Week 5 – Spring Break cont’

We had another week of work around camp. Work without the kids is far less interesting than with them. Through out the week we split more wood with the wood splitter, made some posters to help with OE, cleaned up fire pits and a  bunch of storage rooms around camp, and washed a lot of Lost and Found laundry. Fortunately, we also had a couple groups come in for team building on the ropes course! So we did get to have some fun.

In the middle of the week, a group of HR workers from several branches of one company came out for two days of team building exercises including time on the Giant Swing and high circuit and an exercise that we call Master Chef and offer to a lot of corporate groups. I got to second when the group of eight went on the ropes course on Thursday, which was good fun because it was my first time really working with adults in this environment, seeing how different, yet similar, they are to the kids. But setting up for the Master Chef and seeing the results for it was neat, too. So, Master Chef is basically a cooking challenge that can come in a bunch of variations depending on the challenge level that the group is looking for. The whole group is split into teams of 4-5 people, food stuffs (produce, dry goods, canned goods, etc…) and cooking tools and device are laid out, and the teams get x amount of time to create three courses which are judged like on any cooking competition. Some variations that we have offered in the past include requiring the use of “key” ingredient and making teams switch places in the middle of the the cooking, so they have to finish the meal that the other team started WITHOUT talking to them about what they were trying to accomplish. Anyway, the group this time didn’t have any special challenges included in their Master Chef activity and they turned out some pretty darn tasty food, which I was happy to help them and my coworkers finish off.

We had another group in for the weekend – about 20 Ohio State students who are part of some sort of agriculture club or Greek life program, or something, it was not made very clear to me. They apparently come every year for team building and leadership development. I got to co-lead on the ropes course for them on Saturday: I transferred them from the Prusik ascent line to their first element and then got to send all of them down the zip-line (after Cougar did all of the introduction work). With a little more practice I should be completely lead certified soon! I am very excited. The best part about this group was that they all managed to go down the zip-line! Every single one of them that climbed up on to the course made it across at least two elements to get the zip-line and them managed to push themselves off of the ledge to take that wild ride. I have yet to see any group get all of their participants to zip-line and Cougar said that it is exceptionally rare for any group, especially of their size, to accomplish that. A big part of their success was support for each other, especially from the kids that struggled at first and were scared, but them accomplished something and were able to help the others who were also struggling. Performing the debriefing discussion was very fruitful.

As I mentioned, there were a lot of similarities between the different age groups that I have seen up on the ropes course. There are always several that are somewhat to very nervous about even getting up the ladder to the platform, but their ability to succeed is greatly dependent on their teammates support and decisions. As soon as one or two individuals are convinced or feel that they cannot get up onto the course, others that have been nervous will be less willing to push themselves. In the corporate group, we saw two of the eight not make it up to the platform and another only make it across one element. The group was supportive of each other, but they did not push their coworkers the way that the college students pushed their classmates. This could just be the population or it could be their relationship based on their age group and the situation they are in as coworkers vs classmates. Just an interesting comparison in my eyes. The middle schoolers that I have seen are more individually focused, perhaps like the corporate group, less willing or able to support their classmates because they have to do so much to support themselves.

Irrelevant to the work I have been doing here at camp, I have also gotten to take some time to go bike riding around the area, which is lovely, albeit still rather chilly. The recent great improvements in the weather have made these trips significantly more enjoyable, though.

Just one more week and then we get the kids back! Exciting things to look forward to: trip to a chicken farm so we can raise chickens here at camp and a trip to my AB’s.

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