The Wetfoot Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Groups, Groups, Groups

Above the entire UW-Madison crew and playing a "silly" game.

There is never a slow down. This past week was no exception. Kris Henker and I just finished facilitating a group comprised of student leaders from organizations attached to the Union at UW-Madison. There were students from the Distinguish Lecture Series, Publications Committee, Alternative Breaks and Hoofers among others. This was a new program meant to give leadership skills to leaders working within campus organizations.

They rolled up in a bus that put our Turtle Tops to shame – it was thirty-five feet long, purple in color with a large lighting bolt streaking across the side, and put most tour buses for rock groups to shame. It was not a coach bus, but had most of the amenities that its larger motor cousins possess: a bathroom, DVD player and three screens, nine rows of seats and a huge storage compartment in the back. They were rolling in style.

If there bus was not enough of an indication, this was a fun group with which to work. They arrived without many preconceptions about what do expect. Though a few did state, “I have done things like this before and a lot of the games are pretty silly.” Which, if we think about it activities like slow-mo tag, dink and sparkle, screaming toes, and ‘whoa!’ can appear to be goofy from the outside (though I think we all can agree that any form of tag is always enjoyable). These viewpoints quickly faded, however and they dove into the experience.

On top of the normal facilitation activities, the group spent time using bow drills to make tea in the blowing snow and cold. Also, they had a chance to snowshoe and use the climbing wall. With the snowshoes, Kris and I each lead our groups on a sherpa walk – a new, but entertaining experience for us both. We ended with an eventful egg drop. It can be challenging cleaning up egg yolk off of froze black top and ice.

Our programming never ends. There will be a number of Leadership groups coming to Camp throughout the winter. On the horizon are Webster Middle School, Tomahawk Middle School, and countless family groups renting our facilities.

For those that are curious, none of us froze during the weekend cold snap; we made it through with fires and hot chocolate. Though Brandt’s, Mary’s, Mark’s and Don’s cars froze-up and would not start at various points. The morning temperature readings from my kitchen thermometer (excluding wind chills) from Friday through Monday were –11, -20, -22, and a balmy –9.

On the ice in snowshoes, after the sherpa walk.

Working on communication in the MLC library.

Using the bow drill and resources to make a cup of tea.

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