May 31, 2006

Slide show almost ready

Great news - I had pictures from every group but one for the slideshow last week we showed to the students. Unfortunately students in one group couldn't find the camera I provided them. Luckily another student in the group had their own cameras and got me the pictures the other day.

So the slideshow is complete with every group represented! I've rendered it for the web - tomorow I'll pass it along to Eric and he'll get it up on the NHS page. When he does I'll let you know here as well.

For now here's a sneak peak at one of the pictures from Ted, Jaffrie and Sara's crew - well worth the wait!

May 29, 2006

Thoughts on NOT being on expedition

It never fails, the expedition departs and I'm hurring around campus preparing this or responding to that or cleaning up the other thing. I hurry past a group of students or staff and they look at me shocked, "Aren't the sophomores already gone?" Of course, I respond, they are already gone, I just don't go on expedition any more. Surprised and a little disapointed they respond, "Well what do you do then?"

In reality - I don't do much, I don't sleep in the snow, or guide student's process or facilitate their uncomfortableness (which is really when learning happens). That's the magic our field staff create.

Likewise for each of our students there are parents, relatives, friends, older siblings who aren't on expedition. What do each of you do? Again, you aren't in the rain or staring at the compass willing it to grant insight, or shivering in a tent. Yet you've each had a part in making it possible for this remarkable group of young people to accomplish everything they did last week.

So what do we do? I guess I never really understood this in any of my previous work. I was blissfully ignorant of what I was really doing as I sent off young people on uncomfortable adventures. Then I became a father and my reality completely shifted.

At baccaluareate I was joking with someone that it was raining out and I wasn't worried. It's true that I worry and toss and turn and stress when I hear it raining outside and the expedition is out. When a parent calls with a concern - it makes total sense to me probably because I've already lost sleep over the same thing they're calling about.

So all the students who are back home from expedition, comfortable and no longer in the snow - well done! It's true I had a cell phone and an emergency action plan for one week of your life - but there are parents, grandparents, care givers, siblings and loved ones out there who are 'on expedition' with you every day. We're all really proud of what you did on expedition and what you do every day too.

May 28, 2006

Summer Projects

Well the school year is over, the expedition has come and gone and it's about time to start thinking about summer projects.

Jon is interested in coming up to do some work and I know Dave and I will have some time too.

I'm looking forward to wrapping up the paperwork from the SophX, reading the incident reports and finishing up the last of the gear clean up.

On the mountain I think we'll work more on the ski hill and run the brush hog. We'll also have to treat the AT with wood preservative this summer.

Although the hot temps have arrived (conveniently days after the sophomores returned!) it will be great to get on the mountain. I enjoy the work so much, it's kind of ironic that I've gotten further and further from it.

May 25, 2006

They're BACK!

Everyone is back safe from the woods!

Here are the groups arriving back on campus.

Some tired but proud faces emerged from the busses Thursday morning as the Sophomores returned from expedition. But they weren't done quite yet. First groups had to unpack and sort their belongings from the group gear, clean pots, bowls and spoons and return everything to the gear room.

By taking good care of the school's equipment the students are setting up next year's expedition to be a success.

Here's Shaffer and his crew with a good pack explosion going on.

Juniors Ty, Tom and Victor are on hand to welcome the Sophomores back to campus - perhaps they recall their own expedition just a year ago.

Students set up and carefully air out our new Marmot tents so they can be packed complete with all their parts and dry for the summer.

Ali and Bri seem tired, but quite happy to be back!

Finally everything was cleaned up, put away and ship shape. Students went off to well deserved showers and staff debriefed and wrapped up.

What a trip! Snow, rain, peaks, valleys, hi's & lows. We wrapped up the whole trip this morning (Friday) by sharing stories and showing the expedition slide show. Here's Russ and Jon's group sharing their hi's and lows with the rest of the class.

Thank you parents for all of your thoughts, concerns and positive energy you were sending to your children. It has been great to hear from you!

Stay tuned here for a link to the slide show which I should have on the net next week.

May 24, 2006

Dry Socks are Good

Just got a phone call from Cadyn our intern from PSU. He's not with one particular group - instead he's been visiting multiple groups this week to conduct a safety review of the expedition.

We have quite a few policies and procedures that we have written down which say how we should be running our programs. We train staff and students in these policies and Cadyn is looking to see if these written policies actually translates into safer actions in the field.

He'll be making a report to our Risk Management Committee next week once the expedition is over.

But that's not what I wanted to write about just now. He called to check in and to let me know he'd seen Dave, Adam and Jade's group and a little while later Laurel, Doug and Matt's group.

Dave, Adam and Jade's crew had just come over the summit of Mt. Mousilauke and Laurel and Doug's group were about to go in that direction. It turns out that the crew that had already summitted had found some snow on top. Not a surprise to us since we've been seeing pictures and hearing stories about this all along here on the web site, but Dave hadn't of course and this was the first time his crew was up that high so they were a little surprised. It turns out that quite a few of the students got snow in their boots and had pretty wet socks.

Along saunters Cadyn with the mission of reviewing safety policies in action. Now, not only was he to do this, but he also had a super secret mission. Cadyn had stuffed his pack before he left with dry long jons, wool socks, and other goodies. When Dave, Jade and Adam's crew came down off the mountain they must have been proud but also a little cold and damp. I'll bet he could have got any price he asked for if he was selling the dry socks he had in his pack! As it was he said he gave out all the socks he had with him and turned proud but cold students into proud cozy students.

Students will be at their final camp sites tonight and will no doubt break camp in record time tomorow morning to meet their pick ups. All students should be back on campus by around 11:00am and should be done with cleaning up and returning group gear by noon.

No News is Good News

I've had some good calls from parents this week who let me know they were following the progress of the expedition on the web. That's great! Unfortunately some parents I couldn't give much information to because I haven't heard from their groups. That's actually a really good thing because that means that everything is fine and the group is on target for pick up tomorow.

That being said I imagine you might be wondering how do I know where they are in the event of an emergency? I thought I would show you an example of how we make a plan for where groups are going each day. Here is a picture of our Expedition Plan. You should be able to click the picture to see a larger version of it.

The Expedition Plan outlines where the group will hike each day and where they are planning to camp. It also maps out where a group would communicate from and where they would evacuate to in the event of an emergency. We've mapped this out in advance to prevent instructors in the field from having to reinvent the wheel in a stressful situation. You'll also see at the bottom of the page any National Forest guidelines for camping and fires.

So that's how I can say with reasonable confidence that Laurel and Doug's group are on track and are planning to go over the summit of Mt. Moosilauke via the Glencliff Trail today and that they are planning to stay at the Beaver Brook Shelter tonight.

Here is a quick update of what I know of all the groups so far. If you don't know what group your son or daughter is in please give me a ring and I can fill you in. My cell is (603) 455-2715 and land line is (603) 677-3404. I appologize for not publishing the group list here but I've tried to refrain for printing student first and last names on the internet.

Laurel & Doug's group (Gilman's Corner): Havent heard from them since Monday when two students were brought in to the group who had family commitments over the weekend. On track to finish up at their planned pick up tomorow morning.

Kimberly and Debbie's group (Mayhew): Added a group member on Tuesday morning, did canoeing yesterday and are having fun.

Pete, Kasia and Jon's group (Kinsman Ridge): On track for normal pick up. No news is good news.

Russ, Jon and Meghan's group (Reel Brook): Modified their route to adjust to cold temps and snow on their trail. See pictures on yesterday's post.

Ted, Jaffrie and Sara's group (Lincoln Woods): On track for normal pick up. Saw Ted yesterday as he brought out two hikers with sore knees. See yesterday's post.

Jason and Vicki's group (Gale River): Heard from Jason on Monday. They modified their route to avoid some of the peaks on their planned trail. They are staying lower and out of the cold temps. On track for regular pick up.

Dave, Jade and Adam's group (Gordon Pond): No news is good news, on track for regular pick up.

Darren and Craig's group (Liberty): Modified their route to avoid summits. Had some trail magic two nights ago when a teacher hiked some goodies into the crew.

Jayne and Travis's group (Garfield): Lost their cook pot in the river but had high spirits when I saw them last night. See pictures from yesterday's post.

That's what I know so far! Students should be back on campus by 11:00am tomorow and will be done cleaning and returning gear no later than Noon. They might be ready for a hot shower at that point and the dining hall food will look really good!

May 23, 2006

Day 3 Update!

I visited a few groups in the field today. Here is Russ, Jon and Meaghan's crew. They reported more snow and cold temps above 2000 - 3000 feet. Several other groups called in to modify their route and change their pick up to avoid some of the higher peaks and thus the snow. One student from Russ's group offered me $200 to take him home. Then he found some dry socks in his pack, did a victory dance and declared, "It's okay - let's go hiking!"

Unfortunately I had to take four students out of the field today. Two had developed stomach bugs. Despite being well fed and hydrated they were struggling with upset stomachs. They probably came on course with something brewing and it came out in the cold and damp. Two other students developed sore knees and were looked at by our training staff. The verdict was strained ligaments.

The weather in the notch continues to be chilly but there wasn't any precipitation today. In this picture you can see the snow line - probably around 3000 feet.

The next group that I connected with was Jayne and Travis. They had called in a bit embarrassed but with a legitimate concern. A student had gone to fill the cook pot with water for dinner the night before and lost his grip. Before they knew it the pot was swept down stream and over a series of falls. Luckily last night they borrowed a pot from another group but they were looking at the prospect of not having a cook pot for a couple of days. So they hiked out, called me and I brought a cook pot up to them. They'll camp tonight a bit shy of their goal for the day - but as I told the instructor team - I'd rather they made a more conservative call than pushed on without a pot to cook supper in!

Cooks Paul and Alex prepare spaghetti alfredo for dinner.
Later Gunnar insisted in showing me his prune feet. Sweeeet! Dry those feet out by the fire tonight, Gunnar!The students who came out of the field today where quite reflective, I think to their own surprise as much as my own. Their thoughts on going without modern conveniences, without even a roof caused them to think about homeless people and Jews fleeing persecution during the holocaust. I was touched that this experience could conjure these kinds of connections for them.

On an unrelated note I heard on the radio that some hikers in the Presidential Range called for a rescue last night and I wanted to share this information with you in case anyone thought it was one of our groups. Click here for a Channel 9 story about the incident. Fish and Game officials said that the group didn't have tents, stoves or the clothing required for the conditions in the mountains at this time of year and that they should have turned back long before they called for help on a cell phone. Luckily everyone was okay, but it's an important lesson in how critical it is not to underestimate the mountains.

May 22, 2006

Fresh Snow Slows Hikers

According to reports I've received today from the field about an inch and a half of snow fell above the 2000' mark. That put only one or two groups in the snow zone as most groups were just getting started yesterday.

Darren's group decided to backtrack a bit lower in the valley today and warm up and prepare to push over the Franconia Ridge tomorrow in warmer conditions. A great move - I love it when groups can adjust their route and plan to do what is right for the whole group. This kind of initiative reveals a real care for students and a great plan to continue for the rest of the week.

Ted and Jaffrie's group was on track and heading over the dramatic and beautiful peaks of Flume and Liberty. We had to bring a student out of this group who was suffering from bad migrain headaches. This student is now feeling better and will be joining the alternative group tomorrow morning.

Laurel's group spent some time with Cadyn our intern from PSU who is conducting a review of safety policies for our Risk Management Committee. They are doing well and hiking strong.

Here is a picture I took today from the Lincoln Woods trailhead - it was a chilly day but the sun came out a few times while I was up there.

That's all I know for now - I'll keep you posted as I know more!

Late Arrivals Heading Into the Field

The sophomore expedition is a required part of the NHS curriculum. That being said we make every effort to accommodate students with different physical abilities, levels of personal challenge and experience in the outdoors. This year we have a group of eight students with a faculty leader and a senior leader who are not hiking due to their physical abilities but who are still challenging themselves to the max in ways that are safe for them.

We also have to balance lots of different schedules. This year we had three students with family commitments this past weekend. Thanks to our intern and a student's advisor we are able to hike them into their group early this morning. Here are Jen and her advisee Matt as they prepare to hike in to meet their group early this morning. Jen is holding their map and Matt has his (currently) light pack. He'll pick up group gear and food when he rejoins his crew.

Kayla and Ben came in this morning at 6:00 to pack their bags and drive with our intern Cadyn up to the trail head. The three of them hiked in to meet Laurel who was hiking out to meet them. By mid day they will be rejoined with their group and well on their way to their next camp.

I have to admit that during the expedition I become shamelessly superstitious about the weather. I also constantly check the weather online. I believe channel 9 reported snow above 2000 feet in the White Mountains! We ask every student to bring long jons, hat, mittens, fleece sweaters and wool socks. Many students question this requirement while they are at school, but I'll bet they were happy about it this morning!

If you are a weather junkie like I am you can click on the link in the right hand column labeled "SophX Weather" to get updates on how things are looking.

Stay tuned here for more updates as I know more.

May 21, 2006

Sophomores Depart on SophX 2006

I know it's not strictly about Burleigh Mountain but I couldn't resist posting some pictures here of our sixth annual Sophomore Cooperative Learning Expedition! Here's Caitlyn trying out her sleeping bag - looks warm!
First thing Saturday morning Dave, Cadyn and I brought all the gear to the lower gym. That's nine groups of tents, sleeping bags, camping pads, bagels, macaroni & cheese, bug nets and something like 400 granola bars!On Saturday our teachers and a professional wilderness instructor (hired for each group to bring wilderness first aid training and outdoor skills to the table), prepped all the gear and set up our new Marmot Halo 4 tents. Note the camping pads and blue student journals laid out for each student to pack into their pack.

It was great that during our prep day a tour of alumni came through - it's reunion weekend. Turns out one of the alums helped start the rock climbing club in 1971 on 60' crags within walking distance of the school. Not only were they excited to see the tradition of adventure still continues - we will be scouting out in the woods to find back this amazing hidden crag!
At last on Sunday morning the students arrive! There was excitement, energy and a little bit of nervousness and fear too. Staff were psyched to hit the trail with our students. But first some important gear and safety checks. Here are some students meeting their gear for the first time.

Jayne and Travis are reviewing important safety protocols before heading into the field. What to do in a lightning storm and if you find yourself lost and alone in the woods are topics covered in detail before students hit the trail. Jayne is holding the group journal. A trove of stories, daily reports, job rotations and reflections, this running account of trips is added to by new groups each year.

Meaghan, a professional wilderness instructor from Maine goes through the clothing list with Katina and Nicoya, checking their gear and helping them pack their backpack.At last students are ready to depart! Best of luck to all the campers, staff and senior leaders on the 2006 Sophomore Cooperative Learning Expedition. Stay tuned to this site for more updates and pictures!

May 18, 2006

We survived the rain!

Despite record rains we survived pretty well. Culverts overflowed both at the Alpine Tower and down at the gate. I'm thinking they are either too small or now too clogged to be of much use in heavy rain like we had. In both places the stream was flowing across the roadway and it was difficult to see much flowage through the culvert itself.

Our stalwart neighbor Carl called to report that a fair bit of gravel had washed from our shared access road / driveway into the street. Carl is great - he has been Burleigh Mountain's neighbor for many years and is very supportive of adventure and environmental programs.

We dump the gravel and sand on our shared access road and he grades it out and takes care of the road. I'm hoping to stop by and see him soon and check in on the rain damage. We'll have to think about replacing those culverts and doing some road work soon.

I've had a couple of recent conversations with locals who are involved in a variety of interesting projects or who have passions that sound exciting to tap into. I'm curious about how to involve them in Burleigh and how to share their energy and ideas with our students.

May 14, 2006

Rainy Day Woodmakers

I'm intrigued by the convergence of 'want to' and 'have to' and how relationships and meaning making come together to make an experience.

Today Brendan and Joe busted their chops splitting, loading and stacking wood in a total downpour that is causing floods in some areas of New Hampshire and caused the culverts on Burleigh to overflow and the streams to run across the road. Brendan is working to complete his senior leadership project and Joe has work hours. So they both had to be there today. But something about the weather, the task and the sheer adversity of it had them charged up. Plus the task will translate directly to maple syrup next spring and happy freshmen next fall!

Here is the report Brendan prepared after their work:

"Today I Brendan and Joe worked hard on Burleigh Mountain. It started out as just a cold day and some wind. It had been a good start to chopping and stacking wood. Then after breakfast it started to rain. The rain started out slow and got harder and harder as time went on. Joe and I, though, did not let the rain stop us from working hard moving the wood to the trailer. Then after all this chopping and moving, we brought it to Burleigh Mountain. This is where we saw things turn for the worst. We started to stack the wood that we had brought up to the Mt. While we were doing this, Burleigh Mountain slowly turned into Burleigh Swamp. Joe and I, though, kept working hard till it was all done. At the end of it all we felt great because of what we did."

Thank you for your work!

May 12, 2006

The Woods Come Alive

Two things have really revolutionized my experience on Burleigh Mountain in recent weeks. First, as Hans and I have been rethinking the program and our roles within it, we have decided that Burleigh Mountain will, so to speak, come under my direction. Second, Russ Brummer and I have begun a year long workshop studying forest health and ways of integrating forest care and knowledge into standard curricula.

I don't know which has changed my walks more, but now, I can't go near Burleigh without field guides! (What a geek...) I certainly can't walk there without seeing potential projects, and opportunities. Wendell Berry says that ethical living is built on affection. He makes the point that you can't love what you don't know, and you won't try to conserve the space you live in if you don't know and love it. Getting to know Burleigh, the animals and plants that make up it's community and the land itself, is growing in me a desire to care for, conserve, and sustainably use it.

May 10, 2006

Theft Update

Found a second of our missing ropes today. Pat had found one behind Lane around the same time some students were chased away from the area early in the morning last week. Turns out they were trying to hang a bunch of lawn chairs between two trees as a senior prank.

Pat's going to follow up with some suspects. Listen to me, I sound like a police officer. I guess I'm still ticked that it was ropes from our program. Am I off base here? Should I not be upset?

Theft and Vandalism

Bad news to report today. I was on the mountain for our photo shoot (see post from a couple of days ago). I was psyched, we had a group of volunteers climbing the tower, some for the first time. The students were psyched to mug for the camera, climb and belay each other. While I was setting up however I noticed that there were a few ropes missing. I figured Ted or Dave must have needed one for something and borrowed it. The yurt was locked and all appeared to be normal - except for the missing ropes.

When I returned to campus, however Dave, Ted and Cadyn hadn't taken a rope from the yurt. Strange. Then Dave remembered having seen a yellow rope in a tree behind Randall but he had assumed it couldn't have been one of ours. We went out back and checked it out closer however and sure enough, one of the tower ropes.

Not only was it one of our ropes but it was all tied and tangled up in the tree. At the time I was pretty upset about this and took it pretty personally so I'm glad I didn't post last night. Today I'm able to think about it a little more objectively.

On the one hand I suppose I shouldn't be suprised. I mean our job is to work with adolescents - who by definition test the boundaries. That's their job, right? If you look at it that way it's our job as adults to trust them while knowing at the same time we're setting ourselves up to get hurt.

Here's the thing that really gets me, it must have been someone who's been on a tower program. They had a key (the door wasn't open and there was no sign of forced entry), knew where the ropes were and knew enough to put everything back the way it was. So it was someone who I've personally worked with or instructed.

Someone who thought it would be funny (?), cool (?), clever (?), vengeful (?) to go up to the mountain, steal some ropes, then come back to campus, climb into a tree and trash one of the ropes. That part I guess I don't understand. So now I'm thinking without meaning to of everyone who I might suspect or don't completely trust. What a bad head space to be in when I'm trying to work really well with students!

So what should we do from here? Buy some new ropes I guess, move the gear to more secure storage, write up an accident / incident report. But all that is just an 'official' response. It doesn't salve my emotional wounds. Do I just chalk it up to the price of doing business in a high school? Talk about it in school meeting? Hide the evidence, pretend it never happened and put up a cheeful front?

May 9, 2006

Building Support for Your Program Part 1

Here is the information I had collected a while back about ideas for building support for your program. The information is adapted from an article written by Dick Prouty, a long time adventure educator and current CEO of Project Adventure.

Many persons feel that having been successful in getting a program going they can relax and concentrate on “doing it.” Teaching or counseling directly is where most of us have our training and what we most enjoy. The problem with this attitude, especially in the cost consciousness atmosphere most of us live with, is that the support, both of money, resources and moral support of the groups that can really help nurture your program may not be there when you do need it.

The following strategies have been brought up at our workshops in one fashion or another. The common theme of the strategies is communicate (don’t assume others know because you and your students do) and include (people who you’ve included and recognized for helping rarely criticize later).

Ten Strategies for Building Support

1) Effectively evaluate your program and share the results with a variety of audiences. This doesn’t have to be a formal evaluation. Even short comments by students in a student or parent newsletter can go a long way.

2) Involve administrators or parents or board members in training workshops. This strategy can really help others understand the power of your program.

3) Offer to train / include other teachers or peripheral staff in your training sessions. Building links to peers is critical for the survival of many programs.

4) Involve potential critics in the planning and / or committee review of your program. Include! Include!

5) Arrange for students in program to present to meetings of administrators, parents or school committee members. With proper planning, this can make credibility zoom.

Continued in the next post . . . .

Building Support for Your Program Part 2

6) Involve a wide range of groups in fundraising for program. If you ask, you’ll often be surprised.

7) Design effective public relations material and distribute through various media. Visuals are helpful. Keep on telling and retelling the story.

8) Offer to speak and present before local influential private community groups, fraternal and religious groups. They are often looking for speakers. Students help here is a great learning opportunity also.

9) Spend time on one-on-one discussions of your program with administrators or other influential persons. Personal politics are important. Time is precious to everyone, but this is usually time well invested.

10) Have students / clients do a community service-oriented curriculum unit and share results with various media audiences. Helping a local charity or service agency not only helps the students but builds support.

No one does all or even most of these effectively but to the extent that you can do even a few, you are making your program stronger and more durable. Building them into your curricula can make both the support-building and the curricula more experiential and more enjoyable.

Why I'm Going Back on the Sophomore Expedition

Jon was voted Student of the Week by the faculty but his article wasn't on the NHS website yet. Click here to check it out - it should be up in a few days. Until then, here's his thoughts on going back on the Sophomore Expedition as a senior leader:

"I'm going back to the sophmore expedition in order to complete my service learning project and to hit up some haggard backcountry trails with my homie Russ Brummer.

I am excited to be placed in a place of power and responsiblity and I am proud that the Sophmores will placing this same trust in me."

May 8, 2006

Promoting Your Adventure Program

Here is our fine group of student models mugging for one last photo after their afternoon of climbing the Alpine Tower and being photographed. We got some classic shots including four climbers at once on the middle beam, Steven and Brendan grasping arms to help each other up and all of us belaying and tying knots.

Sandy took some pictures of the photographers and the events of the afternoon. I'll post those soon along with some ideas I collected once about promoting your adventure program.

It seems like the general idea of all of these mediums is telling your stories. The stories of your program that makes it unique, special and speak to your audience. I'll share some of these ideas in the next post.

May 6, 2006

Blog Updates

Added a few new features today. In addition to being able to comment on each post you can also email a post to someone. To comment, as always, click on the pencil at the bottom of an article. To email it to a friend you can now click on the envelope.

Also updated the title section of the Blog to include a blurb about what it is we discuss here. I'm hoping that this will bring a little more traffic to the site and generate some interest.

Thank YOU to the folks who have read the blog, posted your comments or contributed photos.

Any feedback on articles you would like to see? Pictures you'd like to see posted?

Bugs 1 - NHS 0

Community Service Saturday and we were totally excited. 15 kids signed up for the adventure clinic a hill of brush to clear and no rain. What could be better?

I started to worry a bit when I met Steve at Irving this morning warning me that the bugs at Palazii were bad. It seemed like a bad omen that he was warning me about the conditions at the lacrosse field and I was heading up into the woods. I bought some bug spray.

When we got to the mountain it was bad. I mean it wasn't northern Canada tundra bad, or even northern Maine deep woods bad, but it was still bad. Hats off to Perf, Olivia, Gunner and Meagan who set up the tower, sorted medical forms and kept their good humor while belaying. Belaying can be one of the most frustrating activities. Sure it's super critical and important and someone's life depends on it and all that. But basically you sit there in the heat and the bugs - with your hands completely occupied!

So of the 15 only 4 showed up. Can't blame them, they must have walked out of their houses, been attacked by a swarm of bugs on the way to the car and decided wisely to do something else with their Saturday morning than be eaten alive.

But the four we did have were great! It was Aaron, Isiah and Maya's first visit to the mountain and Rose was back for her fourth time. Not sure if it was her fourth time really, but she's been climbing, belaying and help tie figure eight knots for quite a few times now.

Having her back again made me want to develop some system to help kids track what they've done and give them ideas for where to go next on the AT. For example if you've climbed a bunch and belayed - maybe you should teach knots or something before going on to the assistant instructor level. It could be like a kind of progress chart to see where folks are and inspire them to keep coming back. I'd love if some of these folks kept coming back and learning and experiencing more.

Even the community service crew working on the brush and clearing the ski hill had to quit after an hour due to the bugs. One thing we didn't get to was spreading the mulch that Bob dropped at the bottom of the tower. There were a couple of huge stumps that were ground up on campus and I had asked him if he needed all the mulch. Thanks, Bob!

Here is what Meagan wrote about the morning:

"Today despite what we thought we had a very small amount of people. But everyone had just as much fun as a large group. Everybody made it at least half way and some people even made it to the top. Thanks to all the climbers and New Hampton students."

Almost forgot - Olivia, Megan and Gunner kept everyone's spirits up by giving all the kids nicknames and secretly prepping them for the answers to the questions I was going to ask. Me: "Okay kids how tall is the tower?" Olivia: "Iceman, why don't you answer that question." Isiah (Iceman): "It's fifty feet tall!" Me: "Wait, have you been here before?" Iceman: "Nope, but Challenge by Choice means . . . ."

May 3, 2006

New NHS Blog

Coming out of our ASP curriculum development day we had a great conversation about technology, sharing ideas and online resources.

Check out the new site. If you'd like to join this conversation click 'comment' or email me and I can add you to our contributors.

On another note the Community Service Blog has become somewhat defunct. You can do it Kimberly! Keep us updated on the great work our students are doing in this great program!

Photo Shoot Planned

Next week photographers are on campus to take shots for NHS's new promotional materials.

We have about an hour and a half with two pro photographers on Burleigh!

I hope to get them some good shots of the Tower in action and the beautiful view from the summit. We might even be able to get them climbing on the tower for first person action shots!

I'll keep you posted as we learn more.