| Vicki Whisenhunt

Spring Staff Training at Cal-wood Education Center

Spring Staff Training Surrounded by the mountain beauty at Cal-wood Education Center in Jamestown, CO, new and veteran Cottonwood Institute instructors came together for an amazing spring staff training. We were lucky to have beautiful warm weather, sunshine and clear skies all weekend!  We spent the days learning from one another.  Upon arrival, we practiced essential camping skills, such as the proper way to set up base camp.  Afterwards we discussed and shared tips, techniques, and strategies for teaching these, and other skills, to a wide variety of audiences. Other activities included: running risk management scenarios, studying equity and inclusion best practices, and learning primitive fire skills with CI Executive Director, Ford Church.  Who knew bow-drilling could be so difficult and require so much patience?!  The end result is creating a coal you busted on your own (or as a team) to start the fire for a delicious dinner!

We worked together to prepare a scrumptious meal in the evening- pizza rice! This is a favorite among instructors and students alike on CI trips. We completed our day together with a special Way of Council exercise led by guest speaker, Matt Syrdal from WilderSoul. This intimate exercise focuses on a really effective communication style. Used within small to medium-sized groups, it can improve group dynamics overall.  It gave us a chance to connect with one another in a much deeper way.  We followed this with games and s’mores around the campfire. The evening ended with settling into our tents to sleep under the stars.

Spring Staff trainingIn the morning on our last day together we shared breakfast before starting our last hike. At the end of our hike, we completed a service project for Cal-wood Education Center. We wanted to thank them for generously allowing us to use their beautiful space time and time again. Working together to move logs for Cal-wood that they will cut and use for firewood solidified the feelings of teamwork that we worked to develop over the weekend!

Our spring staff training provided lots of tools to enhance our programs! We are excited for this upcoming season and can’t wait to see all of the things learned come to life!

Written By: Administrative & Logistics Coordinator, Vicki Whisenhunt

Check out photos of our wonderful experience by clicking HERE


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