March 2016 brings in instructors new and seasoned with Cottonwood Institute. As we roll into April and a busy prep season for trips, we cannot forget the instructor training that set it all up. Over the course of two evenings and two very full weekend days, the CI instructor training unfolded, forming new bonds while creating a sense of CI community and strengthening knowledge about the many expectations of a CI instructor.
New instructors were welcomed and introduced to CI at our Alliance Center office on Wednesday night. It was a great group to start with and led to even more folks coming together Friday for more intros and a swift and efficient loading of vans to prepare for the weekend ahead. Once packed folks went home for the evening to ready their own gear for the two-days of training and fun.
Saturday morning the whole crew, numbering about 15, loaded up and drove to Cal-Wood Education Center with a few informative stops along the way (where’s the best easy bathroom to stop at with students between Boulder and Jamestown?). The group dove into camp set-up, LNT reminders and an afternoon of risk management. There were hilarious skits and good conversation throughout! The evening brought a yummy dinner with plenty of extra rice for everyone, as the upside-down fire roared. Afterwards there was discussion and fun around the fire before the group crawled into tents for a blustery, but temperate spring night in the Front Range.
Sunday morning started early and earlier yet for some who second guessed their Daylight Savings settings! The last day of training was a day of activity with service learning, more skits, log trundling to give back to CalWood and an afternoon hike-lunch-and-learn. The group finished with a good round of camouflage, a beautiful sit-spot and a session of debrief and reflection with views of the continental divide to send them off. It was a great weekend and a fabulous start to the season. Cottonwood Institute is excited to work with each and every one of our very talented, thoughtful, and experienced team in the field!