|Outdoor Research. Debuting our shiny new booth.|
1. The OIWC's Breakfast and Awards Presentation. Powerful words from award winners Karen T'King (Pioneering Woman Award) and Liz Stahura (First Ascent Award), their presenters, Steph Davis and Julia Day and sponsor presenters, Audrey Hicks and Maile Buker were enough to fill the inspiration and motivation buckets, but the bucket filling didnt stop there. To be in a room so jam packed full of strong, motivated, and active women and men who together all support gender equality in the workplace was incredible. Moments like this feel like progress and hope grows for better opportunities for all of us in the future. Karen hit it spot on commenting, "Whether we succeed through rebellion or nurturing, well, that's probably best saved for cocktail conversation". I'd have to say its a little of both, and we could use more of both.
2. Hugs. Lots of hugs. Squeezy ones. Tall ones. Short Ones. The kind that sway back and forth. Ones accompanied by giggles. Some that smell of shampoo, clean laundry, or dawn patrol. Hugs that lift you off your feet. Ones that ooze friendship and love. They are good. All of them. Every single one is unique. Every single one feels wonderful. And if you are in any sort of hug deficit, the tradeshow is the ideal place to fill up your reserves. The show can be tough. Nonstop meetings start at 7am, followed by dinners that revolve around work and then post dinner events that end late that are also mostly about work. Coffee is one way to get through it all. But the real secret? Hugs. Nothing refills my stores of happy and energy faster or better than all the hugs. This is the absolute best part of the show, hands down. More, please.
|Gelato. A great lunch option. Just bring a friend.|
4. You too can be a save-the-world scientist. Before an unfortunate experience with a chemistry class in college, I entertained the idea of being a park ranger, veterinarian, or environmental biologist. Alas, it was both my first and last chemistry class. Luckily, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation can provide me or you the opportunity to contribute to scientific research that effects the places we love to play and the species who inhabit those places even if we dont have the letters P, H, and D at the end of our names. The organization is built on the brilliant idea of providing opportunities for the average hiker, climber, and bird watcher to tap into their inner field researcher by collecting samples while out hiking/climbing/calling to birds. The samples are provided to researchers matched with the hiker/climber/birder who are doing specific studies and need an inexpensive way to gather data. Not that I ever really need an excuse to get out there, but the idea of my adventures having a value beyond my own personal satisfaction and enjoyment makes it all that more meaningful.