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! Will's Boot Camp Experience

 
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Hey y'all!

Will here. I'm one of the latest boots here at Wheaton Labs and I'm well into my second week already and only slightly late to the posts.

I drove up from Sarasota, Fl. I started my journey out here on the 13th in order to get here by the 19th and get some boot time in before this upcoming RMH Jamboree

It was a looooooong drive. My ass was NOT grateful for that experience, but I made it safely and in great time!

I'm extremely grateful to those I was able to stay with along the way in order to cut my costs along the journey. Shoutout to my Aunt Karla for letting my stay at their place in Lubbock; my buddy, Craig for letting me crash at his place the first night in order to wait out the Tropical Storm that ran into Lake Charles after I had taken off from Sarasota. Big thanks to my buddy, Joe, for having me at his AirBnB while he was staying in Loveland, CO; and of course the lovely Erne for grabbing us the last vacant room at the Big Sky Motel in Superior the night before I was scheduled to be here.

A little context as to who I am, why I came here and what I hope to achieve:

full name: William Park
born and raised in Florida. I have never lived in another state my entire life, so I'm very used to the tropics and all of its humidity. I went to Pine View school in Osprey, FL and graduated in 2010. Stuck around Fl working as a security guard for about 10 years on and off. I was part of a metalcore band from 2011 to 2014. I've been playing guitar since I was 12 (so about 17+ years now) I enjoy games, music, audio engineering, and most manual labor because I certainly enjoy working with my hands.

I took an online PDC course through Oregon State University that started back in Summer of this year (2021). It was a 10 week intensive course and I learned a hell of a lot thanks to Andrew Millison and their whole team of instructors. During that class, Erne shared the Wheaton Labs website with me and from there I learned about the permies and the amazing opportunities this place would expose me to. I've been wanting to get some great hands on experience in the world of permaculture after starting my PDC, but didn't know what would be the best way to go about that. When I read more into the boot camp I was really excited and very anxious. How would I get here? How long would I want to stay? What are my expectations versus what I will truly experience here? I've never been a part of an "intentional community" for those that wish to call it that. That's certainly what it feels like. However, I find it to be a great work-trade opportunity and in the past two weeks I've felt very welcomed and grateful to be here!

This is the farthest I've traveled from "home" and it's a far cry from my comfort zone that I had become so accustomed to. Although, this new life transition has ignited a newfound part of myself that I'm eager to continue exploring and grow with as well. I've realized for myself that home is where you make it. home is wherever I am. It's not a particular location or structure, but always within myself.

I'm looking forward to exploring myself and more of the wilderness here as I continue through the boot camp no matter how long I choose to stay here. There is certainly a great bit of wanderlust that has stirred up within me and maybe at some point I'll want to explore that some more, but I'm happy to be here and within myself I feel at home. Looking forward to what the future holds and all the amazing projects I'll get to to see unfold here! Also, great thanks to all the current senior boots: Dez, Mags, and Grey for being so friendly, welcoming, and open during my stay here, and OF COURSE Paul for opening up his beautiful property to me to stay and learn on! Much love and appreciation for you all! <3

P.S. I've attached some photos for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!

- Will
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master steward
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Welcome, Will! Great to have you on the forum and at the Lab! I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of what all you will be getting into.
 
gardener
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Thanks for posting - looking forwards to hearing of your experiences. I suspect winter may come as a shock to your system.
If you are at home in your own skin you are a wise and lucky man.
 
Will Park
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Thank you Anne and Nancy! Last night was VERY cold and was not wholly prepared! πŸ₯Ά It's been a great start so farand just getting busy with working the Rocket Mass Heater Jamboree event. Doing my best to get video footage to help with the movie. It's certainly challenging as also being part of the boot camp requires lots of time management. So it's how do I get all the footage for a good film while also sticking to my duties and where is the line drawn between the two. I certainly feel the footage is a priority here while the event is going on and I've done a lot of hard labor already in the trenches. Literally!
 
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Nice captures you've shared so far Will!

I don't have boot experience yet myself, but I imagine you'll find a good flow for capturing / working / resting / sharing captures that works for you - just take it one step at a time. (:

It seems like Dez has a method of uploading his captures of the day previous, choosing the morning time to upload - probably during or before his breakfast time I imagine.

I bet others use the evening after the day's activities (when it is too cold or too dark to do much work outside).

The nice thing about capturing content is that you can always 'over capture' and go back when there is more downtime to edit and sort through it.

With such an extreme climate change for you (Florida to Montana, wow!) , I'd recommend giving yourself a wide berth of adjustment time.

Once you have some habits in place that help maintain your hydration / heat / energy while working during the day, I bet you could then start to extend more into other areas.

Hoping the best for you as you acclimate and find your groove. Looking forward to what you find time to share with us here on Permies!

You are a brave spirit, no doubt! πŸ’•
 
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That's a really big climate shift. Others have already said it, but expect it take some time for your body to adjust. Your metabolism will probably start to shift, but it takes time.

For me I moved from Appalachian Virginia to South Western Japan, and while nowhere near as big a shift, it took me about 18 months to fully acclimate to the extremes and about 5 years to really feel adapted.
 
Will Park
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Thank you Talyn,
You are absolutely right. It will take more time to adjust here. After not even two weeks and now having to balance my time among what tasks/chores I need to handle as well as my duties toward helping the event run smoothly and also capturing video for the event. I expected nothing less than chaos the first day as I sort it all out.

I appreciate you words of encouragement very much!

Thank you as well, L. Johnson. The shift is quite extreme indeed. I feel I've acclimated to the elevation in terms of being able to hike to the volcano and back without feeling completely winded lol. That in itself has felt like an accomplishment. It has also helped with heating me up before tenting up on these cold nights.

I have a high metabolism as it is, so I foresee many large meals in my future or certainly several snacks throughout the day.

Right now I'm taking my half-hour afternoon break during the Jamboree for dumping my event footage and getting in some replies.

Appreciate the support and I'll certainly have more to share soon enough

Take care!  
 
Will Park
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I got some shots today of a group lesson from Uncle Mud on J-tube design and use.

A shot of the ongoing Solarium project as they are designing the RMH for one of the newest structures at basecamp. Soon enough Dez will get me up to speed on where that is now and what the next steps are for that build so I'll be grabbing shots along the way with that project!

Got a shot of a meeting with friends that you may know well enough =^-^=

And also did some work straightening up the junk pole fence around the back of the FPH!

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Uh oh, what needed straightening up on the junkpole fence?
 
Will Park
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The vertical poles were tilted about 30Β° leaving substantial gaps in the fence. Just an aesthetic fix really. Still have gaps to fill but hard to get to that work during the event. But soon enough I'll work on finishing that up πŸ‘
 
Will Park
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So today is one of our days off during the event and wanted to share some of the latest photos from the event with you all!

I've been getting a lot of video that I hope will be of great use for the newest film of the RMH Jamboree, but I'll just share some stills here for now and save the juicy real bits for the film. We worked on making cob and RMH structures, prepping materials for builds, MANY discussions of design and theories to be experimented, it's been a blast with a mix of chaos running around to capture as much as possible!

Hope you enjoy these soul moments from the event

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The mixing of the Cob
The mixing of the Cob
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Brick Install of the Lorena
Brick Install of the Lorena
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Cob added to the Lorena design
Cob added to the Lorena design
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Eliot watching over the paint removal process
Eliot watching over the paint removal process
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Joe and Isaac cutting the barrel for the Solarium RMH
Joe and Isaac cutting the barrel for the Solarium RMH
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"Tractor-Man" Grey and team Harvesting Pea Gravel
"Tractor-Man" Grey and team Harvesting Pea Gravel
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Grey Daydreaming of Nap Time after Lunch
Grey Daydreaming of Nap Time after Lunch
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Paul and attendees reviewing the pebble style RMH
Paul and attendees reviewing the pebble style RMH
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Sauna Build team discussing theory and design
Sauna Build team discussing theory and design
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Solar Dehydrator Team working on structural improvements
Solar Dehydrator Team working on structural improvements
 
Will Park
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Well we made it through day 6 here with the RMH jamboree.

A lot was accomplished on my day off so I had some catching up to do today, but most of the projects were getting fired up and tested for efficiency and effectiveness.

The Rocket Sauna design was reverted to it's original state with the addition of a clean out and a sauna bench fit for at least 4 people.

The Lorena design looks amazing and is still being tested as I speak. Also very impressed with the window shutters that were created from a section of the overhanging structure with a stylish dimensional lumber trim and hinges.

Got a bit more footage today, though not as much as I would have liked because staging the shots is half of everything and I'll get more of that as the projects reach completion.

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Solar dehydrator RMH stone works
Solar dehydrator RMH stone works
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Solar dehydrator RMH closeup
Solar dehydrator RMH closeup
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Hey look! There's Paul!
Hey look! There's Paul!
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The Lorena
The Lorena
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Red Cabin Window Install
Red Cabin Window Install
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The sun sets on today
The sun sets on today
 
Will Park
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It still feels like I'm running on "Event time" instead of being back to our normal boot schedule.

I'm so grateful we could set the schedule to have a nice 4-day weekend after all the work during the RMH Jamboree.

I've been able to sort through all of my footage from the event and get it ready for editing. Now I just have to do so with the extra footage from one of the attendee's of the event.

However, aside from that, miss Erne and I are planning a trip up to Glacier National Park for a couple days off and staying lakeside for hopefully some lovely scenery while we're up there. Can't wait to grab some photos along the way to share!

I also completely missed out on gathering pics for this week because I just really needed a break from being behind a screen.

I will be spending much more time behind one in the weeks to come.

I have really been excited for the boot days coming up and the projects we'll get to work on as I find it much more enjoyable than videography. 😏

Also, winter is coming! And I'm grateful to my sister for sending me some silk liner gloves and socks! Those will be a lovely gift for the months to come!

 
Will Park
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First morning in Lakeside today!
Walked over to Glacier Perks for coffee and a MASSIVE cinnamon roll! Then returned to the motel to make an actual breakfast: spinach, onion, and mushroom omelet  :P

Some clear signs of winter on the approach at basecamp before this brief expedition!

Also made some fishy friends along the trip :) 🐟

Though this isn't technically boot camp related material I feel it's important to see that there are great opportunities in our down time to have little adventures and getting out and about is great for the soul! πŸ€—

Really looking forward to today's hike in Glacier! ⛰️πŸ₯Ύβ€οΈ

Speaking of, I got myself some great winter work boots as well thanks to REI co-op!
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The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
LAUNCHING A NEW PERENNIAL PERMACULTURE NURSERY - HELP CHOOSE OUR NAME! 🌸
https://permies.com/t/155112/LAUNCHING-PERENNIAL-PERMACULTURE-NURSERY-CHOOSE
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