All Evaluations from AO 2004

Dave's Evaluation for Danny Bland

What suggestions do you have for improving this experience?

This year we had a new staff member who came to us well recommended and looked pretty good on paper and through interviews.  She turned out to be rather eccentric and not a strong leader.  The experience I think led the group to better understand how to deal with students that are given to us to teach  we have to do the best we can with them.  This staff member will not be returning on any AO Programs. 


What do you see as the strengths of this experience?

Bonding of the Participants as a true Family.
Learning and understanding how to push your limits in a sane, safe, nurturing, positive way.
Pushing your Limits.
Personal Discovery


Additional Comments.
This years group was very small in number, but exceptionally large in Heart. 
An AMAZING, all female, Kick Butt  Take Names group that now holds the AO Grand Canyon Hiking Record of 9 hours 10 mins. - round trip. 
This group also is the only AO group to hike the 20 mile Half Dome Summit Hike and climb the Cables.   

Check out this website: 
You Need Cables and Courage to Climb Half Dome

Check out the Pictures!   Also, Read the evaluations.  Enjoy!!!!!


Heather's Evaluation

I was provided adequate information and guidance in advance.  Strongly Agree!
Staff Members were responsive to participants needs.   Agree!
Pace was what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
The accommodations were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
Activities were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.

Comments:
The pace I knew was going to be fast in order to see all the items on the itinerary- and it was fine.  I knew the accommodations were mostly going to be primitive camping.  Activities were pretty much what I expected with a few (good) surprises thrown in.   
I recommend this experience to future Teaching Fellows.  Strongly Agree.

Please Elaborate.  Why or why not.
This was a wonderful leadership and youth experience for the future Teaching Fellows.  These women will know firsthand much of the terrain of their country and can pass this on to their students. 

Name the three best activities (not cities visited) on the trip or name the 3 best features of your study program. 

Grand Tetons, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon.

What specific suggestions do you have for improving this travel/study experience. 

Always having Gookinaid and extra water for emergency situations such as the Half Dome hike. 

Additional Comments:
I was amazed at all the girls summiting Half Dome and the way they pulled together and supported Sara& Sara in turn helping Gary.  The hike down Grand Canyon was also a record breaker  especially with Gookinaid!!  I was definitely going outside my limits and was able to do seemingly insurmountable tasks especially when we summited Half Dome as an AO group.

How I Did as Staff:

Well, I'd never done this kind of thing before or led mostly teenagers, so this was a good growing experience.  Being that I am very introverted for the most part, compounded by the fact that I live alone and am used to having my space, it was a little hard at times and the group might have thought I was a little quiet and withdrawn.  I'm not used to being on the go-go-go, but I did get faster and more efficient as the trip progressed.  I wish I could have helped more, especially by driving.  I thought the group at times didn't let me do enough because they weren't confident in my abilities.  If I made mistakes, there's always room for improvement.  I appreciated the help and advice I got from the girls and Dave.  I learned a lot on the trip and hope I gave a little in return. 

How Dave Did!

Dave was Great!!  He kept a positive attitude for most of the trip.  He is used to being around young people and really loves being around them.  He is an excellent instructor and storyteller.  He always had some interesting lesson on clouds or rocks or a neat story to tell.  I learned a lot from him. 



 

AO 2004 The Fab 4 Evaluations and Reflections

Lauren Riggan,  TF-WCU

I was provided adequate information and guidance in advance.  Strongly Agree!
If not, what information would you have liked prior to departure.

WOW! -there was so much info give, everything was covered
and everything was given in detail.

Staff Members were responsive to participants needs.   Strongly Agree!
If not, in what ways could support be improved?

Dave Rocked!!

Pace was what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
The accommodations were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
Activities were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.

Comments:

I can't say that these were what I expected because going into the trip; you really are unable to have a clue!  However, everything we did was more than I expected & it would be extremely hard to fit anything else into our schedule.

I recommend this experience to future Teaching Fellows.  Strongly Agree.

Please Elaborate.  Why or why not.

Okay.  Junior Enrichment  WE as NC TF's have an opportunity to do something different & bold!   Yes, I'm sure it is rewarding to work at Special Olympics or do a photography school, but we need to take chances while we can & explore this amazing & beautiful country when given opportunities  DO AO!!!!!


Name the three best activities (not cities visited) on the trip or name the 3 best features of your study program. 

Rockin up Half Dome  An accomplishment that I never knew was possible but once begun, I never doubted myself.

Snake River and Jackson Hole  "Yay Wyoming  Enough Said"

Grand Canyon Hike  I knew from the beginning that it would be a challenge but completing it was wonderful!

What specific suggestions do you have for improving this travel/study experience?
 
    Not too much- maybe adding a day in Glacier Nat. Park or making sure that the weather is sunny in the Badlands.

Additional Comments:

    American Odyssey is a trip you start out with having no clue what to really expect, not knowing a soul, and come out with an appreciation for yourself and this country that you didn't think could be as strong as it is, along with a new family.  This family is truly a family  - a family that will push you to your extreme limits but will never let you fail & a family to support you when you need comforting.  This experience is truly unforgettable, but one you have to experience for yourself.  Take on this challenge and reward yourself with this feeling that no words could ever begin to explain. 




Lindsey Moon,  TF-NCSU

I was provided adequate information and guidance in advance.  Strongly Agree!
If not, what information would you have liked prior to departure.

Next year add more warm clothes to the list for us cold natured people.

Staff Members were responsive to participants needs.   Strongly Agree!
If not, in what ways could support be improved?

Pace was what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
The accommodations were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.
Activities were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.

Comments:
    I expected it would be fast paced if we were to see and do all that we wanted to do in 30 days. 
    I expected sleeping in tents and tarps  too bad we had to sleep in tents so much though!
    Activities were above and beyond what I could have ever imagined!  

I recommend this experience to future Teaching Fellows.  Strongly Agree.
Please Elaborate.  Why or why not.

I don't see why people wouldn't want to do this!  It's such a spectacular opportunity to see our beautiful country & meet Teaching Fellows and other people and make friends.  It's also an amazing opportunity to examine yourself and go a long time without showers! 
Name the three best activities (not cities visited) on the trip or name the 3 best features of your study program. 

Sorry! I couldn't pick just three!

Hiking Half Dome at Yosemite and laying on the beach the day after. 

Hiking the Grand Canyon on my 20th Birthday!!!

Playing on the white sands in New Mexico & watching the sunset there.

All of Wyoming!!  An amazing place to see and experience the Rodeo,              flat roads, Whitewater rafting, Jackson Hole! Billy's Giant Hamburgers           all with my AO Family!

What specific suggestions do you have for improving this travel/study experience?

    None!  It was spectacular the way it was!
    Well  maybe better weather next time! J
 
Additional Comments:

    I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone I know who would be able to go.  It is definitely an odyssey and an adventure, but something I think everyone should experience.  As long as you come into the trip with an open mind, knowing that it is whatever you make it, it's going to be the best time of your life.  Our AO Family is so close that it's going to be weird to part from them and live life with out them now!  The Journey truly was the Destination in this trip and what an Incredible Journey it was!  I wouldn't trade this trip and my AO family for anything in the world!  I love you all!  


Sara Smith,  TF-UNC-CH

I was provided adequate information and guidance in advance.  Strongly Agree!
If not, what information would you have liked prior to departure.

Staff Members were responsive to participants needs.   Strongly Agree!
If not, in what ways could support be improved?

Well, we both know about the exception but I think everything went extremely well all things considered.  The examples of Dave and Tracy as Staff were Awesome! 

Pace was what I expected.  Agree.
The accommodations were what I expected.  Agree.
Activities were what I expected.  Agree.

Comments:
    I kinda didn't know what to expect, but I enjoyed the fast pace. (I would've liked to have more time in Chi town, hehe), the six showers added spice and good smelly times in the van, and no one can replace Half Dome, Grand Canyon, Night Two, The Fire Academy(s), and riding in the van for hours. 

I recommend this experience to future Teaching Fellows.  Strongly Agree.

Please Elaborate.  Why or why not.
    I cannot imagine any other experience to be more "enriching."  I was challenged in every aspect that someone can be challenged, bonded with three of the best women possible, and have seen more of the US than most my age and even older;  you just can't get that any other way!

Name the three best activities (not cities visited) on the trip or name the 3 best features of your study program. 

Night 2
Pow Wow
Half Dome
Grand Canyon
Snake River
Sledding
Driving J
Jackson Hole
Street Festival in San Francisco
It was best to interact with the cultures of the people around us, and these
           activities highlighted those around us rather than ourselves.  

What specific suggestions do you have for improving this travel/study experience? 

    Keep Half Dome!
    Ask God for Sunshine
    I enjoyed being able to spend a whole day in San Fran, and I think it would benefit the
    groups to spend more time in the larger cities in general. 

Additional Comments:
   
    Thanks Papa D!!!  I'll come back and be a Staffer any day!
    Honk if you like our Tumbleweed!


Katherine Buehler, Sophomore-The Cannon School

I was provided adequate information and guidance in advance.  Strongly Agree!
If not, what information would you have liked prior to departure.

Staff Members were responsive to participants needs.   Strongly Agree! 
Heather Not Included

If not, in what ways could support be improved?
    Get Rid of Heather!

Pace was what I expected.  Agree.
The accommodations were what I expected.  Agree.
Activities were what I expected.  Strongly Agree.

Comments:
    I was told that we move fast and we did, and I personally liked the faster pace. 
    I was told that we "Tarp it" most nights, We did and it was Great!
    I new every day what we were doing and was prepared for it well.

I recommend this experience to future Teaching Fellows.  Strongly Agree.
Please Elaborate.  Why or why not.

    AO is so much fun as well as being a Teambuilding experience.  It is a time to meet and make new "Family" and build life long relationships. 

Name the three best activities (not cities visited) on the trip or name the 3 best features of your study program.

White Sands.  It was so beautiful and the sunset was the best part.
Grand Canyon.  It was so much fun with Dave and Tracy.
Half Dome.  It is the hardest thing I have ever done! 

What specific suggestions do you have for improving this travel/study experience? 
Additional Comments:

    I would get rid of the cities and spend the whole time hiking.  But, that might not be good for all.

Additional Comments:

    Next time you get recommendations for Staff that you don't know, I would meet with them and go camping for a weekend just to make sure that this is the right person for the trip. 
    This is an Awesome Trip and it is the best summer I have ever had!  Please keep this program running because it would be a shame to ever lose it!