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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Weekend


If I had known last year that this spring would be so bad for allergy sufferers, I wouldn't have signed on to help with this Camp Out/Cook Out session. Many of the participants and I were sneezing, scratching at our eyes and blowing our noses all weekend. Our vehicles were a pale green from all the tree pollen. argh. The above photo is my van's window.

It was quite cold in the evenings, but I've a warm sleeping bag and a sleeping bag blanket, too. So, as long as I kept my face inside my bag I was toasty.

The participants were divided into four patrols, and the women in my patrol were fun - we had a great time together. Of course, I wasn't there to have fun, but to help train.

I was disappointed by this aspect - I had asked the Master Trainer to tell me what sections she'd like me to train but she never did until we got there. Not much prep time, eh? She had emailed and called weeks and days earlier to ask me to pick up empty wine boxes, six dozen eggs and 30 bananas. That's all the pre-involvement I had in the courses. Well, these three have been doing this for many, many years. Master Trainer and Winnie for at least 15 years. I figure that I'll be just assisting, giving me the opportunity to observe how they do it and what materials from the handout booklet they think are most important, etc.

Nope. I got tossed "Kapers" (which is a way of dividing up jobs and tasks around camp) and simple Knots. To my surprise, many of the participants didn't know how to tie a Square Knot. Okay - simple to teach. The other knot isn't a knot at all - the Clove Hitch is, well, a hitch. I can do a Clove Hitch. Which is not the same as being able to demonstrate and teach in front of 20 people. I flopped. {{sigh}} I told the women that this was a prime example of knowing is not the same as being able to teach and to remember this when they go back to their troops. {{ha ha, ain't this funny?}}

I felt pretty bad afterwards. What was I doing, thinking that I could train anyone? Sure, I can camp okay - start a fire and cook a meal, pitch a tent, etc. But TRAIN others at it?

We were using large canvas platform tents. The tents are to be completely untied and unlaced when not in use. Master Trainer was going over the dos and don'ts of these tents, including that the corners needed to be laced up to help keep warmth in during the night. And that they would have to be unlaced when we all left Sunday afternoon. Then she turned to me and asked me if I knew why they needed to be unlaced.

Now, she hadn't told me that she would be asking me this question. We were with the whole group and I quickly thought and responded with "so that they can breathe and to prevent any mold from forming."

"No!" says Master Trainer. "Anyone else know? . . . " Dramatic pause. "Because it puts a strain on the whole structure, blah blah blah."

She didn't need to do that to me - I was very embarressed.

I already knew that she was a controlling person (the other trainers let me know in various ways over the course of the weekend that this is really the Master Trainer Show) but I didn't realize to what extent until this weekend. I think that I must have annoyed her in some way.

At the end, after everyone else had left, the other Trainers went over the Evaluations. And I was given an Apprentice self-evaluation to fill out (they have one to fill out on me and my performance). One of the questions was whether or not I had been involved in the preparation - I wrote "no".

Master Trainer objected to my answer (yes, she read it after I finished it).

I said that I had asked her beforehand to let me know what sections she'd like me to train. (Rudi laughed and then said "Master Trainer let you know when you got here, didn't she?).

Master Trainer said "I emailed about the boxes and eggs..."

Well, excuse me, but I don't think that asking me to bring supplies is really participating in the preparation for training others.

Well, I know that some of the women there appreicated me - I had been trained on all of this by other trainers and knew some different ways of doing some of the things done. Seeing alternates is important (be prepared, be adaptable, etc.).

This is long enough for now, I'll post about some of the things we did later. (Like baking pineapple upside down cake in a tuna can ...)

7 Comments:

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I'll help you hide her body if you decide to kill her. Our fingerprints will be no where to be found near the crime scene.

You're always prepared, and you're good at everything. So you did fine I know.

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

See? Camp Fire Girls were NEVER that catty. Shame on the Master Manipulator-- I mean, Trainer.....

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger AP3 said...

Sounds stressful. I don't like being put on the spot like that either, but people seem to love to do it to me! Go figure. She should've told you in advance what would happen, of course. What a pain.

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Hi there, she sucked as a 'master' anything, let alone trainer. Please don't feel bad.

Just reading your post made me tense. Reminds me of why I struggle with egotistical control freaks and don't often get involved in these types of organizations.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger actonbell said...

{{{3D}}} I'm sorry you had to put up with this kind of crap, when camp training is supposed to be fun! And I can't imagine how she thought that gathering materials was the same as lesson prep. Master "trainer." Jeez

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Yesrie said...

TLP - I'll drive the getaway car :>
Yez
P.S. Love your parents' wedding story!

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Doug said...

I agree with the above. I know you were as prepared as you could be, as thoughtful anyone would be and as helpful as someone should be. Master Trainer's issue. Not yours.

Objecting to a self-evaluation is stupid too. What part of "self" is unclear?

 

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