You tend to get up early (normally before you FOOTies), enjoy the calm for a little bit and then start prepping for the day. This involves talking with your co-leader about where you are going, what needs to get done, and anything that either of you are worried about. You also check for any messages from support or our program coordinator, get water going, and start on breakfast.
Eventually you wake up the FOOTies and all eat together breakfast as you get ready, break camp, clean up, and make sure to leave no trace.
The first day you do everything, but it is fun as the trip goes on to help teach FOOTies how to do different things. People always find things they enjoy doing and help pack, organize, set-up, etc.
Packing always takes a bit, but is a fun challenge, you have to get people to take group gear and try to distribute weight to make sure everyone is comfortable.
Then you get hiking, which is my favorite part of the day. It is a chance to help your group have fun, and what you do is super dependent on group. You might play trail games, have discussions about random things, talk about interests, enjoy the scenery. It is a chance to help everyone enjoy the trip.
You take a lot of water breaks and you and your co may go “check the map.” Sometimes this is actually checking the map, but sometimes it is helping out when one of you doesn’t know what to do, planting surprises on the trail, or just giving each other a break.
You also take breaks where you might play fun games. For instance, the M&M game where you draw and M&M and the color is what type of story you have to tell.
Hiking is a chance for you and your group to talk, get close, enjoy nature, and just have fun.
At some point, you’ll stop for lunch and have some amazing torts. You might get a great view and may take the time to rest and do a hometown. There are a ton of hints in the routes and from fellow leaders about good places to break.
Eventually you reach camp and have the meandering set up process. Normally you have to put up tarps and bear bags, and you spend a lot of time practicing before trips so you can impress your FOOTies with your incredible knot skills.
You also prepare dinner and get to wow your FOOTies with your cooking skills. Dinner is another wonderful time to sit together and just have fun. Your FOOTies may hang around and help while you cook, play games, or just hang out. It is a chill time for everyone.
Finally, you clean up, get ready for bed, check in with your co, and do some hometowns.
Overall, the day is busy, but you know what to do. You make sure people get up, are good to hike, and are well-fed. There is a lot of stopping to talk with your co-leader about what you each need to do and may want help with, to get water, to eat, and to help any FOOTies. It’s a fun and exhausting day. Sometimes you get to chill, see some fun views, swim, and it all goes swimmingly. Sometimes it is raining, there’s not much water, or people are having backpack troubles, but everyone works together to make it to the end. And by the end of the trip, you can all laugh at the hard times and fondly remember the good times, and be proud of the experience you were able to give your FOOTies.