Each summer the staff divides into two groups and they each take a short hiking trip to practice camping instruction. Alex selects a trip leader for each group and they simulate the pre-trip procedures. The hikers check to see that each backpack is packed correctly, all the food is accounted for, the tents and stoves are in working, and the first aid kit is fully stocked.
While on the trip, counselors put into action the OLS skills they reviewed yesterday during orientation. The counselor trip is a great way to emphasize trail safety, Leave No Trace, and on-the-fly decision making. Rather than simply discussing all of this, we feel it is important to have an instructional camping experience fresh in their minds when the campers arrive.
Sam, a trip leader and former Chief's Knife Award winner, checks the first aid kit before setting out for Middle Settlement Lake.