Learning the ropes on teamwork and Turtleback

  • Mon May 12th, 2008 11:54pm
  • News

Orcas Island eighthgrade boys on the ropes course at Camp Orkila.

On April 24, The Funhouse and Camp Orkila hosted the second annual “Eighth Grade to Orkila” day. During school hours, the boys in the class, assisted by Jeff Ludwig, former Funhouse employee, and Forrest Gropp, current Funhouse teen employee, and Pete Moe, Funhouse Director, worked with Orkila counselors negotiating the high ropes course and team-building through exercises.

Afterwards, Moe commented, “Each class has its own personality, and it was interesting to see how different this year’s class was from last year.”

“They all did great – initially, there’s a lot of screwing around, but by the end of the day they all work together and help each other out, which is the whole point.”

Orkila provided transportation to the camp, and the Funhouse provided lunch.

While the boys were climbing ropes, the girls were climbing mountains.

Eighth-grade teacher Laura Tidwell said, “Hiking Turtleback mountain was first suggested last year as the class had worked to help raise funds to purchase the land for preservation.”

This year Tidwell, teacher Paula Towne and Darlene Pohl from the Funhouse guided the girls through fun warm-up games and group-building initiatives. These activities were revisited during lunch to stir up discussion among the girls.

The group started up Turtleback from the Crow Valley trailhead about 9:30, and rested for about an hour at the top of the mountain, where they ate lunch. They finished up at the south entrance to Turtleback, off the Deer Harbor Road.

“The feelings of success the girls get from accomplishing this feat and the beauty they enjoy at the summit is so rewarding! During the day the girls get an opportunity to communicate among themselves about things that are uniquely important to them as young women,” said Tidwell.

They talked among themselves and with teachers Tidwell, Towne, and Pohl about encouraging each other, personal perspective, fears, limits, and feeling uncomfortable around boys.

Tidwell said, “The hike up the mountain is very physically demanding. I enjoy being able to be a part of this opportunity.”

Moe says, “Now the day’s outing is becoming traditional, with the girls climbing Turtleback and the boys doing the ropes course. We feel that it’s best to separate the girls and boys because the rationale is that it’s hard enough for the boys to all work together without the distraction of the opposite sex, and the same goes for the girls.”

“It’s great that the Funhouse can work together with Camp Orkila; two non-profits working together,” said Moe.