This is my first personal addition to the publishing side of College Outside. As President of the Babson Outdoor Association (BOA), I created this easy to use guide to provide a foundation for future BOA leaders while also helping other outing club leaders run a white water rafting trip of their own. The original article can be found on here.
White water rafting is an exhilarating activity that is great for outing clubs because it is a team experience. With the right attitude, rafting can be for beginners as well as experts when done through a rafting company. The Babson Outdoor Association (BOA) has an annual white water rafting trip as a kickoff to the fall semester each year. BOA is able to provide the trip to students for $30 by having the student government subsidize the trip and by making group pricing deals with rafting, bus, and food companies. The $30 gets covers, rafting, travel expenses, breakfast, and a BBQ provided by rafting company. We go to Western Massachusetts to raft on the Deerfield River and use Crab Apple Whitewater. Below is a full how-to guide for running the Babson trip. Use it to plan your own trip by inputting your own location, favorite breakfast place, and timeline.
In addition to this guide, we have compiled other tools to help BOA continue to plan awesome trips well into the future. It includes:
- Funding Request Example
- Invoice Examples
- Email Overview
- Email Examples
- Cash Flow Example (Requested, Budgeted, Actual)
- General Information
If you are planning your own outing club adventure and would like to learn more, please send us an email.
Created by Joshua Bennett, BOA President 2011-2013
(Written for the Babson Outdoor Association Annual Fall Rafting Trip in mind)
Sequential To-Do List
- In late March, get quote from white water rafting company (Crab Apple Whitewater) and bus company (Academy Bus) to present funding request to Student Government.
- Give quotes to Student Life to be reviewed by the college legal council. Plan on not getting confirmation for several weeks.
- Get funding request approved by Ways and Means (Student Government branch) before May.
- Book reservation in May with Crab Apple for 50 rafters for the 2nd/3rd Sunday of September
- Book the bus for departure from the college at 7:20am and departure from rafting at 4pm.
- Submit event on life@babson (online student activities billboard).
- Verbally confirm rafting and bus bookings a month before the event (early August). Make sure to explicitly explain the pick up point for the bus company (on Map Hill Drive outside of Trim Dining Hall).
- Advertise through newsletter to students and faculty a month before the event (early August).
- Make sure to lock in at least one faculty member as a trip advisor well in advance. To do this, email “Friends of Babson” email list of faculty members interested asking for help.
Within Two Weeks of Event
- Request guides for the trip and make t-shirts for the guides if possible.
- Advertise event at Organization Carnival. Advertise at Sustainability Fair if needed (fair will usually be the same weekend as rafting). Update email list first week of school and one more time as the trip gets full. Know that you will have some eager participants who will commit early, but a majority will not commit until two weeks before the trip. Interest will peak the week before when people have their schedules figured out.
- Have students make payment to a Campus Box (mailroom). Spots are not reserved until payment is made. Send email confirmation when received payment. Make a list of those who say they would like to go who haven’t made payment yet – email them an occasional reminder to get their payment in. Students deposit payment with name, email address, phone number, and class year on envelope with cash or check (made out to Babson College) and liability forms signed inside. There is a college liability form and a Crab Apple liability form.
- Make spreadsheet of roster. Use as attendance sheet. A wait list may need to be made if trip meets capacity.
- Send Trip Itinerary and Logistics email to attendees five days before event.
- Select movie selection to watch on the bus.
- Purchase cases of bottled water enough for everyone to have at least one.
- Send an email the night before reminding people of the departure time.
- Be at Cafe Fresh (favorite local breakfast place) just after opening at 6am to pick up 7 dozen bagels (about $90)
- Meet bus at pick up point (outside of Trim) around 6:45am.
- Take attendance as people are loading onto the bus.
- Drop off all college liability forms to Public Safety. If an issue happens on the event, call Public Safety and they will initiate off-campus safety protocol.
- Plan to arrive to Charlemont at 9:30am (as specified by Crab Apple on invoice).
- Rafting liability waivers are given to Crab Apple upon arrival.
- Live Tweet your event (@BabsonOutdoor). Purchase professional photos from Crab apple after rafting and/or buy waterproof Kodak cameras for each raft before rafting. Plan on $75-$100 for photos.
- Rafts are in groups of 6 or 7 with a guide.
- If applicable, tip bus driver when back at Babson safely around 6pm (plan on $10/hour equating usually to around $100).
- Deposit money to Student Life the Monday after the trip
- Log the requested, budgeted, and actual money breakout for the event.
- Send email to faculty members thanking them for coming
- Post photos to Babson Outdoor Association Facebook page.
- If and when you receive postcard Thank You’s from Crab Apple, take a photo of each one and send to attendees.
- Send email to attendees asking for feedback and referrals to make BOA better
1. Newsletter featuring event 1 month before
2. Email two weeks before
3. Payment confirmation emails
4. Trip itinerary and logistic email 1 week prior with waivers attached
5. Departure email reminder day before
Image Citation: Courtesy of the Babson Outdoor Association. Photos purchased from Crab Apple Whitewater, Inc. on Fall 2012 trip.
In addition to my tribute to all that Steve Jobs has done for the world, it cannot be forgotten the advice and reflection he shared at the Stanford University’s 114th Commencement on June 15, 2005.
There are many things I could say about Steve Jobs. Among what I could say would be many thanks. Thanks for his commitment to perfection. Thanks for his belief in humanity. Thanks for creating the company who’s culture would open my mind in countless ways. I cannot adequately explain my appreciation. So rather than getting lost in words, I would like to share some of my favorite quotes from Steve that have influenced me most.
Playboy: We were warned about you: Before this Interview began, someone said we were “about to be snowed by the best.”
[Smiling] “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.”
“We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” [BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998]
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” [Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998]
“But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.
“And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. [BusinessWeek, Oct. 12, 2004]
Stemming from my motivational chat with a friend and a few other conversations I purchased StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and completed the Clifton test to see what my strengths are. Similar to knowing what motivates you, it is important to understand what your strengths are. After taking the test, the book provides great description of how you operate day to day due to your strengths, and how to leverage them in your favor.
I enjoyed how in the beginning of the book Rath talks about Rudy Ruettiger’s story, which you may be familiar with from the movie “Rudy.” He points out that although Rudy succeeded in playing football for Notre Dame (and he did so due to his focus and persistence), there is only so far you can go without talent. It is like a multiplier:
Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving)
Investment (time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building a knowledge base)
Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance)
So if Rudy only had on a scale of 5 a talent of 2, even with his investment of 5 he only gets a strength of 10. Athletic greats we admire such as Micheal Jordan and Joe Montana have a talent of 5 and investment of 5 resulting in a strength of 25. What Rath is getting across is that these people leveraged their strengths in their favor. I will also note, this is one of the few math problems I truly grasped right away the first time. I therefore, will not be seeking a job including much mathematics (my score would probably be a 10 like Rudy).
So What I Learned About My Top 5 Strengths:
(The book goes into much further detail, but I do not want to spoil the fun so you will have to pick up the book yourself.)
I take charge which leads me to having presence. I take a stance on things. Once my opinion is formed about something, I feel the need to share it with others and similarly, once I set a goal I am restless until I have aligned with others around me. I am not frightened by confrontation, because I know that confrontation is the first step towards resolution.
I am in constant need of achievement – it is what explains my drive. I feel as if each day I start off at zero and I must achieve something tangible at the end of the day to feel good about myself (and each day truly means “everyday”). Similarly, my high school lacrosse coach once told me that each day you only get either better or worse, that appealed to my achiever mentality.
I am constantly thinking about where I am headed. I need a clear destination or I get frustrated. This is a good thing because I am constantly making goals and instinctively evaluating events as positive or negative towards these goals. I am very impatient with delays, obstacles, or even tangents which is good to stay on task.
I am intrigued by the unique qualities of individuals. I instinctively observe other’s style and motivations as well as how they think and build relationships. I love the unique stories each person has about their life. This trait helps me build productive teams by looking at what makes each person special for whatever cause. In short, I am a people person.
My world needs to have order and planning; I need to be in control. I break long-term projects into smaller series and work through them diligently. I feel best when in a routine, there is a timeline, and structure. I am not necessarily neat and clean, but demand precision. I am very detail-oriented. I stay productive in the name of progress. Like my Dad once joked about in regards to his father, “he enjoys spontaneity when it is planned ahead of time.”
I was asked today what motivates me. Not what motivates me necessarily at my workplace, but in general what motivates me in life, intrinsically.
My inquirer said that his two main motivators were competition and doing the right thing. Now, everybody has levels of competition and doing the right thing but he said these were his top two. If you wanted him to do something, your best bet was to make it into a competition or ask him to think about what is the right thing to do. To go back on my thoughts on effort, motivation is what makes you put forth the effort you do.
He then went on to say that one person may not have much of a desire for competition, but is motivated by improving a team. So you wouldn’t motivate this person by making sales percentages a competition, but you would be able to motivate this person by saying if we got such and such sales percentages it would help the team to do this, this person would be right on it.
So it made sense to me to think about what motivates me most. In some way I think it will help my productivity and usefulness in the world at some point, right? What I came down to was this:
I am motivated by the pursuit of perfection. I know that perfection is not attainable and that the greatest things are not necessarily perfect. So perhaps I am motivated by not necessarily the perfect outcome but perfect execution. I am not sure I can go into this idea any further in my own words, but I will say that I admire and wish to emulate things that for me seem like perfect execution. I see different outlooks in the people around me, I see it in stories, and in movies. It is the pursuit for greatness; the pursuit for something beyond what we see everyday. I think this is where some aspects of my personality and outlook on life make sense – I am an optimist, a romantic, and an idealist at the core. These qualities each strive for something greater than we are used to. So therefore, I am certain my motivation is the journey towards perfection.
Lying under this pursuit for perfect I believe is the desire for success, but I think that is behind everyone’s motivation however they define success. I would also add in succession of success, people’s admiration, but again I think that is across our human make up. I would suggest you take the time to think about this too. It will certainly be an interesting conversation you have with yourself. I am not sure what good knowing your motivator will do, be sure to let me know what you come across. What does your motivation mean about who you are, what you are doing, and what you are meant to do?
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid: If you tell yourself you will give something your best effort, you do not have to think about what to do and not to do, you will just do it. Giving the ultimate effort will be effortless because you took the vow to yourself to do so. Otherwise, you spend time debating whether you should do this or that. Keep it simple, do what is right. If you are not going to do something well then do not do it at all. And if you are battling against time: well, if you don’t have the time to do it right now, will you really have the time to redo whatever you did? Success is effort driven – period.
I was in a class the other day where we were discussing the aspects of paying a CEO to leave a company. Essentially, it is an event when it is better for the corporation to rid itself of one of its leaders, so it pays a compensation to end the contract between the two parties. The same instance happens in sports, when a team wants to get out of a contract with a player. These compensations generally become very large, which presents the question “how much is someone really worth?”. A student quickly responded that she would accept any amount someone would give her, no matter how high.
She said if someone perceives you to be of a certain worth and is willing to pay, you have every right to accept that payment. In reaction, I interrupted and exclaimed how if that is the case than the acceptor has no modesty. It is not only a question about your perceived worth, but how much you really need. It is not the right to accept any payment, but the responsibility to only accept what is reasonable. I would like to think that I have sense to cap what is given to me, because there is a point where you do not need the money and someone else does. I look honorably towards the CEO’s who gave themselves dramatic pay cuts in times of financial crisis to allow more money to go to employees who really need and deserve it. I hope one day to be in the position to be able to make such a sound decision, where I am afraid others won’t.
Excellent discovery by Simon Sinek. People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it. All companies, and most people, know what they do. But few companies and people are able to tell you why they do it – this is what makes them leaders. Operate starting with the “why” and work out through the “how” and then to the “what” and not the other way around.