Wilderness enthusiast and local Realtor, Kelly Dwyer, sits down and shares her passion for outdoor activities and how these activities enhanced her relationship with her son, Jonathan. Kelly travels throughout the Southwest seeking adventures such as canyoneering, whitewater rafting, climbing and backpacking.
Kelly, an Arizona native, moved to Prescott in 2009. She dreamed of living in Prescott for many years and always wanted to be closer to a variety of outdoor activities with hopes that would allow her to be more involved in the outdoor community. She and her son settled into their home in Prescott, but she realized that after three years they were still not enjoying the outdoor activities as often as they hoped for. They enjoyed hiking and fishing, but they wanted more variety in their outdoor hobbies. Kelly saw an article in the local paper advertising a women’s overnight camp that focused on teaching a variety of wilderness activities to help women get more involved in the outdoor community. The camp, Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is organized by the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) and offers a large variety of classes such as fly fishing, hunting and gun safety, Dutch oven cooking, archery, geocaching, horseback riding, rappelling, kayaking and more. Kelly immediately saw this as the perfect opportunity to enhance her outdoor hobbies.
She attended BOW camps in August 2011 and April 2012. She took a variety of classes during the three-day camps, including rappelling, fly-fishing, Dutch oven cooking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, archery, and even a hunting class. After attending BOW, she bought a kayak and now regularly spends time enjoying the lakes in Prescott. But the class with the greatest impact on her life was rappelling. She fell in love with rappelling and immediately knew that her experience at BOW fulfilled exactly what she was looking for… new activities for her and her son to enjoy.
Kelly’s new love of rappelling led her to canyoneering clubs she found online, like Arizona Rock & Canyon Adventures and Canyoneering Arizona. Canyoneering is the sport of exploring a canyon by engaging in rappelling, stemming, swimming and waterfall jumping. Kelly attended numerous group events hosted by the canyoneering clubs. She networked, took rappelling classes, attended rappelling practices and completed over 20 canyons throughout Arizona and Utah in the first year. Then, in May 2013, she achieved her goal to introduce her son to the sport of canyoneering!
Over the next few years, Kelly and her son traveled throughout Arizona, Utah and Colorado, canyoneering. In April 2014, Kelly introduced Jonathan to whitewater rafting. Jonathan enjoys the activities his mother has introduced to him like canyoneering, climbing and backpacking … but his true love is whitewater rafting.
Attending that first BOW camp had such a positive impact on Kelly’s life. The time she has spent with Jonathan rappelling, canyoneering and whitewater rafting has made their bond as mother and son so much stronger. They are more active in the Prescott outdoor community and they are both passionate about sharing their love of the outdoors. Since 2013, Kelly has volunteered as a rappelling instructor with Arizona Game and Fish and at the bi-annual BOW camps in Prescott. She hopes to inspire other women to spend more time outdoors.
For more information about the BOW camp, call Kim Kreuzer at the Arizona Wildlife Federation at (480) 644-0077