Friday, May 13, 2011

New Staff Wrap-Up Spring Training

Spring has just arrived and we've completed another successful staff training! This spring we have welcomed 9 new members to our TMI staff team and family. They've traveled from all over to join us here on Spruce Knob (California, Oregon, Washington, D.C., Colorado, Illinois, and even Elkins).

We spent 10 glorious days in April getting familiar with the inner workings of the Mountain Learning programs. We learned how to “Read the Landscape," to be Appalachian Watershed & Stream Monitors, and we spent some time getting to know the Monongahela National Forest, our backyard and outdoor classroom. Even with such a busy schedule, we had time for some fun.

The morning of April 15th, as the staff gathered together to begin their hike toward Spruce Knob. They all trotted out from their spruce covered campsite to discover that a large “bunny” had hidden eggs for each of them to find. There is nothing like starting a day off by eating chocolate hidden in plastic eggs. What a treat!

To cap off the entire training experience, returning staff and new staff joined forces for the weekend. An overnight canoe training was postponed due to rain and high waters that pounded our area. Instead, we all had a wonderful time touring Smokehole Caverns and the Greenbank Radio Astronomy Observatory. We ended the day hanging out at Kevin’s for a dutch oven dinner, campfire, lawn games, and slumber party.

All in all, it was a great kick off to the spring season! We have an excited and eager team of outdoor professional ready to jump into working with school groups. A big thank you to everyone who helped with training. It would not have been nearly as successful without the help of so many individuals. Thanks to everyone and welcome to all of the new TMI instructors!

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