So last summer money was tight. For whatever reason between my wife and I only one of us could hold down a job (and it kept flip flopping!) and so it brought to question whether or not we were going to be able to go to our favorite of the annual vacations. The international climbers festival in Lander Wyoming. (ICF)
Now I had considered just showing up and climbing but that just didn’t feel right. I want to support the organization and I love what they provide for us climbers. Plus then I wouldn’t be able to be a part of the #patagoniaexchange which could be the best steal of a deal of all time.
So as we were stressing over $$$ I noticed my good friend Jerry Painters Facebook posted about how icf was looking for volunteers. Immediately we new that that was the answer for us! So I emailed Elyse and got all signed up for the festival. A month later we were off to the mecca known as Lander Wyoming.
As usual the climbing in Lander was amazing, the company was great, and the entertainment was nonstop. From our buddies initiating a dance party in the Lander bar, or taking what seemed like an endless run at pristine limestone pockets, to my wife collecting more stickers than I could dream of ever using up the festival was a party. Heck the trip was worth it alone for the Muy Bueno burger which could be the greatest mix of greasy goodness on this earth.
But we did need to volunteer still. We were signed up for the art crawl and I had never been a part of that so I didn’t know what we were getting into.
So Elyse texted me where to meet up. Us and four other nose ring tank top wearing kids showed up to help out. Now I don’t know if they thought it would be funny or what but somehow they put my wife and I in charge of serving the free beer samples to the festival crawlers.
So a little about me. My wife and I are active Mormons. Part of that is we don’t drink alcohol. I never have and still to this day don’t plan on trying the stuff. But here we were giving out samples to a bunch of happy hippys.
Yes we became very popular very fast. But sadly we knew literally nothing about what we were handing out. So we called our buddy over who does drink and had him give us a quick lesson on what we were serving. Apparently there is a lot that goes into the different types of beer! I thought that beer was beer and that was the end of it. Boy was I wrong.
We gave out a ton of the stuff with a free jug given out about ever 15 minutes and just hung out and enjoyed a fun free spirit environment. The girl that was the artist had some super cool ceramic work that she had done. I am not gonna lie her hand made replica of specific climbs is still haunting me. I wish that I had bought one. I want it. My wife did end up buying a home made hand juicer that we have used one time this last year. But it’s cute so that’s all that counts!
Our time slot was quick and easy. And it made us meet basically every person that wasn’t Mormon at the festival! It worked out great for us cuz then people liked us and I am pretty sure we got some extra free shirts because we were the #mormonsthatgaveoutbeer.
So the moral of the story is that volunteering at the festival was super fun and very easy. It was actually one of the many highlights for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if we volunteered every year because it’s cheaper, you meet a ton of really cool people, and because you get awesome hashtags out of the deal like ours! #letthemormonsservethebeer