After fire brigade training, we bundled ourselves up and flew together to Colorado where we met up with another quarter of our future crew who had been completing basic EMT training. Since I had been on the fire team last time I wintered, I considered asking to join the medical team this go around, but ultimately I decided that I’m just a bit too squeamish and I’d rather run into a burning building than take someone’s blood. The medical team had completed their training in Denver so they collected us at the airport and the 21 of us drove out to Estes Park for 3 days of teambuilding.

I suppose it speaks to the engagement of the sessions that I don’t really have many pictures. I took some after the fact, but not actually during many of the activities. Except, of course, for the cardboard boat building challenge. Yes, that is correct, we were tasked to build boats that were each capable of transporting a real person across real water using little more than cardboard, duct tape, and plastic sheets.

And so, we built many boats.

Some proved pool-worthy.

Some did not.

And some became motor boats.

At the end of the three days, we hadn’t completed any trust falls or kumbaya group hugs, but we had completed many activities focused on effective communication, planning, and self-awareness. While I had done some of these things before my last winter, hearing them again after having wintered put them in a different perspective. And it also almost goes without saying but being able to do these kinds of teambuildings in person felt so much more impactful than doing them online had. It was so much fun getting to know my future winterovers and bonding over our successes and frustrations. I think we are going to have a really great crew, and I can’t wait!