We’ve spent the last two days heli-hiking together, you know, I think it’s called bonding, when I’m ready for the big question: “What’s the craziest thing you can do with your body?” Think about it for a minute. I’m hiking with five boys under the age of twelve.
Apparently, young boys can do lots of strange things with their hands and tongues.
This was just one of hundreds of magical moments I had with kids this past summer. I’m Sue Arlidge, one of the Family Adventure Leaders on CMH's Family Adventures, but I prefer to call myself a Facilitator of Fun. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, and I’ve been ‘taking one for the team’ for the last ten years. It’s the best secret in the company. I DEFINITELY have the best job at CMH.
Like ninjas, we are the secret operatives, a small team of adventure leaders brought in fresh just for the Family Adventures. Who are we, these people who discover things about your kids that YOU didn’t even know? We are folks who love to play in the mountains who haven’t gotten around to growing up. We are teachers, guides and mortgage brokers who steal away from our other lives for a few days of youthful mayhem. We’re the first to dive into the tickle trunk for a zebra mask to wear hiking, or to initiate a ‘can-can’ line in an alpine lake or to open a kid’s only spa complete with yoghurt masks and cucumber eye masks.
Oh, how do I describe what takes place on a Family Adventure? Each one is as unique as the people. This is a random sampling of things that occurred this past summer. (Don’t worry kids, I won’t give away ALL of our secrets!)
• We brought a 3 cm plastic guy, named Wild Willy, on lots of hikes and the kids rigged up all kinds of adventures for him. He went rafting, crack climbing, snowboarding and he had a small parachute made for his abseil over a lake. He even ended up on the high ropes course and in someone’s mashed potatoes and the bottom of their water bottle.
• We made fresh chocolate, blueberry ice-cream outside at the Goliath Rock. We may have had a few hundred pieces of chocolate at this point. I can’t remember.
• About ten or twelve teenagers played Sardines in the basement of the Bugaboos and we all ended up hiding under one computer table.
• We had a great time playing capture the flag outside the lodge, until Roko showed up and casually told us in his best ever Euro voice that the Bear had won and the game was over. (A bear had been sighted near the lodge.) We moved the game inside.
• Under the watchful spotting of our guides, ten of us scrambled and bouldered on some of the most incredible mumbo-jumbo Breccia rocks ever. We also went right inside a glacial cave. A blue-ice-once-in-a-life glacial cave. We filled our water bottles.
• And lastly, oh how to describe the moment when the whole team of kids tricked the guide staff into thinking we had a man down. Yes, they faked an injury, to get the guides close enough to nail them in an all out, take-no-prisoners water fight. A water fight that took a day to clean up after.
As I write this, I’ve had fifty other memorable moments come to mind. There’s a reason I’ve been doing this for ten years. It’s so ridiculously fun and deep and magical, that I just can’t get enough. Can’t wait to see you next time. I’ve got my water gun ready to go!
Have you started planning your summer vacation? If it sounds like your family is in need of a mountain escape then look no further! CMH Summer Adventures offers 4 Family Adventure trips in the Bobbie Burns and Bugaboo Lodges in July and August. Learn more by visiting CMH Summer Adventures online or call 1.800.661.0252.
Photos by Sue Arlidge. More photos from our Family Adventure available online.