Since our last blog, the crew has had two meetings at basecamp. In our two meetings we have accomplished a lot and learned some new things. Last week, the crew got together to get back on the water again and work on our paddling strokes on the Mississippi. However, this time it was a total 360 from our last paddling meeting. The water was very windy and wavy-perfect for simulating days on trail. This weather also made it harder to keep the canoes straight, but it was perfect practiced. We had an odd number of guys paddling, so some of the guys took turns paddling in the solo canoe, which is super good for learning the J-stroke and paddling in a straight line.  Everyone has now been out on the water paddling and it is something that we will be doing a lot of from now to the time we leave. 

After the paddle, we headed back up to basecamp to work on setting up a nice tarp to accomodate since not everyone had set them up yet. I was extremely impressed by the quality tarp the guys were able to set up. it was also a good time to practice our knots and get a better grasp on them.

In our meeting Monday night, since basecamp was crazy with crews and parent meetings, our crew headed to the woods to practice finding tarp spots and setting up our tarp. We set up our tarp to escape the drizzling rain and so we had a dry spot to talk through our menu and order our food. Jaydon Brattensborg was assigned our food coordinator for his pre-trip job, so he was in charge of filling out our menu and keeping everyone focused and giving their input, so the whole crew was deciding on what food we were bringing. Everyone in the crew will be assigned their own pre-trip job to help us prep for our coming summer. The menu took longer than expected, but it looks like we will have some yummy food on trail. We also made sure to accommodate our trail  birthdays with lots of cakes!! A new way I feel like I can get the guys to communicate with each other more and have a little bit more responsibility before leaving on trail is to have them set up our meetings. Jack Neeser will be in charge of setting up our next meeting and communicating with the guys and figuring out a date and time that works for everyone to meet. At the next meeting he will assign the next crew member in charge and it will keep going. This way the guys can give their input for what they would like to do for their meeting and working together to make sure everyone is caught up with necessary skills before going on trail. 

I am always so impressed with how quick the guys are learning and their involvement with the program already. They are growing so much as a crew and it has been so awesome to see!! 

As always, please contact me with any questions!

Zach