The SHE-nanigans Continue
Did you catch our April Fool’s Day video? No. Here it is. We’ll wait so you can get caught up. (Don’t worry. We have captions so you don’t disturb your neighbors! )🙂
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck just happened? Why did you all take off your shirts? And what in tarnation is smeared all over your faces?
Trust us. For months, our entire Dream Team has been thinking, “Is this actually funny or are we dying laughing because it’s us?” Well, you’re still reading, so it must have at least piqued your interest!
Here’s how the story goes:
Once upon a time – last January to be exact – 10 women descended on a lodge in the Red River Gorge for a little Dream Team Training weekend. It was 3 days dedicated to bringing our team together (some of us meeting for the very first time while bringing on new!), teaching the logistics of how we run our trips, skills training, round table sharing of ideas, and general SHE-Nanigans. The last part is the most important. I have always said I would never hire anyone I wouldn’t want to share an Adult Drink with. This was met with great success.
Now, our little Tribe of women are incredibly smart and experienced. All of our Guides have previous guiding experience with some serious credentials (Only the best!). But, this also meant we wrapped up sometime Saturday afternoon. There we were piled up in the living room by a little electric fireplace grazing around a table that was filled with snacks on snacks on snacks. I’m talking Guac, chips, roasted broccoli, blueberries, coffee, and anything we could dig out of the fridge. The weather was extra crappy, so we ate. 🤷♀️
Somehow, I mentioned that I have held onto this crazy idea for a few years. It angers me greatly when I meet other travel operators or even the general population who assume that since we are a women only company, that we must be all about Yoga, Meditation, delicate food, soft adventures, and chatting about our feelings in our perfectly curated outfits.
Or, I tell people what Explorer Chick does and then they immediately want to assign an agenda to it! Forest Therapy, Journaling, etc. Why can’t we just be a Tribe of bold, rambunctious women who simply want to forget about our day to day boxed lives and go outside to play? Why can’t we just go do some cool shit in cool places with cool chicks? Why can’t an experience be left unbiased, so an adventure is our own? Why can’t we challenge ourselves and walk away with bruises? Why can’t it just be and be without some new age label? Why can’t we just do as we did when we were 8 years old? Why can’t we laugh our hineys off and chase it all down with a craft brew or glass of wine at the end of the day? Grrrrrl….It gets me all worked up.
Back to my crazy idea. I wanted to pull a prank on the Explorer Chicks declaring us a New Age Yuppie Spiritual Journey Retreat in the most extreme fashion. (To be fair, the team here does subscribe to quite a bit of woo woo stuff, but we don’t try to be annoying about it).
Then, maybe 2 seconds later (if I’m being conservative), there was a flurry of action. Becca snatched up my DSLR and tripod to test the video capabilities. Mandi took the lead running around the lodge trying to find anything that we could use for a set. Jenn, who is our Little Woo Woo, grabbed all of her stuff out of her pack – crystals, cards, etc. I think we might have scared our new gals – I mean who does this? I got to writing a script and describing the vision. Everyone rigged up a set. You bet a little tape was involved. Oh, we are outdoor people. We are THE most resourceful bunch out there!
Then there was an explosion of Unicorn Snot (Body glitter). 🦄 We had that Snot smeared all over our faces and body – Everything is better with glitter!
Stay with me. WE ARE SOBER as this is all happening. If you happened to have caught any of our Instagram Stories that day, you wouldn’t believe it. Oi. There was way too much laughter. The Camera Woman would yell out, “Quiet on the set” (Because that’s what they do in the movies), and miraculously we would all be quiet. Then the second “Cut” was shout out, an eruption of hysterical laughter. Someone may have even ran out of the room because she almost peed her pants. (Not dropping any names here….).
You see, we really had no idea what each of us was going to say during our individual bits so we had to hold it together as Lynsey revealed her First Aid Kit is made up entirely of essential oils or Lauren was going to charge her amethyst crystals at the next summit.
Then the big reveal needed to be filmed. We happened to be listening to a lot of Cardi B that weekend (and learning way too much about Butt Contouring 🍑). It was only natural that was going to be the background music and there would be a dance party. Now how it ended up that our shirts came off, well, I have no idea. I suppose that’s the Explorer Chick way. 🍒
I unequivocally LOVE our Prank video. It’s certainly not because of the movie-making mastery. Between all of us we had zero experience. Here’s where I would compare it to a third grader’s school project, but I don’t think that’s true anymore. Hmmmm…It’s as good as something you would shoot in your basement back in the 80’s when your family’s home video recorder required a shoulder. I get it. The video is not pretty.
But, I love it because it is the product of 10 women – some of which had never actually met – who came together working as a team to create an insane video from scratch. Not one of us just took over telling everyone what to do. No arguments, no massive retakes. Remember back in school when you were forced to work in groups and there were always slackers, know-it-all’s, bossy people, and the fly under the radars. Not with this group. We were one unit. I don’t know how else to describe it.
To see the Dream Team come together like that was a thing of beauty. I knew after our training weekend, we really had something special here.
We call ourselves the Dream Team.
A. It rhymes. Duh.
B. We are guided by the mantra, “Give them what they never dreamed possible.”
C. I have been envisioning my first Employee Group training weekend since launching in 2014. These women are every bit of that Dream. Smart, hilarious, compassionate, experienced, competent, charismatic, fun, decisive, and everything else that it takes to thrive in the travel industry. A dream.
So, I’m going to end this post with a bit of gratitude to the Dream Team – Amy, Mandi, Becca, Lynsey, Lauren, Jenn, Erin, Jaimie, Katie, and Razz. I went into our training weekend extremely stressed out as I was not only opening up my company, but also the women we travel with to strangers. Women who I have grown to deeply care about and I consider friends. I told the team on our final dinner together, that our Explorer Chicks are damn lucky to be adventuring with us in 2019. And you know, I’m damn lucky too. I left that weekend feeling empowered, elevated, and confident that this Dream Team is happily trotting down the trail to bigger vistas where we’ll all obliging rip of our tops and declare ourselves Explorer Chicks! 🍒
Some Bonus out-takes and Behind the Scenes from our training weekend!