Adventuring with FOP Steering Committee

So I recently found out that I will be spending the coming year at the helm of Harvard’s First‐Year Outdoor Program (known affectionately around campus as FOP) as a member of steering committee, or SC. After a couple of weeks of application and interview followed by a weekend‐long SC retreat to New Hampshire, we FINALLY had our first official SC ’11 meeting on Friday – and it felt great. I think after spending so much time thinking about FOP and how I’d like to improve the program, it’s a welcome change to be able to start implementing some of these ideas we’ve been so much about.

I determined that my two major projects this year are going to be Fundraising and Food (yes, capitals – to show how important and defining these roles are going to be over the next nine months). I was particularly excited to be assigned food, because it means that I’ll be designing the menu for next summer’s trips, testing out recipes (cooking!) this year, and surprising leader trainees on spring training trips with goodies like Nutella and Oreos packed into their group gear. The whole fundraising thing, however, is proving to be a bit scarier. We receive what are called “project reports” at the start of SC detailing what exactly is required to carry out our specific tasks, and the fundraising section is literally five times as long as most. It’s definitely a bit intimidating to think that the successful execution (or, conversely, painful flop) of this fundraising season could directly lead to changes like increased financial aid and/or gear purchases for the FOP loaner supply. It’s certainly going to be a challenge – hopefully one that teaches me a bit about non‐profit management along the way.

And while I’m on the subject of SC – attached are a couple of pictures from last weekend’s retreat.

They’re only semi‐related to our first meeting, but I couldn’t keep these beautiful views to myself. More importantly, it shows just how ridiculous we can look playing these FOP team‐building games – take a look for yourself! 

L: SC family dinner – yum!; R – one of many silly games played through the weekend

Sprinting?! I was not warned in advance.

Admittedly, this one’s not so ridiculous – gorgeous view in Lincoln, NH!

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1 comment

  1. Kate Meakem’s avatar

    I did FOP this year as a freshman and LOVED IT!!!! It was the best way to kick-off my college experience. I might also apply to be a leader… but time will tell. 🙂

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