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WEA Conference – The Final Day

February 23, 2011

I had fun yesterday presenting a workshop with colleague Mark Wagstaff titled, "WEA Trips – A Historical Perspective". It shared our involvement with the Wilderness Education Association via photos and video and touched on the more than 100 trips that we have led and  the people we have met as a result of volunteering to work with WEA. We shared our stories of people like Paul Petzoldt, Tap Tapley, Josh Miner, Bjorn Kjellstrom, Doc Forgey, Verlon Krueger among others, and the places we visited including wilderness adventures in Wyoming, Alaska, Siberia, Canada, and of course good old New York. It was a fun workshop, as they always are when working with Mark, but what was most rewarding was the number of college students who came up afterward and said how much they appreciated the historical perspective on wilderness travel and WEA in particular. It makes getting old almost fun. 🙂

Last night we had the Kitty Drury (my mom) Scholarship Fund Auction and Raffle. It is always a fun event and last night was no exception. Due to the generosity of WEA Instructor Sheryl Teeters students could by two raffle tickets for the price of one. Everything from backpacks, tents, skis, and many other items were raffled off. The highlight if the evening is the auction of Paul Petzoldt memorabilia. For those of you who don't know, Paul was a world famous mountaineer and educator who helped start the first U.S. Outward Bound school, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and the Wilderness Education Association. He was my mentor and friend and we served many years together on the WEA Board of Trustees. As you can imagine I have much Petzoldt memorabilia so I didn't bid on the stove he took up K2 with him in 1938 ($400), one of his sleeping bags ($100), his golf clubs ($300!), or copies of his 1954 biography written by his first wife Patricia ($300). I couldn't resist however (don't read this Phyliss) bidding $95 for a 1968 copy of "Field and Stream" magazine with an article about woman attending NOLS. The author, Raye Ringholz served with me on the WEA Board of Trustees. It is a classic sexist piece showing how well women could do in the outdoors but wondering how they could do it without their make up or hair dryers. I had to add it to my collection of magazines with articles about Paul. The money goes towards scholarships for people to get WEA training in my mother's name so it was for a good cause. I think they probably raised well over $5000 which is pretty good for 200 college professors and their students. A fun time was had by all.

In about an hour I present a workshop on "Lessons Learned in 35 Years of Wilderness Travel". It should be a fun interactive session. I head back to Denver this afternoon and head home early tomorrow.

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