This will likely be my last blog post for Base Camp as I am transitioning to a new teaching position within the Calgary Board of Education. Since it is my last week at camp, we decided to have a fun, team-based event for the students. We created Base Camp's first ever Winter Adventure Challenge. This was something that Jeff and I had been discussing for months, but for a variety of reasons were never able to get it off the ground. With some planning and a little hard work we were able to make it happen on a beautiful winter afternoon.
The idea behind it was to combine several different activities into one big event where the students would have to work together as a team to complete the entire circuit. At no point could one student progress ahead of his/her classmates. They had to start and finish together as one team.
The whole event started with a Lumberjack Challenge where the students had to chop, haul, and stack a pre-determined amount of firewood. Once complete, they jogged over to the garage where a series of fitness challenges were waiting to be completed. As a team they had to decide who was going to complete what, with each student having to perform three separate exercises before they were able to move onto the next activity. The students rattled off pushups, pull-ups, crunches, and the like, before hitting the road for a brief trail run.
|Running through the meadow|
At the conclusion of the run each student had to lace-up their cross-country ski boots, snap into their skis, and continue on down the road. The skiing began with a steady climb up a reasonably-sized hill, so there were a few challenges with this leg of the course. Once at the top, however, the trail flattened out and the students seemed to enjoy themselves as they coasted to the next checkpoint.
The second last leg of the challenge featured snowshoeing through the bush on an old quad trail. The most difficult part of this section was actually putting the snowshoes on! Once all of our feet were snuggly in place we were on the move again. We trekked through the woods with more than a few glimpses of picturesque Black Rock Mountain peeking above the tree tops.
Our last event featured the Team All Aboard element of the high ropes course. The objective of this element is to scale the pole to the small platform at the top. Once everyone is standing, they will join hands and slowly lean back over the edge while being supported by the belay team on the ground. Of course this element, like all on the course, is considered "challenge by choice" and nobody is going to force anyone to do something they aren't comfortable with. One of our students chose not to participate in the final activity, and that was more than fine, but the remainder of the students decided they'd like to give it a try.
From start to finish the event took roughly an hour and a half. The students seemed to have a great time, although their teamwork skills could use a little polishing. I believe this type of event is something that will evolve and grow over the next few months with different activities being incorporated that are dependent on the changing seasons. I can vision paddling, swimming, and mountain biking as being utilized in a similar event this coming spring, it's just too bad I won't be around to partake in all the fun!