My ALF Story
Dick Meyers (Class 2)
ALF was a glorious learning experience for me, but the highlight was the outdoor trust and team building sessions we had in Colorado. The success of the team building exercises was proved to me in what was a surprisingly non-traumatic way in the repelling session. Half way down the rock face while repelling, my line got cinched in the pulley, so there I was just dangling by my safety ropes with an ALF buddy on the top of the rocks holding me from falling. The trust was so inculcated in us by this time, that it was second nature to take the incident as a time to rest while just hanging there rather than become nervous about what might happen. In 10 or 15 minutes I was rescued by another repeller who uncinched my ropes. I've always appreciated Bob Nunn but even more for what he did by holding me from a fall. The ALF experience in its entirety was a high point in my life.
Margaret Carter (Class 2)
To tell my story would pale in comparison to the afore told stories! My most memorable story at Camp was pulling the last number for where I would have to sleep. First of all my idea of camping is at the Hilton. secondly I never stay alone and thirdly there was no one at camp that looked like me or had my very Urban only experience. Needless to say I was a body full of embarrassment. Before we could begin talk about "Team Building" we became a team. The guys got together and decided who would take my number? It meant that the person would have to sleep in the last space far away (In my mind) from the rest of the group. Super Man came to the rescue as always, John Frohnmeyer, who, by the way, is my dear friend until this day. Of course the Frohnmeyer as brilliant as they are can tell tall stories. John came into camp out of breath saying he had seen a large black bear at which time he started running (He is also a runner). Our team wedded from that day forward. As Dick said about his experience with Bob Nunn, no one doubted nor questioned the trust of any member of our team. Today March 23, 201, I can call any member of the ALF 2 class and be received as a result of our experience in the Colorado Wilderness! Hooray for that kind of Leadership in Oregon today!
Sandra McDonough (Class 6)
When it was time for our Outward Bound solo, high up in the Colorado wilderness, we were assigned to spend some time thinking about our lives and writing in our little journal -- under a tarp that was supposed to protect us from mountain rainfall. We had tried to climb a mountain that day, starting out at 4:30 a.m., but rain and lightening had forced us to turn back. Then we spent at least three hours debating whether we would in fact sleep outside, the kind of discussions only an ALF class could have, before being guided into the wilderness with our sleeping bags, thinsulate pads and tarps to spend the night outside alone. So, bottom line, I was way too tired to think about my life, let alone write about it in my journal. I just wanted to sleep. I remember getting into my sleeping bag and having one last thought before I drifted off to sleep. "What am I waiting for?" That was the moment I decided to adopt a child. Two months later, my son Richard was born in Guatemala, and I brought him home to Portland exactly one year after our Colorado Outward Bound week. So my ALF outdoor experience led to the best decision I have ever made in my life -- to become a mom.
Diane Walton (Class 8)
The first night of our time together, our year, 1993, the Class Eight year, one of our members went home and got the call he wanted, becoming the Chief of Police for the City of Portland. Later that year, another member got the call no mother wants -- her son, slain. Through the year, some of us got enlightened, some of us got cancer, some of us learned things we never knew about rural Oregon (and ourselves) , some of us got a little more enchanted by urban Oregon (and ourselves)… all of us opened our hearts, created new patterns in our lives, climbed mountains, shared revelatory joy, conquered fears… and we leave a different trace of ourselves in the world because of one thing or another that happened during our ALF experience AND because of who we became together, for those brief moments almost twenty years ago.
My ALF experience is Charles and Anne, Mike, Joyce, Bill, Tina, Rick, Donna, Stan, the Daves, Thach, Mitzi and George, Barbara and Larry… and I am grateful to each one for help in the woods and on the streets, then and now.