Whether or not you are a Trip Leader, Organizer of an Event, (Certified) Outdoor Instructor, having the responsibility of bringing people together is a huge task sometimes. However, it has some great rewards.
I started out as a Co-Organizer in 2004 in Chicago. Back then, I thought it was a simple fact of putting some outdoor backpacking trips together and that was it. Wow! I was so wrong. After all those years, and taking thousands of people outdoors I can tell you it is NOT easy. But very satisfying.
Since then, I have been able to get a few certifications, and have a whole lot of experience taking people outdoors. But more importantly, the friends, and relationships I have been blessed with are invaluable. Some of them have lasted, and some have drifted away. But not with some amazing memories of some epic adventures in the wilderness.
The advantages of being a Outdoor Instructor or Trip Leader has taught me so much about patience and understanding. I love seeing people “get it” when they see their first Waterfall, or spend the night under the stars for their first time, or their childhood memories come rushing back. Those are the people that always come back.
A recent memory was in the Grand Canyon when we did a 33 mile, 5 day loop down to the Canyon. Elevation loss was about 6,000 feet. There was a part where we had to tie rope around backpacks and shimmy them down because it was a bit dangerous for some novice backpackers to negotiate. It was pretty steep and would have been difficult to have a backpack on. My partner and I tied rope to each backpack and safely got everyone down. I think that is when I was most rewarding to have enough experience and pure excitement to offer that assistance to others so they could enjoy that part of the trail.
Another time was when a female friend told me that she would NEVER solo backpack. But after years of going out with other outdoor enthusiasts she finally gained confidence to go by herself. She started with a backpack bigger than she was, and a few years later looked like an expert.
Being a Trip Leader or Instructor is about the pure joy of sharing your experience. Yes, sometimes you will pay a cost for experts taking time to teach you. But look at the benefits you will have the rest of your life. AND you get to share that experience with other and pass it on.
If you ever want to share your knowlegde of the outdoors and think you would make a good Trip Leader, contact us and we will teach you how to be GREAT!!!