the ultimate adventure began for a little over 60 people the weekend before last, and this explains the sparse posting on the blog as of late. i was deeply involved in the activities leading to the official start of AMCI's basic mountaineering course. the photo exhibit was on display at greenbelt 1, glorietta 4, and trinoma. i contributed not just photos and my tent, but also time and muscle, to the exhibit's successful run. of course, it cannot be helped: people, who cannot contribute more concretely and constructively beyond criticism, have said a few unsavory things, and my constant retort has been: you ought to have just helped. i've always been an advocate of: if you want things done your way, then do it yourself.
my contributions to the AMCI photo exhibit and the marketing efforts of the BMC have been enormous, considering that i am not part of this year's committee. i offered previous experience and materials, but i also ended up designing the flyers, putting together some collages, executing a poster, and addressing some ad hoc issues as they arise. i cannot as yet consider myself a visual artist, and what i can offer at best is basic knowledge of photoshop, but at least i have enough taste and design philosophy to come up with something acceptable, without offering whiny excuses like my opposition to the theme, or lack of material time. i quite literally burned the midnight oil poring over photos and putting together materials so that the exhibit would not look unfinished.
i also had this idea of doing a viral on facebook by encouraging members to post any of the i AMCI images as their profile picture for at least a week. the goal was to get people to notice the club, and to highlight how the club has positively impacted our lives. i encouraged members to post a status update saying what the club has done for them. my personal post was this: petroleum jelly and duct tape are your friends. ask me why. many of my friends played along with my experiment and i am very thankful for their cooperation because i personally felt it achieved its purpose.
my last effort was the recruitment video that was played during the BMC orientation night. we could have had a better venue, but the substance of the program prevailed and convinced several people to join. it's my second video, and comes across as a little serious, but i gets the message across, i think. when i started the interviews for the video, i didn't have a story line. the most difficult part was going through nearly a thousand clips worth over a few hours, and selecting the ones that ended up in the final cut. i have no professional training in video editing, and i was merely guided by own personal aesthetic, and the limitations of iMovie, but i think i managed to produce something that's memorable to those who can relate. it already has over 400 hits on youtube. this year, with the help of my friends, we'll write a script and do a tongue-in-cheek recruitment video for a change. i hope we get to execute it.
the BMC is now on its second week and i cannot yet tell whether this is going to be a fun batch. i hope they turn out just like us chillaxers, who, by the way, are celebrating our 5th anniversary of friendships forged at high altitudes. last week, suzette asked me to lead the first run around valero, and there were two trainees who were trying to outpace me, but they ended up falling far behind. there are maybe 4 or 5 though who could easily overtake me on a bad day, which i've been getting quite often lately.
and since we are on the subject of AMCI, of which i am a reluctant member of the board, i would just like to express disappointment that there are people out there who want all the privileges, but none of the responsibilities of membership in the club. they demand benefits, but cannot offer support in a more tangible, concrete way. i may have come across as completely annoying this past week collecting membership dues from people, but it's only fair. members who are not in good standing cannot claim as a matter of right the privilege of participating in the club's activities if they cannot fulfill the simple duty of paying a membership fee. it's really an incentive to be more active: in order to maximize the membership fee, you show up more. like i flatly remarked during the orientation night: we need you. we need your participation. we need warm bodies. so it's still not too late to take the ultimate adventure. you have until this sunday to decide to become a weekend warrior and pursue your outdoor passions.