October 16, 2012

Sports Travel in the Bush

Chaperoning a sporting event in rural Alaska is no small thing. It can easily eat up your entire weekend and leave you looking like you survived a war.

Travel usually starts during the school day on Friday. Coaches leave on the first charter flight in the morning with a selection of players. This is so all coaches can meet up and iron out the fine details of what's going to happen over the weekend. Chaperones follow with the rest of the team around lunch time, arriving in time for a little settling in time and the first game/ match.

Wait, flights?! Yes, flights. When your district is the size of a large east coast state and there are no roads, flying is the only option. Which also means that it is very rare to have an event that doesn't include an overnight stay.

Sleeping on a classroom floor.

With limited access to showers.

Always a recipe for fun. But sleeping and travel aside, it's always fun to travel with students. I love traveling with kids from our school because they are the living embodiment of community pride and sportsmanship. They clean up after themselves, are polite to other teachers, cheer each other on, cause very few problems (if any), and are gracious winners.

Seriously, I've had teachers tell me how jealous they are of our travel team. They're that amazing.

Be jealous. No stray, running around kids here.
Just perfectly behaved gentlemen ready to cheer for
their teammates. 
This past weekend I travelled north to Emmonak with a team of wrestlers. I know it seems strange to have a female chaperone for wrestling, but wrestling is co-ed 4-12 sport and we had five girls compete this weekend.

Elementary School Wrestlers

When we weren't wrestling, our team made a few trips to the community store and the AC. Lucky for the chaperones the weekend was pretty packed with very little down time, which meant very little boredom.

Our kids wrestled in two meets, one on Friday night and one Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon there was a wrestling clinic to teach rules and technique to one of our district's smaller schools (Nunam Iqua) that has just started their wrestling program this year.

It was a great weekend, we saw the Northern Lights on Friday night and whistled at them with the kids.

We arrived back in Scammon Saturday night. The barge was in the river with our winter fuel delivery (over 65,000 gallons) and it felt like winter.

M. and I walked down to town just as it started snowing to get pizza at the store and make a few house calls.

I was barely able to get off the couch on Sunday, I was so exhausted.

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