There are people, I’m told, who don’t seem to know the meaning of a deadline. In the good way, that is: If they’ve got a project due next week, well, it’s already done. Those people are on the ball. I like to think I’m on the ball, too, but certainly not in the way they are!
On occasion, I’ve struggled with procrastination, but when I step back and think about it, it’s possible I’m overcommitted and don’t really give myself the chance to get ahead. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that one some more. Later.
I’m involved with our local Land Trust’s education committee, and have been for about 10 years or so. Until recently, we have, of course, conducted all of our events in person, usually on one of our trails here in north Alabama. Most of our events are youth-oriented, and the group size is typically between 10 and 25, and I love it. With the current situation, though, we’ve had to adjust the way we do business. Just, I suppose, like everyone else.
Enter the virtual education event. To be clear, the hikes aren’t virtual—the teaching part is. Families, equipped with materials we prepare, go out with their kids and experience the preserves with a guide who teaches from some sort of mobile device. In some ways, it’s better than a group event because the outdoors part can be done when it’s convenient for the family. In other ways, though, it’s not quite the same. Especially not for the leader.
To get back to deadlines, yesterday was the day I was supposed to submit the material for my virtual trail event. Not to be anticlimactic, but I made the deadline. I almost always do. To be clear, though, I wasn’t the week-ahead guy; it was dark when I hit send, but still well before bedtime!
When I think about it, I’m kind of blown away by what we can do nowadays with technology and teaching. My wife and I went out and walked the trail a few days ago. I took a notebook and a GPS unit (I know I can use my phone, but darn it, I paid for that GPS 15 years ago and it still works!) as well as my camera, er, I mean my phone. I jotted down some notes, took some pictures and videos, and started to make a plan.
During a few hours over the long Labor Day weekend, I wrote up the activity in a shareable document, catalogued my photos, edited and published a couple of short videos, and gathered a few additional online resources I thought would help my eventual participants. I linked everything in the doc, and hit send with enough evening left to spend some time sitting and talking before bed.
I really miss the face-to-face aspect of our trail events, but I’m happy thinking about the families who will—virtually, anyway—walk my trail over the next few months. For now, that will have to do.