Before diving into this blog, I feel compelled to speak to a couple of different things that this blog will not be. This will not be a political statement. This will not be a reflection of my spirituality or religion. This will not be a recommended path for anyone else, this will not be advice. This is not an academic exploration, nor is it sanctioned by any professional who might teach or coach around anti-racism work. This is not a story of how I have triumphed and succeeded in doing the work.
Viewing entries posted in 2020
Election day is just around the corner. September 22nd was National Voter Registration day, and a great reminder for all citizens of the United States to take a little time in their day to ensure their voter registration. Since our staff and clients have a harder time accessing the internet, the seamless process of voter registration, or at least confirming that they are registered, is a more tedious task for our wilderness folks.
Most folks who have worked in wilderness have become familiar with strange languages borne from years of living in the wild. To this day I find myself saying things like, “Did you bring your wig?” when asking my partner if they have their sleeping bag for a camping trip, or “Do we have torts for taco night?” to my roommate at the grocery store in reference to the tortilla rack. Even staff who have been gone for years and are now working in non-wilderness realms will throw Evokian lingo into our daily conversations, “I could just really use some p-time right now,” when rain-checking plans in order to have some personal/alone time.
Being a field instructor can be one of the most simultaneously challenging and rewarding jobs. There are instances when you find yourself in a group of clients, all belly-laughing at something small and silly, lit by the unreal pinks and purples of a desert sunset, and then there are moments where you are navigating a series of emotional upsets, drenched by an untimely rainstorm. Regardless of the disposition of the clients or the climate, one of the most important expectations of field staff is that they maintain a stable baseline of unconditional positive regard for every single person, including their peers, in the group for the entirety of their shift. This expectation is laid out on the first day of training, and is reinforced during off-shift trainings, mid-week check-ins, and post-shift debriefs. This particular skill, approaching all people with unconditional positive regard, is one that takes great personal awareness in order to work.