An Enjoy Life List

On a recent Saturday, two young customers were our guest fish feeders for the afternoon. The parents told us that feeding the fish at Bass Pro Shops was on their kids bucket list. Each summer, the children make a list of things they would like to do over the course of the summer. Most weren't extravagant trips or activities, but simple things they thought would be fun. Feeding the fish at Bass Pro Shops was on the list, along with taking a train ride, and visiting a 50-foot treehouse somewhere in Nebraska.

What a great idea...for kids AND adults. Think about all the fun, simple things you can do, places you can go, and sights you can see. Just write them down and scratch them off after doing them (just thinking them doesn't count!). Because of the popular movie, these lists are often called bucket lists. However, I like to call them Enjoy Life lists or, for kids, it could be an Enjoy the Summer list. My Enjoy Life list includes going to the San Diego Zoo, going to each Iowa county to experience one new place previously not experienced, experiencing a flock of migrating snow geese "taking off," renting a cabin at a state park, going to the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and hiking the trail, experience fishing with my husband and hunting with him this fall as the photographer, cooking new wild game recipes, giving kayaking a second chance (my first time didn't go so well!), and visiting Big Cedar Lodge.

What is on your Enjoy Life list? It's not too late to make an Enjoy Summer List with your kids, either. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Go fishing
  • Go hiking
  • Learn a new outdoor skill - archery, kayaking, canoeing, Dutch oven cooking, camping
  • Go camping in the backyard
  • Tackle an elaborate wild game recipe
  • Pick an Iowa park and take a hike.
  • Try zip-lining
  • Rent a cabin at one of our state parks and cook your meals over the open fire
  • Get up a little earlier and take a walk each morning
  • Take a train ride (I borrowed that one from Aurora and Vince - some small towns have restored trains on which they offer short rides)
  • Go to a small town festival...or two...or three. We have plenty of them - but choose festivals and towns you've never visited.
  • Go to the Iowa State Fair and visit every building and display.
  • Sign up to feed the fish at your local Bass Pro Shop

You get the idea. Help your kids make a list...and maybe jot down a few ideas for yourself, too.

Enjoy life!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Family 4th with Summer Camp!

         

This July 4th weekend includes Bass Pro Shops Altoona in your family fun and celebrate our country's freedom to do so!

Family Summer Camp activities continue and we have something extra special for the Fourth:

The Catch and Release Pond is back for July 4 and 5 - ONE Weekend ONLY - Plus a Free Photo Download!

 

The second week of Family Summer Camp includes:

Free Family Activities - Noon-5 p.m.
Casting challenge, Daisy BB range, archery range and the foam shooting arcade

Free Craft - Noon-2 during Family Summer Camp Days:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Workshops for Kids
Each child receives a Summer Camp lanyard at their first seminar, then a pin at each seminar they attend! (While supplies last.) The workshop schedule for this coming week is:

Saturday - July 4
Noon  -  Fishing
1 p.m. - Water Safetyhttp://www.basspro.com/summercamp
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Bird Watching

Sunday - July 5
Noon  - Shooting & Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday - July 7
Noon  - Bird Watching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday - July 9
Noon  - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting & Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping

________________

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Now is the Time for Bow Strings

Summer is in full swing, and between grilling, mowing the lawn, and fishing, it's also time for bow hunters to prepare their bows for fall. The proactive hunter plans ahead and inspects their bow now avoiding the onslaught of customers who said, "I'll do it later."

Many customers get new strings for their bows yearly. If you're unsure on what to look for, bring your bow to your local Bass Pro Shops and ask them to inspect your strings. Strings can dry out, stretch, and break over time, especially if the bow is not properly stored. The Altoona Archery Department team advises that a good rule of thumb for determining the need for new strings is:

  • You can't remember how old the strings are.
  • They're more than two years old.
  • They have visible strands fraying.

Unfortunately, many hunters delay repairs and come in the fall to get new strings. However, that is the busy season for string vendors. Right now, it takes 1-2 weeks (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for a string to arrive at our store, from the time someone orders it. As October nears, that time frame will grow.

The Bass Pro Shops Altoona Archery Department can order strings for compound bows, crossbows, and traditional bows -- take a look at all the available colors:

Be proactive and get your bow taken care of now. Then practice, practice, practice!

_________________________________

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Digs for Dogs 2015

Our annual event to benefit the Animal Rescue League of Iowa returns!

Digs for Dogs is a silent auction of custom doghouses with all proceeds going directly to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to help them provide doghouses to needy dogs and families.  

We’re looking for individuals, groups, businesses - anyone who would like to help our furry Iowa friends and companions be comfortable, safe, and sheltered. The doghouses need to be functional, however, fun and creative, too! Also, all sizes are welcomed - some people may want a decorative doghouse for their patio or maybe even to use in the house. Entries will be displayed in the store from August 7-16 and the silent auction is open to the public.

The houses last year were impressive and this year we're looking for even more for our silent auction. They don't have to be huge...build a fun & functional doghouse – all sizes welcomed, be creative! Bring it to the store for display and then we'll have a public silent auction for a week, with all the money from the winning bids going to the ARL.

There will be a most creative doghouse contest, too!
1st Place - $150 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card
2nd Place - $100 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card


Deliver your doghouse to the store on Aug. 5 or 6. Contact the store for details at 515-957-5500 or send an email to glmcmahon@basspro.com!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Summer Camp Returns!

This weekend kicks off a favorite annual family event for Bass Pro Shops customers! Family Summer Camp is BACK!

Four weeks of outside activities, free crafts, and our educational and fun free workshops for kids...break up your child's summer with fun (and learning!) at Bass Pro Shops! All the fun happens from Noon-5 p.m. each Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday now through July 26.

Here's the schedule for this weekend and next Tuesday and Thursday:

Free crafts for kids - Noon-2 p.m., while supplies last.

 

 

 

June 27 and 28 - Make a Wooden Wind Chime
June 30, July 2 - Make a Kite Photo Frame

Free Family Activities - Noon-5 p.m.

Casting challenge, Daisy BB range, archery range and the foam shooting arcade

 

 

 

Free Workshops for Kids

Each child receives a Summer Camp lanyard at their first seminar, then a pin at each seminar they attend! (While supplies last.) The workshop schedule for this coming week is:

Saturday - June 27
Noon  -  Fishing
1 p.m. - Water Safetyhttp://www.basspro.com/summercamp
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Bird Watching

Sunday - June 28
Noon  - Shooting & Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Tuesday - June 30
Noon  - Bird Watching
1 p.m. - Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Thursday - July 2
Noon  - Archery
1 p.m. - Shooting & Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping

This is a great way to beat the heat - and we look forward to meeting new friends and seeing returning kids. Bring a friend!

Coming up next week at Family Summer Camp? The Catch and Release Pond returns for July 4th and 5th!

_________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison Cabbage Rolls

This recipe was spotted on the Food for Hunters Facebook page. While not typically a huge fan of cooked cabbage, there is fresh cabbage sitting in the garden, venison in the freezer, and home-canned tomatoes in the pantry, so I couldn't resist trying it. As usual, I changed up a couple of things, based on what I had available in my cupboards, including not using the saffron, but using yellow rice instead, which includes saffron in its seasoning. Of course, I also used a few shakes of smoked paprika and our pepper blend seasoning in lieu of black pepper.  Enjoy!
 

Venison Cabbage Rolls

1 pound ground venison
1 head of cabbage
1 Tbsp dried Thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1/2 C uncooked yellow rice
1 large onion, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste ( I will use whole small can next time - to make the sauce a bit thicker)
2 1/4 C crushed tomatoes ( I used one quart of home-canned tomatoes and squished them with my hands in a bowl.)
1 14-ounce can low sodium beef broth
Black pepper blend seasoning or freshly cracked black pepper
Smoked paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine ground meat with thyme, kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper or pepper blend seasoning. Mix in the uncooked rice and egg. Cover and put in fridge.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove any old or discolored leaves from the cabbage head and core it out. This makes it easier to remove the leaves when it's in the water.

Place the cabbage head in the boiling water. Turn it once in a while, but after about two minutes you should be able to start removing leaves. Use tongs to peel the leaf off. I put a colander in the sink and just dropped the leaves into it as I peeled them off. You should come out with about 12-15 leaves, all getting gradually smaller . I had 12 usable leaves off a medium sized garden cabbage. Run cold water over the leaves and let them drain. Careful - they may tear easily.

Take your first leaf (I used the bigger leaves first) and use a small paring knife to shave off the lower rib to make it lay flat. Then put about 2 Tbsps of the meat mixture (I used a soup spoon) toward the bottom of the leaf. Fold in the two sides, fold up the bottom and roll it up. Do this until you run out of meat. Put them on a platter or large plate and set aside.

In a French or Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions,and a pinch of salt, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for another minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth and thyme sprigs. Bring to a simmer.

Gently lay the rolls in the sauce in one layer, seam side down. Ladle some sauce over the rolls, the best you can. cover and bake in the 250 oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Make sure meat is thoroughly cooked and make sure the sauce doesn't cook down too low. I didn't have a problem with this, but if you do, add more beef stock...or a little spicy V8 would be good, too, if you want to kick it up a bit.

Serve warm with the sauce and onions...sprinkle with some Italian cheese if you'd like.  Throw some fresh snow peas in a bowl with a little warm Asian Honey Mustard dressing for a side and you've got an awesome introduction to summer garden eating!

_______________

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Family Summer Camp Returns!


June 27-July 26, 2015

One of the most popular annual family events at our store returns!  Four weeks of outside activities, free crafts, and our educational and fun free workshops for kids...a great way to break up your child's summer with fun at Bass Pro Shops!

Family Summer Camp activities take place every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Noon-5 p.m., June 27-July 26. Along with workshops, we will have the outside free archery and Daisy BB gun ranges for hands-on learning with our experienced staff. We'll also have the casting buckets and foam shooting arcade.

July 4 and 5 ONLY, Noon-5 p.m. - The Catch and Release Pond makes a special appearance and children again receive a FREE 4x6 photo download!

 

Free Workshops for Kids

These workshops are fun and educational! We look forward to seeing returning children each year and new attendees, too! Bring a friend!  The official Family Summer Camp lanyard will again be given out to each child at their first workshop (while supplies last) and, once again, every child receives a special pin after attending each workshop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Crafts each day of Family Summer Camp - Noon-2 p.m.!

                                           

We invite you to have your child bring a friend for Family Summer Camp and attend all the workshops! See you at camp!

Complete details also online at www.basspro.com/summercamp and on our Facebook page!

________________________________________

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Get Outdoors in Iowa's County Parks!

Guest Blogger:
Jessica Johnson ♦ Marketing Coordinator
Hamilton County Conservation
Prairie Rivers of Iowa
www.prrcd.org

“It is my purpose here to show that such parks are needed, that they are needed now;
that they should have the highest scientific value, and that in Iowa they are everywhere practicable.”

Thomas H. MacBride, 1896, President of the University of Iowa, 1914-1916

County parks in Iowa are a jewel that should not be taken for granted. We here at Hamilton County Conservation take pride in giving our adventure seekers the best possible experience, no matter if it’s a few hours, a day, or a week! County parks achieve several things that you may not think of, such as giving you:

  • Direct effect on your health and wellness: Did you know that it is good for you to get outside? You not only breath fresh air, exercise, but your vitamin D levels raise when sunlight hits your skin which helps fight other various diseases (Harvard Health).
  • County parks affect Iowa’s local economic impact: About $851.5 million to be exact (2012 The Economic Value of Iowa’s Natural Resources). When you go camping, fishing/hunting license, participate in an educational program your money is helping going right back to Iowa and helping the local economies then.  
  • Connecting kids to nature: County parks have programming that provide kids (and adults) fun activities to get outside and enjoy the park, as well as all the resources such as play equipment, swimming, hiking opportunities and more!  

County parks provide workforce recruitment (over 1,069 employed), social and mental health benefits, education, and improved water/air quality, along with increased outdoor recreation opportunities.

In the state of Iowa, there are over 193,624 acres that boil down to 1,832 parks, natural areas, preserves, historic sites, trails & more!  There are over 70 education centers, over 1,536 miles of trails, 10,507 campsites, 175 cabins in 48 counties (Hamilton County has 5 luxury cabins for rent all year long), 25,840 programs and events, with over 752,700 participants…that’s you!                     

County parks around the state bring great benefits to you and your family. Whether you are staying in one of our luxury cabins, fishing on our lakes or are staying closer to home in your own county, you are supporting Iowa.

So, get out this summer, make a trip with the family or friends to Hamilton County or anywhere in Iowa.

Find us and all county parks at www.mycountyparks.com

_________________________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Still Fishin'!

Our Gone Fishing Event continues as we encourage people to get fishing and take others fishing, too. Get started with our Gone Fishing Event! Bring dad in for some fun!

June 20-21

Noon- 5 p.m. The Free Catch and Release pond Children who catch a fish receive a First Fish Certificate! Plus, we'll have the free photo download with their catch!

Video Game Trade-In! Trade in a video game and receive a $5 coupon off a new rod/reel combo! Get rid of the video game and get outside! (one coupon per customer - combos of $19.99 or higher - coupon expires June 21) The video games will be donated to veterans!

Free Fishing 101 booklets
Free "Gone Fishing" door hanger to the first 100 customers who visit the fishing department on June 20-21!

Pledge to take someone fishing and be entered in a chance to win a fishing outing for 20 of your friends and a special guest celebrity!

Plus, these great seminars for kids AND adults:

Saturday June 20

  • 11am: Gone Fishing – Best local destinations for group fishing
  • 1pm:  Fishing-The Reel Thing - Choosing the best reel for adults & kids for local fishing - Presented by BPS Pro Staffer Kary Ray
  • 2pm:  Fishing – Anyone Can Do It!  Best equipment to have for taking friends or family fishing for the first time
  • 3pm:  Go Fish – Batteries not required – Information on how to make fishing fun for kids - Presented by BPS Pro Staffer Kary Ray

Sunday June 21

  • 11am: Gone Fishing – Best local destinations for group fishing - Presented by BPS Pro Staffer Rod Woten
  • 1pm: Fishing-The "Reel" Thing - Choosing the best reel for adults and kids for local fishing -
  • 2pm: Fishing – Anyone Can Do It! Best equipment for taking friends or family fishing the first time - Presented by BPS Pro Staffer Rod Woten
  • 3pm: Go FishBatteries not required – Information on how to make fishing fun for kids
  • ____________________

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - We've GONE FISHING!

Join the fishing movement sweeping the nation! Get fishing and take others fishing, too, and get started with our Gone Fishing Event!

June 13-14, 20-21

Noon- 5 p.m. The Free Catch and Release pond returns for BOTH weekends! Children who catch a fish receive a First Fish Certificate! Plus we'll have the free photo download with their catch!

Video Game Trade-In! Trade in a video game and receive a $5 coupon off a new rod/reel combo! Get rid of the video game and get outside! (one coupon per customer - combos of $19.99 or higher - coupon expires June 21) The video games will be donated to veterans!

Free Fishing 101 booklets
Free "Gone Fishing" door hanger to the first 100 customers who visit the fishing department on June13,14 ,20,21!

Pledge to take someone fishing and be entered in a chance to win a fishing outing for 20 of your friends and a special guest celebrity!

Plus, these great seminars for kids AND adults:

Saturday June 13

  • 11am: Gone Fishing – Best local destinations for group fishing – Pro Fisherman and Guide Kevan Paul
  • 1pm:  Fishing-The Reel Thing - Choosing the best reel for adults & kids for local fishing – Bass Pro Shops Pro Lance Baker
  • 2pm:  Fishing – Anyone Can Do It!  Best equipment to have for taking friends or family fishing for the first time - TBD
  • 3pm:  Go Fish – Batteries not required – Information on how to make fishing fun for kids – Lance Baker

Sunday June 14

  • 11am: Gone Fishing – Best local destinations for group fishing
  • 1pm: Fishing-The Reel Thing. Choosing the best reel for adults and kids for local fishing
  • 2pm: Fishing – Anyone Can Do It! Best equipment to have for taking friends or family fishing for the first time
  • 3pm: Go FishBatteries not required – Information on how to make fishing fun for kids – Taylor Howard Mitchellville Elementary fishing club

Kevan Paul will be here from 10:30-noon to talk with guests about walleye tips before and after the 11am seminar, too!

_____________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison Pizza Peppers on the Grill

So easy and tasty, you'll want to make them all the time! Cook the Italian sausage ahead of time, along with prepping the peppers and you've got a quick and filling dinner!

Venison Sausage Pizza Peppers

1 pound venison Italian Sausage (you could use regular venison burger, too)
Red peppers
Shredded cheese of choice - Shredded Italian or Pizza work well
Mushrooms (fresh or 1 small can - I use what's in the cupboard, so it was canned!)
Pizza Sauce
Dried oregano
Smoked Paprika

Cook up the sausage ahead of time in a skillet. You'll want to break it into fairly small pieces, so it's easier to fill the peppers. Put it in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain off any residual grease and liquid. Add the mushrooms into the meat mixture and add about an 1/8 of a cup of pizza sauce - just enough to help keep it moist.

Cut the peppers in half long ways. Cut off the stem without cutting off the end of the pepper. Clean out the seeds and membrane. Fill each pepper half-way with the meat mixture, sprinkle a little shredded cheese, and then finish filling the peppers until they are level with the top of the pepper. Add more cheese on the top and sprinkle with a little oregano and smoked paprika.

Using heavy duty foil, make an aluminum "boat" for the peppers. You could use an 8x8 foil pan, too. Then loosely tent another piece of aluminum over the top. Light your grill. Turn the back burner off, middle on low and front on medium. Place the pepper boat on the back burner, close the lid and cook for about 30 minutes. The cheese should be nicely melted. Remove the tent, kick the middle burner up to medium and the front up to high. Close the lid and let the peppers cook another 15 minutes or so until the cheese is browned.

Serve them up with some zucchini cakes and you're set!

________________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Honey-Fried Walleye

Time for another incredibly tasty recipe from Chef Bob Newell at Honey Creek State Park Resort at Lake Rathbun, Iowa. Our class during the Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekend at Honey Creek learned some spent four hours with Chef Bob,learning recipes, cooking methods for wild game, and tips This one was one of my favorites. Super easy and the honey lends to the golden carmelization of the crust. We happened to have some recently caught walleye in the freezer, perfect to give this a try. Simply melt in your mouth. Enjoy!

Honey-Fried Walleye

First, catch some walleye. :)  (If you have to, I suppose you could buy some at your grocery store.)

1 egg
1 tsp honey (I actually used about 1.5 to 2 tsps.)
1 cup medium crushed cracker meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4-6 walleye fillets (we had 5 and the amount was just right)
Canola oil
Additional honey

In a shallow bowl, mix egg and honey together. In another shallow bowl, combine crushed cracker crumbs, flour, salt, and pepper. Dip fillets in egg and honey mix, then coat with crumb mixture. In a large skillet, heat 1/4" of oil. Fry fish over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drizzle with honey before serving.

You could also use this recipe with good-sized crappie fillets!

______________________________________

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Community Conservation Series - Birdwatching: Hunting with Binoculars

Community Conservation Seminar Series

A series of seminars featuring our Iowa partners in conservation speaking on topics focused on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

 

Birdwatching:
Hunting with Binoculars

Tim Gedler
Park Manager
Walnut Woods State Park

Saturday, June 13
10:00 AM
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Surveys indicate birding has become one of the leading and growing hobbies over the last couple of decades. Join us as Tim Gedler, an experienced birder, highlights aspects of birdwatching and identification with a focus on Iowa bird species. Be prepared to hear some bird calls! No reservations required. Simply join us!

________________________

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Campfire Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread! Who DOESN'T LOVE Monkey Bread??!!  But now you can make it in a Dutch Oven while you're camping or just any old time outside! We made this Campfire Monkey Bread at the Iowa Department of Natural Resource's Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekend at Honey Creek State Park Resort. Super simple and, as always, melt in your mouth yummy!

Of course, with Dutch Oven cooking the time on the dish may vary depending on the weather conditions. This recipe says 20-25 minutes, but it actually took about 45-50 minutes because it was a cool, very windy day and we were pretty much out in the open. There are a number of methods to determine the number of coals you will use, but we take the diameter of the lid and add 3 for the top and subtract three for the bottom. In our case we had a 10 inch oven, so we had 13 coals on top and 7 underneath. We kept fresh coals going and regularly checked to see if the coals in use needed refreshed. A little carmelized/crispy on a couple of pieces, but still YUMMY!

Enjoy!

Campfire Monkey Bread

4 cans of biscuits
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 tbsp cinnamon
1 stick butter

Line a Dutch Oven with aluminum foil. (You could probably use parchment paper, too) Then take some aluminum foil and create a cylinder that will go in the middle of the monkey bread. (pretend you're making a Bundt or angel food cake pan). Roll biscuits into 1 inch balls. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Drop the biscuits into the bag and coat well. Place biscuit balls into Dutch Oven. Once the Dutch Oven is filled with biscuit balls, melt the butter and pour it over the the biscuits. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake over medium coals about 20-25 minutes.

____________________

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Ladies' Night 2015!

Join us for a fun-filled night of shopping!

  • Specialty Vendors
  • Special Activities Throughout the evening
  • Gift Basket Drawings

Two Grand Prize Drawings - One pair of Maui Jim and one pair of Costa sunglasses!

Grab your girlfriends, moms, daughters, and any special women in your life and come join the fun!

Our Guest Specialty Vendors Will Include:

31 Bags
Avon
Azuliskye
BeautiControl
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

Carrie’s Wine Bottles
Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping
Firearms Education for Women, LLC.
Godfrey Family Chiropractic

ICE Performance Training
It Works!
Hy-Vee Dietician
LegalShield
Lia Sophia
Local Motion Dancers
Mary Kay
Miche Bags
Norwex
Origami Owl
Out of Your Mind Creations
Pampered Chef

Pink Papaya
Plant.Grow.Fly.
Plexus Slim
Sisters on the Fly (with a 70's Holiday Rambler "glamping" camper)
Tara Studios
Tastefully Simple
Team United Roller Derby
Tupperware
Vinyl 2 Luv
Visi
Young Living Essential Oils

Join us!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Dutch Oven Bacon Cheddar Corn Pudding

Anything you make in an oven can be made in Dutch Oven cooking. With the right number of coals on top and underneath, your Dutch Oven can produce casserole, desserts, bread and other delights! Here's a recipe compliments of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources program Becoming an Outdoors-Woman retreat weekend! Many have made variations on this in the oven...now try it in a Dutch Oven! Enjoy!

Bacon Cheddar Corn Pudding

2 eggs, beaten
1 - 15 oz. can cream-style corn
1 - 11 oz can corn with red and green bell peppers, drained
1 - 8.5 ox package corn muffin mix (Jiffy sized)
1/2 C ranch dressing
1 - 8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 green onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Lightly oil or spray dutch oven. Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended; stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Pour into prepared dutch oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is firm to the touch. Meanwhile, combine remaining cheese, onions and bacon. Top casserole with cheese mixture, bake 10 minutes more or until lightly browned.

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This Weekend @ BPS Altoona - "How-To's" for Family Fun!

Cooking, camping, hiking...it's time for the FAMILY to have some fun! It's the second weekend of our Go Outdoors Event - Join us for free seminars on how YOU can get started enjoying the great outdoors!

The grill shack will be open both days, too, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.!
 

Saturday, May 23

11 a.m. - Capable Kayaking - The basics of family kayaking fun
2 p.m. - Local Trails & Treasures - Where to go for Family Outings - Parks, water trails, hiking trails, and more with Melissa Schmeling, Polk County Conservation!

 

Sunday, May 24

11 a.m. - Conquering Campfire Cooking - Best practices, procedures, and cookware
2 p.m. - Kids and Camping - Make camping fun, comfortable, and exciting for kids.

Plus, find out how easy it is to have some cooking with these demos and sampling:

Saturday: Flossie's Funnel Cake Samples - 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fish samples with Uncle Buck's Fish Batter, 2-5 p.m.
Sunday: Dutch Oven Cooking, 1-4 p.m.
- Find out how easy it is!

Also on Saturday, May 23

ARL Adoption Day! 10-4 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Spotlight - Fold-Up Utility Wagon

Tis the season! Farmers' markets, soccer, baseball and softball games, flea markets, beach time, garage sales, and just good old being outside and needing to tote stuff!

Here is the little red wagon that's going to make your life easier!

Mac Sports™ Fold-Up Utility Wagon

This handy-dandy, collapsible wagon will make your life easier by allowing to load all those treasures up at the flea market, farmers' market, or to haul everything to the beach or to your seat at the soccer game.

It has a strong, steel fold-up frame, is easy to set up and can hold up to 150 pounds...that's a LOT of treasures!

Recently we were at the What Cheer Flea Market in What Cheer, Iowa. This massive flea market is held three times per year and there were more vendors than ever before. My poor husband made multiple trips out to the car to tote items we had purchased...they weren't big items, but we could only carry so much between the two of us and a backpack. I noticed many people pulling similar little wagons, any maybe some were actually this exact style, with their items. I was wishing I had one.

Now, I'm thinking...my garden! Yard work! What a great way to tote leaves, sticks, and veggies!

How can YOU use the Mac Sports Fold-Up Utility Wagon? I bet you can come up with something. I have!

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Community Conservation Series - Don't Just Landscape...Rainscape!

Community Conservation Seminar Series

A series of seminars featuring Iowa partners in conservation featuring topics on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Don’t Just Landscape...Rainscape!

John Swanson
Watershed Outreach Coordinator

Polk County Soil and Conservation District

Wednesday, May 27
6:00 PM
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Rainscaping creates beautiful landscapes that manage water sustainably. Rain gardens, native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving, and native turf are a few features  you can incorporate on your own property to improve water quality and pollinator habitat. Do it yourself or hire a certified rainscaper trained in the design and installation of rainscaping practices. Either way, this seminar will give you the knowledge you need to not just landscape, but rainscape!

No reservations required. Simply join us!

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Paddling Iowa - Meandering vs. Non-Meandering

Did you know Iowa is #3 in the country for total number of river miles, behind Pennsylvania and Oregon? Because of this, we have visitors from all over the country coming to Iowa to canoe, kayak, and stand up paddle their way through over 1,000 miles of river. Because of this, it's important for everyone to know the rules and regulations.

Todd Robertson is the River Programs Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and a certified paddling instructor. Recently, Todd shared his vast knowledge about Iowa's water trails and the sport of stand up paddling in a seminar. Along with the always important safety, knowing the proper techniques, and being aware of the weather, he stressed the importance of knowing the waters you are on and our state's rules and regulations. One of the topics he addressed was meandered rivers versus non-meandered rivers. It's important to know what you're on, especially if you want to get out of your paddle craft and enjoy a rest! Here's more in this YouTube clip:

For more information on meandered versus non-meandered, including maps of meandered rivers and legal boundaries, visit www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/CanoeingKayaking/PaddlerResources/InstructionSafety.aspx

Iowa Water Trails Map

Paddler Resources for Iowa

Low Head Dams - Their danger and their mitigation. Changing the profile of Iowa's waterways.

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