Starved Rock Lodge: Outdoor Woman’s Workshop More Than a Walk in the Park

Starved Rock State Park and Lodge offer more than just a hike this spring, with a special women’s workshop this May.

(Starved Rock Lodge photo)

Iarving out quality personal time is an ongoing challenge for most women. Starved Rock Lodge is offering an innovative way to trade your to-do list for a weekend of self-enrichment. If you’ve ever wanted to pull back a bow and shoot an arrow, paddle a raft down a river, or saddle a horse, Starved Rock’s new Outdoor Woman’s Workshop is for you.
Scheduled May 13, 14 & 15, this three-day, fun-filled weekend is a chance for women to learn nontraditional skills in a non-threatening environment. There are more than 20 workshop options, including: archery; basic fishing; bird watching & wildflowers; backpacking; boating safety; firearm safety; fly-fishing & lure tying; garden mosaics; geologic walking at Starved Rock State Park; basic horsemanship; nature crafts; photography; outdoor cooking; outdoor survival; rafting; tree identification; upland bird hunting; medicinal & edible plants; women with power tools; and astronomy.
Participants will choose several workshops for each of the three days, and instructors will share a wealth of information, because each is an enthusiastic expert in that area.
“I have been speaking to groups about fishing and the outdoors for the past 20 years,” says Frank Hyla, host of “Time on the Water,” a sports channel TV show. “It’s been my experience that women are the most passionate about learning and protecting natural resources. Rarely are ego and competitiveness involved. I couldn’t be more excited about being a part of the Outdoor Woman’s Workshop at Starved Rock Lodge.”
Activities Director Edna Daugherty is an “outdoor woman” and recently completed such a workshop at a state park in southern Illinois. She doesn’t just talk the talk; Daugherty will soon embark on a one-month hike on the Appalachian Trail. She challenged herself to do something remarkable for her 50th birthday and was very pleased when long-time friend Barb Holmbeck offered to accompany her on the 260-mile journey. Incidentally, Holmbeck will be teaching the “Women with Power Tools” portion of the workshop.
“We’ve hiked together in the past, but the trips were shorter. This is real outdoor adventure!” says Daugherty. “We’re a good fit, because neither of us is afraid of hard work.” The two women graduated from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1979 and have kept in touch ever since. Their husbands will drive them to the starting point in Springer Mountain, Ga. From there, each woman will carry a 32-pound backpack through parts of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They will be sharing their stories at the workshop, so participants can get to know some of Illinois’ most devoted “outdoor women.”
A registration fee of $195 covers all workshops, six meals, two nightly activities (on astronomy, the art of making Illinois wines and more) and transportation to all workshop sites. Advanced registration is necessary. Participants must secure their own lodging reservations; a limited number of rooms are available onsite. For more information, or to register, visit the lodge Web site,, or call Edna Daugherty at (800) 868-7625, extension 386. ❚