by Laurissa Christie
Crazy Costumes + Laughter + Knot Tying + Unpredictable Behaviour + JIRP Love = Great Night.
We’ve been doing a lot of safety training here at Camp 17 to get ready to cross the Icefield safely. The staff has made training fun, but stayed extremely serious until the night of the knot tying competition. The students were all divided into competing teams to compete in categories such as best dressed knot, quickest knot tying, and most stylish.
One of the highlights of the knot tying competition was the selection of costumes. Before the competition, we quickly dressed in the most ridiculous funny outfits we could obtain given our limited wardrobes. Outfits included (but were not limited to) neon shirts, flags, rain pants, onesies, hair even wackier than usual, and sports bras worn over shirts; we even had a visit from “Flava Flav.” After we made our costumed appearance, the competition really began. We were tested on overhand knots, figure eight knots, bowline knots, double fisherman’s knots, girth hitches, clove hitches, Munter hitches, and prusik hitches. The judges were “celebrities” and completely “unbiased” – otherwise known as our favourite field staffers. When it was widely advertised that the judges accepted bribes, Snickers bars and brownies seemed to be shared freely. Before we knew, it people were tying knots while singing, doing pushups and yoga, dancing, sitting on each other’s shoulders, and wearing blindfolds. The cook shack – packed with students, staff, and faculty – felt as if it could have fallen down with laughter. Everyone had fun, and it was a great reminder of the JIRP bonding that attracted many of us to the program.