What another fantastic day for the Fritz crew! Yesterday the guys met out at basecamp for a crew meeting dedicated towards learning how to flip up the canoe and portaging. The guys were absolute rockstars! 

We started off the meeting by learning all about the different parts of the canoe so that the guys would know what parts I would be talking about while demonstrating how to flip the canoe. Some of the parts we learned were the stern, bow, gunwales, thwarts, yoke, and deck plates.  After learning some canoe terminology we began going through the different steps leading up to flipping up the canoe. I demonstrated each step, then had the guys run through each step before adding a new one. Eventually we got to the part that most people tend to get nervous about-the actual flip up. However, all the guys CRUSHED it and everyone was able to get the canoe flipped up on their first try without assistance from anyone! AWESOME. Once everyone had it up, we learned how to properly take it off while doing the same steps as getting it on, but just in reverse order. The crew got the hang of it very quickly, so we decided to test it out and go for a short portage down to the tennis courts on Pine Point Rd. This gave the guys the opportunity to get  an idea of what portaging is like on trail, but there will be less roads and more fallen trees, hills, and bugs on trail, thats for sure:) Each time the guys portage from now until the trip they are encouraged to portage farther than they did the meeting before! We split up into to pairs of two so that one person could portage to the tennis courts, and one could portage back. It seems like they were all starting to feel it in their shoulders by the end of their portage. On our walk back from the the tennis courts I asked all of the guys to find out something about their partner that they don't know about them yet! 

Once back returning to basecamp from our portage, I challenged the guys to try flipping up/down on their weak sides since they had only done it with their strong sides. The guys seemed a little hesitant at first as to if they could do it or not, but eventually accepted the challenge. We went through all the steps again so they could see how to do it with their hands switching spots from how they originally learned it throughout the process. Once again, the guys crushed it and they all flipped it up on their weak sides on the first try and after a portage!! Believing you can do something, even if its new to you and having the support of your crew members is a special feeling. The guys did an awesome job of encouraging and helping each other out! Way to go guys!!!

After the flipping had stopped, some of the guys wanted to jump in the river before leaving, so we all gathered by the river to hang out and talk with a beautiful sunset along the Mississippi River. The crew will be going through maps next meeting and start making our route for the summer. We will be able to incorporate all of the things we hope to accomplish/see over our 26 day expedition when going over our maps. 

Feel Free to contact me with any questions!!

Zach

Countdown: 36 Days!!!