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Our Mission:

“To promote hands-on education and participation in outdoor activities with a primary focus on women and children.”

What We Do:

   Outdoor Women of South Dakota is a non-profit organization composed of a group of individuals from all over the state and country that rely on the expertise, knowledge and life experiences of professionals and others, so that we can continue to bring you classes and events each year.

   These classes involve the transformation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors through direct engagement with the outdoor environment for the personal and social benefit of individuals, families, society and the planet.

These purposeful experiences in the outdoors can be a catalyst for powerful and memorable learning techniques. It has proven to help others reflect and learn about themselves, their family and/or co-workers and how to connect or perhaps re-connect themselves to the environment.

     Why is this so important?

   Outdoor Learning is more than adventure, sports or simply taking what could happen indoors outside. It can be found in a wide range of environments and situations, including personal adventures, outdoor recreation, informal education; non-formal settings, such as in clubs, Scouts and Guides; and formal settings such as those found in schools, colleges and universities or even your job! It’s a lifelong activity that gives you the compassion and appreciation in valuing differences of others as well as a sense of place and community and care for the global environment. 


   I think the more appropriate question you should ask yourself is, “Why not?”


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Our Impact


   For over 25 years OWSD has impacted the lives of many by introducing new and innovative ways of outdoor education not just by doing, but by a way of thinking.

   We have helped many women develop the ability to access knowledge, to become more able to identify hazards and risks, develop a love, appreciation and respect for nature and all that is living, and develop an understanding of how we can look after our environment with self-awareness, confidence and especially self-esteem.

   The more risks you allow not only your children, but yourself to take, the better you are able to learn about your capabilities, and conversely challenging yourself to be better, to do better, so that you may lead by example.

   We all want our children to see the world around them, to look up and appreciate a blue sky or a dark cloud. We live in a beautiful part of the world but so many people do not see what is around them. We want our children to understand that learning occurs everywhere, inside and outside. The important thing is to seize opportunities, be positive and seek out new challenges. We never stop learning.

   Outdoor Women of South Dakota seeks to provide a rich learning environment; one that allows our members to enjoy learning and to discover ourselves along the way. This is most successful when tasks are open-ended, and when we see our role with others as leading learning and not directing it.

   So what are you waiting for?  Will you make an impact?


Thousand dollars raised

    Each year, OWSD seeks out sponsors and donors to help fund classes and events either free of charge to its members or at a reduced rate so that everyone, no matter their situation can participate in our monthly events. These donations come from areas local to the state and many are business that seek to help women and children participate in the outdoors.

     It’s with their help, and yours, that we are able to bring you our monthly events and help guide you to a more enriched outdoor lifestyle.

    We are always seeking sponsors and donations, if you are interested in donating something yourself, please contact us today and pave the way to help others make a difference in our world!

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years serving communities

    OWSD was the brainchild of two dynamic women, Judy Payne and Susan Edwards.

     After the first South Dakota Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop in 1994, Judy and Susan invited me to meet about "setting up a women's group". We immediately connected on the idea that women's outdoor events needed to happen in addition to the department's one weekend per year, and that a non-profit group was the key to making them a reality.

    Susan and Judy invited a group of women to meet in Pierre a month later. Energy was high as each of us knew other women to invite to the table. Over the course of 12 months, Outdoor Women of South Dakota, Inc. grew from the "wouldn't it be fun" state to "here is a list of education events we can host". Each woman brought a different set of expertise and life experiences to the formulating Board.

    The diversity strengthened us and brought us through the difficult times all young organizations face. We have held conventions since 1996, and continue to offer at least 12 educational events around the state each calendar year.

         — Maggie Engler, OWSD Founder



Thousand people impacted

    Over the years we have held classes all over the state and even further. We continue to express interest in different parts of our world where our impact is needed and sought after.

    We touch the lives of those that we come in contact with and share a union with those we meet a long the way. We gather information and allow others to access it to help spread awareness and make their own impact on others.

   Join us in our journey and see what awaits!


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411 N 6th St #4335, Emery, SD 57332, USA

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