Friday, June 15, 2012

Base Camp Split and All Staff Training


So to start things out,
 Day 1: We started off by waking up at 5:00 in the morning (no, you didn’t read that wrong), and multi-pitched up 5 pitches to the top of Table Rock (you didn’t read that wrong either!). I got to do three of my favorite things at once: Climbing, watching the sunrise, and hanging out with outdoor educators. When we got up there, we did some introductions (both people and Table Rock), then the interns split up and we went and did the mountaineers route to get up to the top of Table Rock.  It was a blast.  Sadly, I have zero pictures of it.  We then finished (way late), and came down for dinner and painting tiles (there are tiles that hang up in the library.  It's a leader's way to bring their 'flavor' to the crew.  Naturally I chose to rep GORP)

Aw Yeah!  It's gorgeous enough to hang up in a Museum, but it's destined location is the Table Rock Library.

 Making Tiles!

Day 2:  Today was not nearly as exciting as yesterday.  We got to sleep in! (until 7:30 AM!), ate breakfast, then the interns and new staff went down to get checked off on the High Ropes Course (or not so-challenging course as it would later be dubbed) which was fun.  We practiced lowering people, and sending people off the big swing.  Sadly no pictures of this.  In the afternoon, we practiced 15 passenger vehicle driving.  Again, no pictures, but it was pretty fun too.  At night we had dinner, then got to listen to some early figures of NCOBS talk about how NCOBS started and how it got to be where it is today.  I don't remember the exact names, but Rhea is the woman with gray hair in this picture, and she knew Marjorie Buckley (who founded NCOBS).  We also got to hear from a guy named Mike Fischesser who started Alpine Towers, and played a big part in helping transform NCOBS' safety program.  Mike is the bald guy standing up.  I forget the name of the last guy, although I'm sure I could find out if I talked to the people who have been around here for longer.

History Night

Day 3:  On day 3 we really didn't do very much.  We did do a Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge, but sadly it had to be with NCOBS cameras so I don't have any pictures from that.  We also did get to do a TOGA PARTY! which was a lot of fun, and a Yankee Swap.  I got a backpack and a day climbing trees with the person who gave the backpack.  Awesome-sauce!

Getting our Toga on

Aw Yeah!

All Staff Training!

Once a year the base camps of NCOBS get together to do one unified training at the Cedar Rock Base Camp.
My hotel for the Training.
Day 1: This year we started off by listening to the director talk about where NCOBS is, what made it successful, and where it is going. We then listened to some other management people talk about their areas of NCOBS, and how things are going.  It was good to hear, but I wouldn’t call the information interesting.  We then had lunch, which was delightful, and then we went back outside to listen to a panel of people who had been involved with NCOBS for a long time.

Michelle's awesome hat!
Moose on the far left.  Carl Ronkey is on the second to right.  I don't remember the other names.
 They had a very unique perspective, and gave some great advice about how to lead a great course, and how to better ourselves as instructors.  (Namely, the students need to have the opportunity to completely fail, and instructors need to get outside the world of NCOBS to learn more about the world and themselves.)  We then had a lesson in group facilitation with Carl Ronkey, which was a lot of fun!

The piece of tape game.  Needless to say, it gets pretty epic in big groups.

We then had our banquet, presented the highest award of NCOBS (The Buckley Bearing Award), and then prepared for the next day where we would do ANOTHER 7 mile Personal Challenge Event! (First one was a week ago at the end of our Intern Immersion).

Jen receiving the Buckley Bearing Award.  Josh Allen and Ashley Gray also received awards at different times.

Day 2: 3 letters, P.C.E!!!!  I have no pictures of it, and I don’t have my time either.  I elected not to time myself, and just focus on how I felt, which was a really great decision.  I won’t bore you with 7 miles of race details, but suffice to say it felt great, and I placed pretty high.  (It’s funny, the PCE isn’t a race, but a lot of people think of it like one.)

Then, after killing my legs, we got to eat some breakfast and then listened to some more people talk. 

The assortment of beverages people chose when listening to talks (the alcohol was from (the party) the night before).

We then ate lunch, and did some workshops in the afternoon.   I elected to learn more about the NCOBS Wiki (LINK!) and learn about the repair kit.  Both were good decisions, especially the repair kit workshop, as I learned how to patch up not only NCOBS gear, but also a lot of my own gear.

After the workshops we had a little break, and then we had our final banquet.  About an hour after it started, the opportunity arose to share stories about personal trips people had taken in the past.  It was really cool to watch and listen to some of the places other leaders had been, although it did get boring after a while...

Then there was another party, then bed!  (and then I went back to Table Rock the next day.  More on that will be continued in the next post!)


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