Toboggan Quest 2012 – Team Phoenix

Wed Feb 22, 2012
First Day in the Shop!

And we’re off!

After the requisite whistle check and buddy assignments, we loaded up onto Lucy and headed over to the Appreticeshop in Rockland. When we got there, Eric, the Executive Director and our personal instructor, already had the giant pieces of wood we were going to use soaking in a boiling trough of water. He explained to us that we were boiling the wood so we could bend it around a mold without the wood splintering. He grabbed two apprentices and showed how that was done, bending the wood around the mold and clamping it tight to hold it.

So, following his example, we got to it! After boiling all of our wood, we bent it all, piece by piece, around the mold so that the next day we could start working with each piece. After that, Eric gave us a great tour of the shop, explaining what they do and why. There were a couple of boats being built from scratch and several large scale renovations in progress, all of which were pretty in depth and interesting.

After our tour, we said goodbye to the Apprenticeshop and headed out into the wilds of Nobleboro to lovely Camp Kieve, which would be our home for the rest of the trip. When we got there though, we went into what was supposed to be our cabin and…well…there were some issues. However, being Trekkers who “roll with it,” we moved our stuff in, adjusted and were starting to feel pretty good about our space when someone from the staff came down and told us that we had actually been moved to another cabin but they made that decision after Emily left the office. Oops.

Once again, we rolled with it, moving all of our stuff out and into the neighboring cabin. It was much bigger and brighter, so we were pretty happy about it all in all.

After settling in, 12 rumbling bellies went up to the dining hall to hang out before a delicious dinner. Now, here is where things are a little misleading Trekkers…our food on trips…is not nearly as delicious or decadent. We had steak, and quiche and even dessert! Whoa.

After dinner we hung out and played games, which included introducing the most addicting board game of all time: Settlers of Catan. Several monsters were created with that introduction and its clear that a tradition has been born.

Following a very memorable hot sauce eating contest, the first and last of its kind, we did a closing circle, talked about THE FUTURE, and headed off to bed.

Thu Feb 23, 2012
The build goes on…

When we woke up to the delightful wake-up song, it was pouring rain. Who would of thought in February that it would be pouring? But alas it was. Fortunately, that did not affect breakfast, which was delicious. Following some tea and some packing, and perhaps some backwards and inside-out pants-putting-on, we were off to the shop again for day 2 of our building.

Now that our boards were bent, we could start sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding. Once we had sanded, we sanded some more. Eric mixed up some finish to seal off the wood so that when we use the toboggans, the wood doesn’t swell and rot. We coated each surface with this mixture and set it to drying before eating a delicious Trekker lunch of PB+J.

Since it was still raining, instead of going to Camden to go tubing, we went to Rockport and went candlepin bowling. Some intensely competitive natures came out, as well as some amazing bowling skills.

We headed back to Kieve in good spirits, ready for another night of Settling, Spit, Garbage and a large and hilarious group game involving leading blind partners around a large and echoing room.

All in all, another great day.

Fri Feb 24, 2012
Finishing up, shipping out

Final Day
On our final day, we started off early, cleaning up our cabins and packing up the bus. After a delicious breakfast, we said goodbye to Camp Kieve and headed into Rockland to put the final touches on our toboggans.

We sanded, aligned our runners, used screws not nails to fasten all the pieces of our toboggans together, put in a nice new rope and voila! Completed toboggans!
Unfortunately, the chute at the Camden Snow bowl was closed due to the unusually warm weather…unless we wanted to shoot off the chute into a broiling bath of freezing but not frozen lake water, we had to put the actual testing of the toboggans off for another more wintery day. So instead, we played games, ate lunch and got ready to head home. After a delightful musical interlude on the bus, we made our way back to OSW for the parent pick up, waving goodbye until next time.
Good work Team Phoenix.



Thank you for trusting me with your kids. They are an amazing group of hilarious, insightful, compassionate and adventurous souls, all ready to jump on the bus and see what is next. They were fun, polite, excited, respectful and willing to try anything new that we threw at them.

In short, they were fabulous and it was a pleasure having that much time to spend with all of them. So thank you for trusting me and for trusting Trekkers to bring them back safely, it was a great trip.



You guys are rockstars. You built two toboggans from scratch in three short days. You created cities and settled Catan. You ate amazing amounts of hot sauce. You met Shem. You rolled with whatever came your way and you had a blast even when things did not go quite to plan.

Thanks for being so willing to jump on the bus. Thanks for staying positive. Thanks for sharing in the circle. Thanks for making me and each other laugh. Thanks for playing Settlers of Catan. Thanks for being so great.


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