It is sometimes easy to convince yourself with overconfidence. I know personally, that in my twenties I feel invincible to anything the world has to offer! I am young and reckless, and in some situations that puts me to be overconfident. When I first applied to Adventure Outings as Assistant Trip Leader, I do not think I truly took into accord what I was fully getting myself into. I have a great relationship and personality that is very relatable to people, which helped me through the formal interview, however it did not at all prepare me for the field work I was about to experience on the Staff Orientation Back Country Trip. Sure I could talk the talk, but when it came to walking the walk I was absolutely clueless! When it came up to the first orientation meeting before the backcountry trip they informed us new hires that it would be a five day long back packing trip with six to ten miles of various hiking treks every day. Kicker is, I had never back packed before in my life! Also to find out, that I was the only one in the whole group who has never back packed before! So being overconfident, I kept my mouth shut and kept up this persona that I knew what I was doing.
Of course, this façade came back to get me before long. I struggled with what to bring, how I was supposed to feed myself, and that I had to make a cat hole (what even is a cat hole)!? I soon began to realize how in over my head I was. However, the Adventure Outings Staff and current new hires were nothing but helpful and understanding. Everyone was able to lend me some gear or advice, my cook group with camping meals, and continuous sharing of knowledge and development of trust.
Once out in the Trinity Alps, I struggled with the constant challenges of the hardest physical capabilities and psychological triumphs of my life! I have hiked before, and would like to believe that I am a strong and physically fit woman; however the mountains defy even the best of your abilities! The self satisfaction I gained up in the Trinity Alps was something that only I could have done and found within myself. However, none of that would have been possible without the exceptional group cohesion and personal understanding of each and every individual. In the Trinity Alps, the new staff really had to learn about each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and how to transform that into a unity that brought the group in not only a strong team, but a new found love and trust of a family. Through every challenge and triumph, we all made it through together, and that made us all that much stronger and more amalgamated. The experience of entering an expedition with thirteen strangers, and leaving as a united family with love, understanding, and truth I could have never experienced unless with Adventure Outings.
I am forever grateful for this opportunity to experience what Adventure Outings is and means to each individual person. Everyone takes something a little different away from each experience that we can all share together. It truly demonstrates the cohesion of a group expedition that can be truly found within Adventure Outings offered through the California State University, Chico.
Interested in becoming an Assistant Leader with AO? Find out more here.