natural history.

For those interested in fishing, options included stream fishing, lake fishing, two levels of fly fishing, fly tying and fish cleaning and care. There was even an evening course that introduced people to sucker gigging--an Ozark tradition. Each course included hands-on outdoor skills training, as well as resource conservation and outdoor ethics messages, and was targeted to those who want to learn the basics of fun in the outdoors.

  • Wonders of the Outdoor World (WOW) is a fantastic experience for families, groups or individuals of any age.
  • WOW is co-sponsored by the Conservation Department, Bass Pro Shops, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Mark Twain National Forest.
  • Outstanding instruction is provided by employees of these agencies and other outdoor experts.
  • The 1999 session will be held at Roaring River State Park October 8-11.
  • Tuition costs are $25 per day or $50 for the four-day event.
  • For more information write: Wonders of the Outdoor World, Sportsman's Park Complex, 2500 E. Kearney, Springfield, MO 65898.