Arizona Outdoors Activities Group is a non profit Meetup group that was founded by Kathleen Winans, and Marsha Bidwell in September 2010. One of the things we noticed with other outdoor groups was that it was run primarily by experienced outdoors men that seemed to miss the details when it came to showing single mothers, or beginner outdoors men, and women the basic skills necessary to be comfortable, and safe in an outdoor environment.
After meeting each other at a camp-out involving cooking for over 100 people, We realized that our combined experience with years of scouting, kayaking, quads, fishing, equestrians, hiking, and camping could offer new members activities that previously would only be learned through scouting if it were available, or passed down from father or mother to son and daughter. Basically if you were not a former scout, or raised in a camping outdoor family, you never had the opportunity to experience the outdoors or receive the right information to ensure your safety, and comfort. Plus you could never share the experience and joy of the outdoors with your friends, and family.
We have members who lived primarily in urban areas come out to one of our camping trips and were amazed by the sounds, smells, and sites around them. Soon those new to the outdoors were finding themselves out on one of the kayaks paddling the lower salt river, or on the back of a horse riding for the steak house, hiking a guided hike at the end of the day at one of South Mountains many scenic trails, or seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time on one of our many camp out's.
It is not uncommon for us, or one of the many organizers to set a member a drift on a kayak for the first time, check the cinch on a saddle, help set up a tent, bait a hook, have a pot luck dinner after a day of skiing, lead a hike, or cook an outdoor breakfast to teach our members the ease of these skills as well as what they will need to do these things for themselves. As our members advance we have asked them to share their experience so that the loop of experiences never closes. Most of our organizers started as members.
The best part of our group, is that anyone interested in the outdoors, whether they are experienced outdoors men or women, a single parent, or never have stepped foot outside the boundaries of the city can join our group and are certain to find an activity that suits them. Follow the prompts and that's it, your a member! The membership is free but we do ask for a tax deductible donation of $20.00 a year to help reserve campsites, pay for the Holiday dinners, food and fuel for the camp, cards, and signs, and cover the cost of the website.
Our mission statement is to remind people of all ages how much fun it still is to go outside and play.
Marsha J Bidwell
“ The best that I have been with. This is a really good group of people. ”