Proctor Training Update – Sea Kayaking

Hello! My name is Jeremy and I am one of the semester proctors. Sarah and I are hard at work here at Snowbird but we wanted to take some time to update you on what that actually means. What are we doing to prepare for the semester? First and foremost, we are praying by name for each student daily. As Christians, prayer is the most important thing that we can do in preparation. We find this Biblically in Colossians 4 and throughout the Pauline epistles. We know that God has great plans for each student (and us leaders) this semester.

The remainder of the training can be broken down into two major categories – hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are physical, objective skills like using a compass, setting up a tent, filtering water, packing a backpack, and so forth. As leaders this semester, our priority is to demonstrate excellence for the students and see them progress to mastery as well. As Christian ambassadors in the backcountry / outdoor scene, we need to be prepared and skilled. On the other hand, soft skills are non-physical skills that we need as Christian leaders.  Often called people or interpersonal skills, soft skills are essential, and deal with things like group dynamics and leadership. These skills often require a subjective look to tailor them depending on the setting. We are learning soft skills like leadership and discipleship through a Christian worldview. The discipleship aspect of OLD School is one of the things that sets Snowbird’s Wilderness Semester apart from other outdoor/leadership organizations.

Specifically, Sarah and I have attended a cave rescue course in Huntsville, Alabama (see her blog for that). We have worked on hard and soft skills here at Snowbird, getting ready to demonstrate and lead by example. On Wednesday September 2 we will be scouting most of our backpacking section. We will get a chance to practice our knots, belaying, and climbing skills when we return from backpacking. That leaves us with one remaining section – sea kayaking. We recently took a multi-day prep trip on the water! We loaded up our kayaks, put in, and practiced navigation by taking bearings, reading maps, and using triangulation. We worked on self and assisted recoveries, towing, and setting up camp for the night. It was a great trip, filled with laughter, stories, and great fellowship.

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We cannot wait for the semester to begin – it is only a little over a week away!

God Bless,
Jeremy Peterson
2015 Fall Semester Male Proctor

Spencer Davis
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